USC’s Claude Pelon was one of four undrafted free agent defensive ends for the New York Jets this offseason, making his fight to gain a roster spot a difficult one.
Claude Pelon enters a crowded field of players hoping to land a place on the New York Jets roster in 2016.
Can the Trojan big man reserve a spot on the defensive line?
2016 Jets Defensive Ends
- Jarvis Jenkins | 6th year
- Mike Catapano | 4th year
- Leonard Williams | 2nd year
- Lawrence Thomas | UDFA
- Helva Matungulu | UDFA
- Julien Obioha | UDFA
- Claude Pelon | UDFA
The Jets signed four undrafted free agents at defensive end following the draft, Pelon among them. Though they’re all listed in that position, the battle will really be to slot in at any one of the three spots along the New York defensive line.
Even Leonard Williams isn’t likely to break into the starting line up including Pro Bowlers Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, who are listed as defensive tackles on the Jets’ roster, so a support role is the best that any of the would-be Jets can hope to secure.
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The biggest of the undrafted free agents at 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, Pelon may be able to fill a role at defensive tackle or even nose tackle. That might give him a valuable advantage though Michigan State’s Lawrence Thomas also boasts a great deal of versatility and athleticism as a former linebacker turned pass rusher.
FCS-product and former rugby player Helva Matungulu comes in at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds and intrigues with size and quickness. Finally Julien Obioha boasts the most experience of the group as a four-year starter at both defensive end and defensive tackle for Texas A&M.
It’s hard to image more than one of those prospects will make the roster in New York, so Pelon has his work cut out for him.
View from New York…
"Defensive end Claude Pelon will have his work cut out for him as he does his best to impress the New York Jets. He’ll be competing for a position on the Jets’ depth chart with Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Leger Douzable and Stephen Bowen. The Jets also signed a handful of tryout players and undrafted free agents that will also see some time at defensive end. Given all the competition, the odds are stacked against Pelon to make the final roster as unless he stands out from the rest, will likely be a training camp casualty."