NFL Draft Preview: Handicapping The New York Jets' Options In Round 1

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Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham (3) runs with the ball against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Draft day is finally here. After all the speculation, research, mock drafts and smokescreens, tonight we will finally learn who the Jets will select with their 1st round pick. Will they move up, move down or stay at 18?  Let’s check all the options and the likelihood it will happen.

The Favorites

1) Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU – A very well-rounded wide receiver with an excellent combination of speed and route running ability. 83% of his receptions went for 1st downs. He is also one of the best return men in the draft, so he fills multiple needs. New Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey came from LSU and knows Beckham very well.

2) Darquese Dennard, CB, Michigan State – A physical, man to man corner who excels at press coverage, Dennard would fill the void left by Antonio Cromartie (not terrible 2013 Cromartie). The only question mark was his speed and he answered it with his play on the field. Teams challenged him deep on just under half of the throws against him but only 8.8% were completed.

3) Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State – Cooks is the speedy playmaker the Jets have been missing for a long time. Not only did he run a 4.31 forty yard dash but that speed translates to the football field where he had 128 receptions last season for 1,730 yards. He also has a school record 24 touchdowns. He has electric open-field moves and great acceleration off the line. He is small and the question is can he get off the line when pressed but he has been said to be a poor man’s Tavon Austin.

Other Options

1) Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State – The most athletic corner in the draft with 4.31 speed and 20 reps in the bench press, there isn’t anything Gilbert can’t do athletically. He is a ball-hawk who gambles and tries to make the big play and he can stay with most any receiver. He gets into trouble with his technique and footwork but it is nothing that can’t be fixed on the pro level with good coaching.

2) Jason Verrett, CB, Virginia Tech – Verrett has experience being left on an island in Virginia Tech’s defense and played well. He is only 5’10” and 190 lbs. but he benched 225 lbs. 19 times. He also ran a 4.36 forty yard dash. Knows how to bait a quarterback then undercut the route and also plays run support well. Has to work on technique and is coming off of a shoulder injury that will have him miss OTAs, which could lead to a start to his 1st year like Milliner had without the opportunity to learn and get reps. After his learning period he would definitely fit this defense well.

3) Marqise Lee, WR, USC – Lee was the top WR in the country in 2012 and would have been a top 10 pick if he was eligible to come out. However, injuries, poor quarterback play and drops have affected his stock in the eyes of some teams. He is a deep threat, a player that also thrives on yards after the catch and is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. After all is said and done he could be the best wide receiver in this draft and a real steal at 18.

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