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Cannizzaro--Draft Over. Now What?


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Draft finished, Jets play waiting game

Jets Blog

Last Updated: 6:59 AM, May 2, 2011

Posted: 2:54 AM, May 2, 2011

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headshotMark Cannizzaro


Draft finished?


Now what?

"We wait," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said.

Indeed, once the draft was completed Saturday, the NFL landscape is more uncharted than it ever has been in the wake of the inane on-again, off-again, on-again player lockout.

Instead of calling undrafted free agents last night as they always do after the draft, the Jets and every other team around the league had their hands tied, unable to do anything other than put their lists to gether and wait until the lockout is lifted before they can sign players.

Also, instead of bringing the players they just drafted to the facility for a rookie minicamp this week to give them playbooks and some coaching, teams are not permitted to host those players because of the lockout. Everyone is on his own until further notice.

Because the Jets, runners-up in the last two AFC Championship games, already have a strong program in place, which includes Rex Ryan's entire staff, they're in better shape than most teams. Although many teams have new coaches and questions at quarterback that cannot be addressed during the lockout, the Jets are intact.

The Jets enhanced their strong position with what appears to be a successful, productive draft that produced some players who not only should fill needs, but potentially could become dynamic starters.

The Jets addressed the defensive line with their first two picks -- Temple defensive end/tackle Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round and Hampton nose tackle Kenrick Ellis in the third round. That was smart drafting, based on their aging and thinning line.

Both players figure to be immediate contributors on the defensive line rotation.

Wilkerson appears to be a solid citizen based on his background, but Ellis has been dogged by two highly-publicized blemishes in his personal life -- being kicked off the team at South Carolina for marijuana use and getting into a fight a year ago at Hampton, an incident which has him scheduled for a trial in July.

Sources familiar with the fight, though, have told The Post not only was Ellis acting in self defense, but also the case likely will never get to trial because a plea bargain is expected. That explains Tannenbaum's confidence, when he said after picking Ellis the trial is not a concern.

After those two picks, the Jets' final day of drafting was intriguing. They grabbed four offensive players in rounds four through seven.

Their pick of Louisville running back Bilal Powell in the fourth round gives the Jets significant depth in the backfield. That fueled immediate speculation that veteran LaDainian Tomlinson, who will turn 32 next month, might not be back. That is preposterous. Tomlinson will be back.

The Jets' fifth-round pick, TCU receiver Jeremy Kerley, has lightning speed and should be an immediate special-teams weapon as a punt and kick returner (he averaged 27.2 yards on kick returns and 13.8 yards on punts in college).

The Jets' two seventh-round picks -- Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy and Colorado receiver Scotty McKnight -- appear to offer terrific value.

McElroy helped the Crimson Tide win the national championship as a junior in 2009 and he went 24-3 as a starter. He is extraordinarily bright and looks like he will nudge Kellen Clemens out as the No. 3 quarterback with the potential to elevate to Sanchez's backup.

Speaking of the Jets' franchise quarterback, the team's final pick, McKnight, is a childhood friend of Sanchez's and the Buffaloes' career leader in receptions (215) and touchdown catches (22). He has a potential character issue stemming from some violent death threats he made in a written journal about a teacher when he was high school.

Tannenbaum said the Jets' offseason "didn't end" with the draft -- calling it a "continuum," one of his favorite words.

The question is: When will the continuum continue?

We're all waiting.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/draft_finished_jets_play_waiting_6tn5ZkzulZD9rTesVCa1dI#ixzz1LCLRgMmb

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Is smoking weed and getting into a fight really that big of a deal?

That was an every weekend thing for me growing up...and look at me now.

Yeah... still waiting to be drafted too. You got the height the speed and the basketball athleticism but it's the off the field issues that kept you out of the NFL. Thank Gawd you gots enough brains left to be a business mogul, if not you would be selling sex wax at the local surf shop talking about, "what it".

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