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Dan Leberfeld....Getting defensive at the Combine


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Dan Leberfeld

Feb 20, 2007

The Jets and Giants need to be on the defensive at the NFL Combine.

Both teams need to spend a little more time looking at defensive players this week in Indianapolis.

While it's true the Jets could use a running back and a speedy tight end, and the Giants are in dire need of a stud left offensive tackle, both teams have more needs on defense.

You could make the argument that the Jets need two new starters on their defensive line. The only incumbent who should be a lock to keep his current job is defensive end Shaun Ellis.

The team needs to find an end to replace defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen. He isn't starting material anymore.

The Jets will be spending a lot of time ogling Nebraska's Adam Carriker while in Indy. At 6-5, 290 with good power, 4.8 speed and quickness, he has 3-4 end written all over him. There is a good chance he will be there when the Jets pick at 25.

Another player the Jets will be focusing on a great deal is Michigan defensive end Alan Branch. At 6-6, 330 pounds with terrific quickness for his size, he looks like he could turn into the second coming of Richard Seymour. The Jets would need to trade up to get him. And they have the ammo to do so, with a pair of number-two picks handy.

They also have another valuable commodity that could help them in a trade -- defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson. While Robertson didn't have a bad year last year, he's clearly not a 3-4 nose tackle. This isn't his fault, he's just not built for it. The Jets should seriously consider trading him to a team playing the Tampa Two that would love for him to be their three-technique tackle, a position he is perfect for, a position the Jets originally drafted him to play. Remember, he was supposed to be the next Warren Sapp.

The Jets could get a lot in return for Robertson, a rare athlete for his size. But even if they keep Robertson, the team needs to get a bona fide 3-4 nose tackle to platoon with him. Expect Gang Green's brass to spend a lot of time in the RCA Dome checking out North Carolina State's Tank Tyler, who could give them the 3-4 nose tackle they are looking for.

As for the Giants, they could also use Tyler. Aside from defensive tackle, the Giants need a lot of help in their back seven.

Speed at linebacker is a must, and the Giants will be snooping around the Dome looking at top-shelf LBs who run in the 4.5-4.6 area like Florida State's Lawrence Timmons, Miami's Jon Beason and Mississippi's Patrick Willis. The Giants' new GM, Jerry Reese, would love to add a sideline-to-sideline linebacker like one of these gentlemen.

Reese also needs to upgrade the speed in his secondary, at both safety and cornerback. The Giants will likely be spending a lot of time looking at cornerbacks Aaron Ross (Texas) and Darrelle Revis (Pittsburgh) along with safeties LaRon Landry (LSU) and Reggie Nelson (Florida).

Remember, you need a good defense to win a championship, so the Jets and Giants need to fill some holes on that side of the ball.

And they will start shopping for help at the Combine.

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not really. maybe if you are working out of a magazine published in December 06

yeah, thats what i thought. his stock has really risen, i don't know anyone who still thinks he would be available for our first pick...i was thinking we would need to move up somewhere between 10-15 to have a chance on him.

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Bit,what are your thoughts on Tank Tyler? I'm intrigued by the guy,although I'm not sure if playing next to 3 1st rounders for most of his college career is a good thing or a bad thing.

Actually, he had his best year this year without all of them. But he has major character issues which will probably make Tangini pass on him. And the Jets probably won't even have a chance to draft him anyway. If his character issues really are bad, he won't drop past Cincinnati.

If they don't go after Tyler, the player I would like to see them grab in the later rounds is Paul Soliai from Utah. He's 6-4, 338, and I think he can be a good player with a couple years of coaching. He's a sleeper...

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