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2013 NFL Draft: Pass Rushers Who Would Fit the New York Jets

By Mike Nash
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Jarvis Jones could be a huge part of the Jets defense for years to come.

With the NFL draft just a couple of months away, we start to look at what the Jets biggest needs are, and how to fill them.  With the 9th pick overall, the Jets should be able to pick an impact player at a position of need.  Any Jets fan knows that a dominant pass rusher off of the edge would take the Jets defense to that next level.  Here are some suggestions as to how the Jets could fill this need via the draft.

1. Jarvis Jones: Jarvis Jones is a special player. Jones did not have the normal collegiate career though. Jones started his college career at USC. He was a very important part of the Trojan defense until he suffered a very serious injury that would keep him out for the season. Jones then transferred to Georgia for his sophomore and junior seasons. While at Georgia, Jones was an immediate team leader (something the Jets could definitely use). According to Bulldog’s coach, Mark Richt, Jones possessed the ideal size, strength and speed to be an impact player in the NFL. After watching tapes of him, it is hard to disagree with those comments. Jones is all over the field, his speed shows as he seems to be able to beat the tackle on the outside to get to the QB with ease. What makes Jones special is that along with his speed on the outside, he also has the strength to go up one on one with the offensive guards. With a great variety of moves, Jones is a match up nightmare for the offensive line. What Jones needs to improve upon is that he sometimes can be over aggressive against the run, which causes him to be in a poor position to make a play on the ball carrier. Another thing Jones struggles with is his man coverage, he is seen more as a pass rusher and run stopper than a coverage linebacker. One other issue with Jones is his medical condition. Jones suffers from spinal stenosis. This injury has not had an effect on his play yet, but overtime there is a fear that Jones’ career may be cut short because of it. It is still unknown though, Jones could have a perfectly normal career. Overall, I believe Jones would thrive in the Jets defense. With Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas almost certainly not coming back in 2013, the need for an OLB is huge. Jones is the type of player who could step right into the starting lineup and make an impact. Jones will be able to help the pass rush which has been very poor over the last few seasons. Although Jones has some question marks, I believe Jones would fill a huge need for the Jets.

2. Dion Jordan: Dion Jordan is a very rare player. At 6’7, Jordan has the speed of a strong safety. But instead, Jordan was one of the best pass rushers in all of college football in 2012. Jordan possesses incredible speed for a guy his size and can play all over the field. Although his specialty is getting to the QB, Jordan has the ability to drop into coverage and play man to man against a TE, or the slot receiver. Since the Jets are lucky enough to play the Patriots twice a year, a guy like Jordan seems even more valuable. NE tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez is a nightmare for each team they face. While you do not draft a guy just because he would help against one opponent, having Jordan being able to lineup against Gronk/Hernandez could be a huge boost to the Jets defense. With his versatility, Jordan can be an every down linebacker right away. Although there are many positives with Jordan, there are some things he needs to work on. Jordan needs to work on improving in the run game and making sure to wrap up on his tackles. He sometimes tries to make the “flashy” play, instead of making the smart play. Jordan is a very rare prospect with the potential to be a star in the NFL. He is another pass rusher that I believe the Jets should monitor very closely as draft day comes near.

Nov 23, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; LSU Tigers defensive end Barkevious Mingo (49) during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. LSU defeated Arkansas 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

3. Barkevious Mingo: Barkevious Mingo is your ideal pass rusher. At 6’5, 245 pounds, Mingo is a physical freak. What separates Mingo from other pass rushers is his speed. Mingo’s first step is what makes him successful. His wide array of moves allows him to get by an offensive lineman. He has always been a high class guy and looked upon as a leader since his sophomore season at LSU. One thing Mingo needs to improve upon is his ability to stop the run. At LSU, Mingo was mostly used as a straight pass rusher, so his ability to stop the run is not very strong. In my opinion, Mingo reminds me a lot of Seattle Seahawk’s linebacker, Bruce Irvin. Irvin played a big role in Seattle’s defense, and if Mingo reaches his full potential, he could do the same for another team. Although I favor Jones and Jordan, Mingo would not be a bad pick for the Jets at #9 overall. Despite his 2012 season only registered 4.5 sacks, he still was able to get to the QB and that as stated earlier, is a dire need for the Jets.

4. Brandon Jenkins: While Jones, Jordan and Mingo are all almost a lock to go in the first round, Jenkins seems to be in the 2-4 range. Let’s say the Jets decide to pick an OG or even a QB in round 1. This means it is almost a guarantee they would look for an OLB in the upcoming rounds. In my opinion, Jenkins is a guy the Jets should target. Jenkins is a very versatile athlete. At FSU, he played both OLB and DE in which he lined up opposite another big name player, Bjoern Werner. At 6’3, 265 pounds, Jenkins has good power and great speed while rushing the passer. Jenkins is considered average against the run, which has hurt his draft stock. Overall, Jenkins seems to be a solid selection for any team. If the Jets don’t pick on OLB in the 1st, Jenkins could be a steal in the later rounds.

Just a few solutions for the Jets’ age old problem of not being able to get to the passer on a consistent basis.

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