The Jets bolstered their secondary in the first round of the NFL Draft, but not at the position most people expected.

Gang Green selected Louisville safety Calvin Pryor with the 18th overall pick. Pryor is a hard hitter in the mold of the Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor or former Patriot Rodney Harrsion.

After finishing 22nd in passing defense last year, the Jets had to improve the backend of their defense but many thought it would be by taking a cornerback in the first round. Instead, they Jets went with Pryor, a player they fell in love with during the evaluation process.

“The thing that I’m excited about is this man plays like a Jet,” coach Rex Ryan said. “We pride ourselves on being a physical football team. He fits that profile. This young man is an enforcer. You see some of those kinds of plays and hits and see how it impacts a game. All you have to do is look at the Super Bowl and the play of [Kam] Chancellor back there and Earl Thomas. It’s how we want to play defense. I think this young man is going to step in and fit right in with the guys we already have.”

Jets general manager John Idzik saw Pryor play against Central Florida last fall, a game in which Pryor had a bone-jarring hit in as well as a one-handed interception. He came back to New Jersey and told Ryan he found a player he would love. The Jets attended Pryor’s pro day and had him into their Florham Park headquarters for a visit last month.

“When I came in for a visit I felt I fit their scheme very well,” Pryor said. “Coach Rex is a defensive-minded coach and he wanted to go with a defensive guy that could help improve the secondary. He felt I was a great fit.”