The Draft Board
Mike Glennon, NC State (6-7, 220)
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas (6-2, 218)
Tyler Bray, Tennessee (6-5, 215)
E.J Manuel, Florida State (6-4, 237)
Well, it turned out exactly how we all expected, huh? It was a nightmare
to say the least and there's not a ton of hope in sight. Mark Sanchez,
the starter for four years, regressed with Tim Tebow standing over his
shoulder. Surprisingly, Tebow didn't even get a chance. Greg McElroy got
his chance and handled it the way you'd expect a third-stringer to
handle it, taking 11 sacks in his only start of the season (and getting a
concussion to boot).
So, it's time to clean house, right? Well, after signing Sanchez to
an extension prior to the 2012 season, the Jets committed to him for the
2013 season, at a minimum.
Let's start there. Tebow, more than likely, won't be back and that'll
be a good thing for all involved. McElroy is inexpensive and has the
confidence to be a starter but is better served as a backup.
There are two approaches here. The "let Sanchez ride this all the way
out" option the "find the future immediately" alternative, which would
be an intelligent strategy if there was an Andrew Luck or a Robert
Griffin III or even a Jay Cutler in this draft. That's not what new GM
John Idzik has in front of him. However, Glennon and Bray can sling it;
unfortunately, they don't always sling it to the right colored jersey.
Manuel has similar issues, but he can make plays with his legs out of
the pocket in a worst case scenario. These three may have the strongest
arms in this draft class to help cut through the New York winds, but is
either one of them that much of a more better option than Sanchez? Not
at this point.
If quarterback were the only true hole on this team, it'd be logical
to think that drafting one would be a sound philosophy, but that's not
the case. There is nothing worse for a new GM than to encounter a no-win
situation at quarterback, while being hamstrung by financial woes.
Welcome to New York, John.
The Draft Board
Eddie Lacy, Alabama (5-10, 220)
Giovani Bernard, N.C. (5-10, 205)
Montee Ball, Wisconsin (5-11, 215)
LeVeon Bell, Michigan State (6-2, 244)
Christine Michael, Texas A&M (5-10, 221)
Mike Gillislee, Florida (5-11, 207)
Rex Burkhead, Nebraska (5-11, 210)
The running back situation isn't any more clear than the quarterback situation. Shonn Greene
had a second consecutive 1,000-yard season, but averaged less than four
yards per carry. Oh, lest I forget, he's an unrestricted free agent.
Bilal Powell is a quality backup who I'd like to see get more action to
see if he could ever develop as a starter. Plus, he's still working on
his rookie contract ($550k in 2013). Worst case, he's a decent No. 2 to
Greene (if he re-signs). Joe McKnight has explosive tendencies, we've
all seen that, but he's not consistent enough to be The Man.
If Greene moves on, the Jets should, and will, target a back in the
second, third or fourth round. If he re-signs, a running back won't make
sense, more than likely, until the fifth.
Lacy is a full-on beast with tremendous balance and feet and he's a
significant upgrade over Greene. He had the fortunate pleasure of
running behind three potential top-50 draft picks, so life won't be as
easy at the next level. But, he runs through arm tackles and gives Rex
Ryan and company the ground-and-pound running back that Ryan covets.
The more film that I watch on Bernard, the more I like him. He's
patient, has quick feet, runs behind his pads and finishes his runs.
Think poor man's Ray Rice. He won't break a ton of big runs, but other
than Adrian Peterson, who does? Ball doesn't have "Lacy power", but he's
a complete runner who would also fit well in green and white. He'll
start and stop, turn on a dime before bursting through an open hole.
Bell is the type of back that defenses hate to see in the fourth
quarter, but he also can catch the ball well out of the backfield.
Greene has shown he can be a dependable back at this level, but these
four RBs are more gifted. Not to mention, a few years younger, too. If
Greene stays and the Jets bypass RBs in the first four rounds, Burkhead
is the perfect complementary back who can also play on special teams.
The Jets' receiving corps was doomed from the outset of the season.
Santonio Holmes was lost for the season after only four games. 2012
second-round pick Stephen Hill suffered a similar fate, playing only
eleven games dealing with a knee injury. Outside of Jeremy Kerley's 56
receptions, a pleasant surprise, Chaz Schilens led the remaining WRs
with 28 catches. Let's say both Holmes and Hill come back healthy and
Kerley produces like he did in 2012, the receiving corps is adequate.
The hope is that Holmes is healthy, Kerley plays well in the slot and
Hill returns ready to make a significant difference. A free-agent
acquisition makes more sense than another rookie from this draft.
Given the current WR situation (not the best, not the worst) and the
holes at other positions, the Jets may not target a wide receiver in
this draft. Free agency? Perhaps. But, not in the draft. Not this year
The Draft Board
Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (6-5, 252)
Zach Ertz, Stanford (6-6, 252)
Jordan Reed, Florida (6-3, 243)
Travis Kelce, Cincinnati (6-5, 260)
Gavin Escobar, San Diego State (6-5, 255)
Dion Sims, Michigan State (6-5, 285)
Vance McDonald, Rice (6-4, 262)
Ryan Otten, San Jose State (6-5, 235)
Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State (6-5, 245)
Michael Williams, Alabama (6-6, 269)
NFL teams are accumulating tight ends at a fairly rapid rate and the
Jets have one, when utilized and healthy, that could be a 70 catch/year
option. However, Dustin Keller
is an unrestricted free agent and his backup Jeff Cumberland is a
restricted free agent as well. Keller is of more value to teams that
could utilize him to the fullest, given the higher value placed on tight
ends across the league. His departure would leave the Jets with a
massive hole to fill.
Sanchez needs options, but he also needs to be protected. Signing
Keller would make sense, especially if he gives a bit of a hometown
discount, so to speak. But, if he's gone, the Jets must find an
athletic, pass catcher to give Sanchez intermediate receiving options.
The tight end class has a multitude of options. Eifert and Ertz can line
up anywhere on the field. Escobar is a great athlete who can get open
all over the field. Sims is a 285-pound pass catcher, whose blocking
must improve. Otten is a smaller version of Escobar. Williams is the
best blocking tight end in this draft.
Either way, the Jets have a ton of options up and down the board to
fit a number of needs. If the goal is to replace Keller, then Eifert,
Ertz, Reed, Escobar and Otten fit that bill. If the Jets want a more
versatile tight end, part in-line run blocker, part pass catcher, Kelce
is a good fit in the third or fourth round.
The Draft Board
G Chance Warmack, Alabama (6-2, 322)
G Jonathan Cooper, N.C. (6-3, 310)
T D.J Fluker, Alabama (6-5, 355)
G Larry Warford, Kentucky (6-3, 333)
G/T Kyle Long, Oregon (6-6, 310)
G/T Justin Pugh, Syracuse (6-5, 301)
T Dallas Thomas, Tennessee (6-5, 308)
G/T Brian Winters, Kent State (6-4, 310)
T David Quessenberry, SJSU (6-5, 294)
G Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State (6-2, 328)
The right tackle odyssey was a disaster from the day that former GM Mike
Tannenbaum decided to forego finding a free agent or a draft pick to
challenge Wayne Hunter last offseason. The downfall was predictable,
even after Hunter was sent to the Rams, opening the spot for Austin
Howard, who wasn't much better. His pass protection was suspect and
that's being nice. Howard is also a restricted free agent, but in a
perfect world he'd be the team's swing tackle, not it's starting right
tackle. The two projected starters at guard are unrestricted free
agents, so it's clear that the Jets must target offensive line help in
this draft at guard and/or tackle, perhaps looking for versatility to
play either position.
If the Jets want an instant upgrade at guard, Warmack is the perfect
fit. Powerful, quick, explosive and sudden, he steps right in and
becomes a Pro Bowl guard within the next three years. The Jets don't
have the luxury of going guard-guard in the first two rounds, but a
combination of Warmack and Warford would jump start the running game in a
heartbeat. But, it's the passing game that needs the help; luckily,
either or both of those two provide sound A/B gap protection in the
Winters is a find in the fourth round. He was a stellar left tackle
at Kent State but he's more of a fit at right tackle or at guard. Given
the needs at those positions, he gives the Jets the versatility they
need at either position. Most of the OL listed above will get grimy and
nasty, a must for the Jets.
The Draft Board
DE Craig Roh, Michigan (6-4, 280)
DE Joe Kruger, Utah (6-6, 280)
DE Damion Square, Alabama (6-3, 286)
DE Mike Catapano, Princeton (6-3, 270)
Since Kris Jenkins retired a few years ago, the Jets have been void of
quality defensive line depth. Fortunately, the team recognized this and
spent consecutive first-round draft picks on DEs Muhammad Wilkerson and
Quinton Coples. NT Sione Pouha was slowed by a back injury for much of
the year. If those three are healthy for the majority of the year and
Coples makes significant progress, the front three is in good shape.
If Mike Devito is brought back, the defensive line is more than
likely set. However, if the Jets find value in the sixth or seventh
rounds, it'll make sense to add depth and cheap labor.
Roh and Kruger are extremely athletic 280-pounders and are great value
in the sixth or seventh round. One of these two would fit well in New
York backing up Muhammad, Devito and/or Coples. The Jets have more
distinct needs to think about drafting defensive line before the last
two rounds of this draft.
The Draft Board
OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia (6-2, 242)
OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU (6-4, 240)
OLB Ziggy Ansah, BYU (6-5, 274)
OLB Alec Ogletree, Georgia (6-3, 234)
OLB Sean Porter, Texas A&M (6-1, 231)
OLB Gerald Hodges, Penn St. (6-1, 239)
OLB Keith Pough, Howard (6-2, 241)
OLB Meshak Williams, Kansas St. (6-2, 245)
ILB A.J Klein, Iowa State (6-1, 246)
ILB Vince Williams, Florida St. (6-0, 247)
ILB Greg Blair, Cincinnati (6-1, 252)
At outside linebacker, Bryan Thomas is an unrestricted free agent and
his off-the-field problems could force the Jets to walk away. Calvin
Pace, on the other side, finished with only three sacks and has little
impact on the edge. The Jets will more than likely cut Pace because of
Suffice it to say, the Jets must find some edge presence to get more
heat on the quarterback early in this draft. The Jets registered only 30
sacks on the season and there is no question that the Jets MUST draft a
pass rusher before the end of the first two rounds.
Inside, the Jets' starters, David Harris and Bart Scott, have been
mainstays, but Scott has slowed considerably, will be 33 by the time the
season starts and could use a youthful push. It's just a matter of
whether it'll be a push into retirement or just to the bench. Either
way, given the Jets' cap situation, they should take a long look at 2012
third-rounder Demario Davis to play alongside Harris.
With only 30 sacks in 2012, the Jets will have a hard time turning away
from Jones, but he's streaky. He'll have games of three or four sacks
with a bushel full of big plays and then the next you'll wonder whether
he's been on the field or not. Plus, Jones' medicals must check out as
his neck injury forced him to leave USC for Georgia back in 2010.
Regardless, he's a significant upgrade on the edge, something the Jets
Mingo hasn't played a ton of football and was just learning how to
play 4-3 defensive end with his hand on the ground at LSU. But, if
there's an athlete in this draft that could make that transition, it's
Mingo. Worst case, he can fly off the edge and get after the
And, no, Jets fans, he's not Vernon Gholston. Ansah is a work in
progress, as well, and might not be the right fit in New York, but if
the Jets are faced with having to select a guy his size who can run a
4.5 forty, well, heck, they'll just have to get over themselves, huh?
Ogletree plays the game with a hefty helping of nasty, but that stays
with him off the field too. With Davis likely taking over Scott's
inside spot next to Harris, the Jets' depth can be bolstered with a
productive tackling machine like Klein, who was the 2011 Big 12
Defensive Player of the Year.
The Draft Board
CB Desmond Trufant, Wash. (5-11, 190)
CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida St. (6-1, 217)
CB Logan Ryan, Rutgers (6-0, 182)
S Matt Elam, Florida (5-10, 202)
CB Robert Alford, SELA (5-10, 186)
S Jonathan Cyprien, FIU (6-0, 209)
S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State (6-1, 210)
S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma (5-11, 212)
S Shawn Wiliams, Georgia (6-1, 213)
S Robert Lester, Alabama (6-1, 212)
S Duke Williams, Nevada (5-11, 201)
The Jets' secondary was like a Dickens novel…it was the best of times
(LaRon Landry's performance at safety) and the worst of times (Revis
Island shutdown). But, nothing lasts forever, especially when Landry is
staring at a potential huge payday as an unrestricted free agent. He was
second on the team with 99 tackles, but he's not married to the Jets,
which leaves a gaping hole at free safety if he leaves.
Then, there is strong safety Yeremiah Bell, who registered 89
tackles, third on the team, and is also an unrestricted free agent. Both
will command significant interest on the market, which could alter free
agent/draft strategy if the Jets lose both players.
At cornerback, if Revis is healthy and Cromartie plays like he did in
2012, the Jets are set at that position. But, the most polarizing
discussion of the offseason will be whether Revis returns to the Jets or
gets traded elsewhere. Plenty of teams will be interested, but the
question about his knee will resonate throughout.
Idzik has his work cut out trying to figure out what to do with this
unit alone. Could it be that the only Jet that returns is Cromartie?
This is as difficult to figure out from a draft perspective as any unit
in the AFC East. If Bell and Landry walk and Revis gets moved, it
becomes priority No. 1. If Revis gets moved, the Jets would have
additional picks somewhere in this draft to allow for the opportunity to
draft youngsters at both CB and safety.
Trufant is a lockdown corner who does it with his speed, quickness
and ability to match cuts better than any other CB in this draft.
Rhodes, on the other hand, is physical and can beat receivers up at the
line of scrimmage in press man coverage.
Ryan flew under the radar much of the year, but having played at
Rutgers, the Jets personnel department should be familiar with how
smooth he backpedals, breaks on the ball and makes plays on the ball. At
safety, Elam is a ball player, pure and simple. He plays every single
play with a chip on his shoulder and will run through ball carriers in
run support. He's underrated in pass coverage but no safety has the
football instincts that he has.
Cyprien is getting a ton of attention late in the process. This guy
doesn't back off and doesn't know any other way to play the game. He'll
thrive at the combine and that could push him up into the late second
round after that Meat Market showing.
John Harris hosts The John Harris Show for Yahoo! Sports Radio.