The man to the right just spent the last month at center stage. John Idzik took his team through the draft for the first time, as well as the first UDFA period.
As you saw when we did a roundup of the draft grades, there is a wide range of opinions as to how the Jets performed in the draft. The grades ranged from B’s to D’s, clearly marking the moves made as debatable amongst the experts.
It takes a long time to really “grade” draft classes. Oh, we grade them anyway, based on talent acquired and needs filled. We all do it, here at the J-E-T Press as well. But, it is in part speculation, because we don’t know how these players are going to perform when the make the leap to the NFL.
One way that we CAN evaluate a draft class is if any, and how many, of the drafted players become starters as rookies. That is partially based on a team’s need at the position, but they wouldn’t start if they didn’t have talent. In this regard, as one of my readers pointed out to me, the Jets draft class has a lot of potential. This class could have four starters in it, maybe even five, making it clearly an influential draft class chosen by John Idzik.
Two starters are obvious, and they were chosen on the first round. Anyone picked in the top half of the first round will be arriving in their NFL locker rooms with great expectations, and the Jets’ two choices are no different. Dee Milliner will be a starter from day one, barring a miracle. Obviously we have an opening on one side at cornerback, we all know why. We also know we don’t want Kyle Wilson filling the position full-time. Starter number one, is Dee Milliner.
Starter number two will be Sheldon Richardson. A number 13 selection, as I said earlier, comes with great expectations. Sheldon will be expected to be on the football field. At first, we thought that he would just be a part of the rotation, but the information we learned this week told us a whole new story. With Quinton Coples moving to OLB in 2013, there will be a spot on the defensive line, and expect Sheldon Richardson to fill that hole. Wouldn’t watching Richardson and Wilkerson on the same field be exciting.
Starter number three, and maybe number four, will be the offensive linemen chosen in the draft. The Jets have a clear opening at right guard, and even though Vlad Big Ugly Ducasse is still here, do you think the Jets are going to hand him the spot at left guard? Doubt it. Therefore at least one, and maybe two of the players drafted will start. Be it Winters, Obushi, or the newly converted William Campbell, at least one, maybe two will start.
You know who the next starter likely will be? Tommy Bohanon. No, I still don’t agree with drafting a full back, but since they did, they might as well use him. John Conner sis gone, and I am not sure they will hand the job to Lex Hilliard. There will be a competition there, and no reason why Bohanon can’t win it.
The X-Factor is Geno. We know that he is here to eventually be the starting quarterback, the question is when. He should sit behind Mark or David Garrard for a year, maybe two. But, he will have the chance to win the job. He might very well be the starter getting out of the gate in 2013. If not week one, it is something that you may see come mid-season of things aren’t going well.
Most likely, the starters coming out of the blocks week one will be Milliner, Richardson, an offensive lineman, say Winters for argument sake, and Bohanon. To me, those are the safest bets. Counting that up, it would amount to four starters out of the 2013 class for the New York Jets. I would say that is a pretty good job for a first time by John Idzik, wouldn’t you?