Jump to content

Jets suddenly defensive Seeking help on Mangini's side of ball


Recommended Posts

Jets suddenly defensive

Seeking help on Mangini's side of ball



Friday, April 27th 2007, 4:00 AM

Aren't the only ones playing the spy game, trying to decipher clues about this weekend's NFL draft. Teams do it, too.

In recent days, the Jets have been snooping around the league, hoping to get a feel for where certain players might be selected in the first round. Auburn guard Ben Grubbs is one of those players.

Does that mean they're targeting Grubbs with their first-round pick, 25th overall? Maybe, maybe not.

This is the most difficult Jets draft to forecast since 2002, when they surprised many with the selection of Bryan Thomas at No. 22. With 21 starters from last season's playoff team under contract, the Jets aren't desperate at any position, which means they probably will have myriad options when they are on the clock. It should produce a lively war-room debate.

Many industry sources believe the Jets will try to trade down from the 25th spot. If they dropped to the bottom of the round, they probably would pocket an extra third-round choice. GM Mike Tannenbaum, who made 10 selections last year in his first draft, must be experiencing withdrawal because his current total stands at only six. Look for that to increase.

The Jets need the most help on defense, which makes sense on a few levels. They finished 24th in run defense, highly disappointing for a team whose coach, Eric Mangini, made his bones on that side of the ball. They went offense with the first three picks last year, so Mangini has to be pining for some defensive help.

They could use a run-stuffing presence in the front seven, perhaps an inside linebacker to replace Eric Barton, and a cornerback to start opposite Andre Dyson. They're believed to be considering inside linebackers David Harris (Michigan) and Paul Posluszny (Penn State). If Justin Harrell (Tennessee), a 320-pound tackle, slips to 25, he might be too good to pass up.

At 6-2, 243, Harris is big enough to handle the pounding that comes with playing inside in a 3-4 scheme. There are "no holes in his game," a rival GM said. Posluszny (6-1-1/2, 238) is a throwback - the kind of guy Mangini loves - but there are questions about his best position. He may not be big enough for the 3-4; the Jets already have one undersized linebacker, Jonathan Vilma.

"He'll have a chance to play, whether it's in our system or a team that runs a 4-3," Joey Clinkscales, the Jets' director of college scouting, said of Posluszny.

The Jets want to add a corner, but the top-rated players - Leon Hall (Michigan), Darrelle Revis (Pitt) and Aaron Ross (Texas) - probably will be gone. Chris Houston (Arkansas) is intriguing because of his blazing speed (4.32 in the 40), but he might be a reach at 25.

Offensively, Grubbs and Miami tight end Greg Olsen are possibilities. Almost 34, left guard Pete Kendall isn't a lock to return, which makes Grubbs - the highest-rated guard - a tempting option. It wouldn't be a sexy choice, especially after using two first-round picks last year on offensive linemen, but Tannenbaum and Mangini aren't looking to win a popularity contest.

Olsen, the best tight end in the draft, might be considered a "luxury" pick, but he'd add a much-needed dimension to the passing game. The Jets like incumbent Chris Baker, but he can't stretch a defense like Olsen. At 6-6, Olsen would also help inside the 20. For the first time in his career, Chad Pennington's red-zone passer rating (77.6) dropped below 100.

GOING, GOING: The Jets continue to shop WR Justin McCareins. The Titans, his previous team, appear to be interested, but they're reluctant to part with a pick because they know he could be released after the draft. ... Though quarterback isn't a need, the Jets were one of the few teams that conducted a private workout with Stanford's Trent Edwards, projected as a second-round pick.

Green's gang

Here are three players the Jets could take with the 25th pick:

David Harris, LB, Michigan, 6-2, 243

A strong, inside run-stuffer. A two-year starter on one of the country's top defenses. Jets LB coach Jim Herrmann is the former Michigan defensive coordinator and coached Harris for three years.

Ben Grubbs, G, Auburn, 6-3, 311

Three-year starter with a bright future. Outstanding athleticism for the position. He'd add some pop in the running game. The question is, do you want to use a first-round pick on a guard?

Greg Olsen, TE, Miami, 6-6, 254

Compares favorably as a receiver to ex-Hurricane Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow, Jr., but he's not much of a blocker. Caught 40 passes for 489 yards and one TD last season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why do i get the feeling Mangini thinks he can have a good defense despite the players he actually has. His schemes alone can get some stops, at some point he will need to draft a stud defender.

With all the defensive FA signing, I'm still on the Blalock bandwagon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...