Jets News

2013 NFL Draft: Mid/Late Round WRs for the New York Jets

By Sean Lester Durham
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1.)   I Love Mornhinweg?

Jets new Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg certainly has his hands full as he has been given the keys to the Jets 30th ranked passing offense and 28th ranked scoring offense and has been instructed to guide this “vehicle” onto smoother roads.  Of course it won’t be a simple task but if any offensive mind is up for the challenge, I believe its Mornhinweg.

Mornhinweg is expected to bring a more wide-open passing approach to the Jets, who have pretty much relied on a run-first “Ground-and-Pound” philosophy that consistently kept the Jets offense grounded since being implemented.

Once implemented, the West Coast passing offense will be pass-heavy, and those passes will generally be short, quick throws designed to exploit a defense’s soft targets and generate big gains of yardage.  Under Mornhinweg’s direction, the system usually works: Over his 11 seasons as an offensive coordinator, (4 seasons with the 49ers, 7 with the Eagles) his teams have ranked in the top 10 in total offense eight times. That’s not half bad and that’s speaks volumes of his offensive philosophy.  The Jets who have utilized the Ground and Pound philosophy the past 4 seasons, hasn’t ranked any better than 20th in total offense in 3 of those 4 seasons, and in 2009, the Jets ran the ball 609 times—77 more times than any other team.  By contrast, the Eagles attempted at least 104 more passes than running plays in every season Mornhinweg was in charge of their offense.  Simply put; it really can’t be overstated how different Mornhinweg’s philosophy is to the one the Jets have utilized the past 4 seasons.

Mornhinweg’s offensive scheme makes it simpler for the QB and WRs alike.  In his system, the routes are predetermined, and it’s up to the quarterback to know which receiver should be open, based on the defense’s coverage.  It shouldn’t take Mornhinweg long at all to determine which QB is the best QB suited to run his offensive system.

2.)   A Mock Draft Jets fans will love?

Another week and another Mock Draft.  This Mock Draft however is a Jets mock draft that is not only feasible but it’s one that I feel would instantly make the Jets a better all around team.  A few of the prospects in this draft I’ve discussed before so course its a mock I like and endorse.

The analysis provided in this mock is spot on so no need to go into any analysis of my own, just wanted to share with Jets fans and get their thoughts on it.

Illinois DE Michael Buchanan should definitely be on the Jets draft day boards.

3.)  Michael Buchanan anyone?

It’s probably safe to assume that the Jets realize they have issues at pass rusher, more specifically OLB/edge rusher so it’s probably safe to assume that the Jets will address pass rusher in this April’s draft.  It is NOT safe to assume that the Jets will address this issue on day one of the draft.  The Jets have proven before that they are unconventional at times and this year’s draft will be no different no matter who is calling the shots now.  I for one would love for the Jets to address OLB/pass rusher on the first day of the draft but if they decide not to do that there are plenty of options out there for them.  I’ve noted in the recent past just how high I am on FSU’s Brandon Jenkins and Western Kentucky’s Quanterus Smith who are both beastly pass rushers but are both coming off season ending injuries but I’m equally as high on another unknown pass rusher that happens to be 100% healthy and that’s Illinois DE Michael Buchanan.  Buchanan was considered a first-round pick going into this past season but he went from 7.5 sacks and 131 tackles (2 for loss) in 2011  to 41 tackles (2 for loss) and 7 sacks in 2012.  His production dropped this past season but the talent is there without a doubt.

At 6’5 250 Buchanan has elite frame and good length through his upper body, he’s relentless in pursuit of the quarterback and closes very well. Buchanan has a good first step, gets off the snap quickly, he’s an excellent open field tackler and knows how to explode through contact to make powerful tackles.  Buchanan is a prospect the Jets can snatch anywhere between the 3rd and 5th rounds.  He would need some developing of course but the kid was a leader at Illinois and is smart enough to take on everything Jets defensive coaches throw at him.

4.)   WANTED: Mid/Late Round WRs that are IDEAL for the WEST COAST OFFENSE

  The current Jets WR corp if and when healthy is one of the most talented corps in the league and its not even a question.  Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill when on the field together should cause matchup problems if the offensive coordinator knows what he’s doing and the QB isn’t throwing the ball like he’s POINT SHAVING!  Having said that, the Jets do have question marks with a few of the WRs in this corp.  Every WR not named Jeremy Kerley in this corp has legitimate/valid long term questions that surround them especially with the Jets hiring a new offensive coordinator that will undoubtedly implement a new offensive scheme.

–     Braylon Edwards is on the bubble and the Jets may or may not commit to him long term. (I believe they should)

–     Santonio Holmes has rubbed this team the wrong way and may be looking at a cut next offseason.  Though with John Idzik now here, Holmes now has a chance to redeem himself and start over for the most part but I’m not holding my breath as Holmes IS who we think he is and aint changing.

–    Stephen Hill though he’s a rookie and I’m in no way giving up on him in ANY way, he did lead the league in drop rate and as it stands right now, isn’t an ideal fit for the West Coast Offense.

So say the Jets are thinking the way I am and realize that maybe just maybe, it may behoove them to at least look at some WRs in this April’s draft to potentially replace one of the aforementioned WRs if NEED be if it comes to that for whatever reason.  Which WRs should they be looking at?  Well, you’re in luck because I have all the answers : )

For the sake of this argument, let’s assume the Jets haven’t traded Darrelle Revis and will not be looking to take a WR in the first rounds.  Lets also assume that Marty Mornhinweg will have a say so in the skill position players that the Jets will look to draft this April and that size and weight isn’t something that he’ll concentrate heavy on considering he personally witness 5’10 175 lb DeSean Jackson and 6’0 198 lb Jeremy Maclin stretch defenses on a consistent basis and give secondaries  hell since their respective arrivals in Philly.  With that being assumed, let’s look at 3 WR prospects that the Jets/Mornhinweg should be looking at to add to this Jets WR corp:

WVU WR Stedman Bailey would make a perfect WR in the Jets new West Coast Offense.

–     Stedman Bailey –  at 5’ 10, 190 pounds, Bailey already has the “size” knock against him but again, Mornhinweg probably is already looking past that and onto other important intangibles and Bailey has those intangibles in my opinion.  When watching tape of Bailey, the immediate attribute that jumps out at you is how he always gets open. He doesn’t have the elite speed and agility of his team mate Tavon Austin but his polished route-running means he’s able to get separation with consummate ease.  106 catches and 23 TDs

The real reason to love Stedman Bailey is his reliability. He possesses the surest pair of hands in the draft and has the rare trait of being able to make difficult catches look easy due to his soft hands and excellent body control. He can make diving catches over the middle, haul in balls whilst heading for the sidelines and is strong enough to secure grabs in traffic or when taking a subsequent hit.

–   Tavarres King – at 6’0 192 pounds, King is only slightly “bigger” than Bailey but only by one peanut M&M.  King participated in the Senior Bowl and was drawing great reviews from scouts and coaches as he showed great quickness and the ability to get off press coverage, something the Jets WRs had trouble with last season after the starting WRs went down with injuries.  This past season at Georgia, King finished the year with 846 yards and 8 TDs and has been a consistent deep threat for Georgia throughout his career there.

–  Kenny Stills – 6’1 189 plays much bigger than his actual size. He is very quick but doesn’t have elite speed but quick is very good for West Coast Offense WRs.  Stills has great hands and is very good at tracking deep passes.  He explodes off the line and knows how to get behind defenders in the secondary.  Stills would indeed make a prototypical West Coast Offense WR.

 5.)  Jadeveon Clowney

The Uber-studly University of South Carolina DE has a serious conundrum of sorts as he tries to piece together his future as a Gamecock and a top NFL prospect.  After witnessing his teammate RB Marcus Lattimore suffer a catastrophic knee injury that ended his season and his career at South Carolina, Clowney is taking a keen interest in his interests. Some suggest that he’s already a top 3 pick next season and needs to sit out next season, others are suggesting that he challenge the age restriction ruling put in place by the NFL that states a prospect has to be out of high school 3 years before being draft eligible.  Reports also state that he is pursuing an insurance policy that is reportedly worth $5 mill that protects against catastrophic career threatening injuries kind of like the one suffered by team mate Marcus Lattimore this past season.  Insurance policies like this are not uncommon for high profile athletes but this is more typical for QBs to do than defensive ends.  Clowney is certainly an elite prospect and has every right to protect himself as such but I would love to see him give it his all this season and show without a doubt that he’s the best player in the country and possibly help SC get a national title.  Having said that, any bowl short of a BCS Title Game Bowl that the Gamecocks reach and I DO believe he should sit said bowl out.

6.) Can the Jets adequately replace LaRon Landry?

Jets FS LaRon Landry is an UFA and is coming off a Pro-Bowl season.  Great for him but bad for a cash strapped team with massive cap problems (as of today).  SO what do the Jets do and how can they replace him?

Well first, Landry is reportedly asking for $6 mill per.  At first glance it doesn’t seem like a lot but keep in mind the Jets cap situation is a mess and they have big holes at crucial positions that need to be addressed.  I for one believe that the Jets need to find a way to get deal done with Landry.  At some point you have to realize that there are some players and some positions that you can’t swap out and plug in and hope to get the same production.  That type of philosophy works but it doesn’t work ALL the time and the Jets have suffered at the Safety position for a while now.  In a division with Gronkowski and Hernandez, I’d say the Jets need to cut the musical chairs crap at FS and lock their Pro-Bowl FS up in Landry, he’s earned it and he’s worth it and he’s not asking for a lot of money.

Second; if the Jets must replace Landry there are some cheaper more feasible options out there;

Jets FS Josh Bush,  Cleveland FS Raymond Ventrone ,  Giants FS Kenny Phillips and Steelers FS Ryan Mundy are all legit and viable options for the Jets if Landry can’t be resigned.

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will enter the 2013 season as one of the TOP QB prospects in the country.

7.)  2014 QB Class

The 2013 QB class has left a lot to be desired and that’s putting it nicely.  That’s not to say that there aren’t QBs in this current class that I don’t like.  I for one love EJ Manuel and Arizona’s QB Matt Scott but for the most part, this QB class is lacking a lot of luster.  The consensus belief in New York is that the Jets will be drafting a QB to compete with Sanchez and a FA for a crack at the starting nod and considering Jets GM John Idzik witnessed first hand in Seattle what a rookie QB can do, lets just say he’s probably not afraid to give the nod to a rookie QB with a high priced QB sitting on the bench (COUGH ***Matt Flynn*** COUGH).  But with the way the 2014 QB class is shaping up, are the Jets better off waiting until next April to go after a QB? Well that’s a matter of opinion really but just look at the QBs that are slated to come out:

*Teddy Bridgewater, A.J. McCarron, Logan Thomas, Tajh Boyd, Braxton Miller, Aaron Murray and Derek Carr, (Johnny Manziel can actually declare as well since he was redshirted)

That my friends is as talented a QB list as we’ve seen in a while.  You have QBs in this group that have massive arms and some that are legitimate dual threat QBs.

The Jets have decisions to make this April that will affect them next April and we can only hope they decide wisely.

8.)  Youth Movement

The most exciting or worrisome thing (depending on how you’re looking at it) about the Jets defense next season is definitely the youth movement at key positions we’ll see associated with it as  Josh Bush, Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, Garrett McIntyre,  Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison are all slated to have more prominent roles next season.   The Jets are certainly looking to get much younger on defense virtually over night and that’ll be in stark contrast to what we saw on defense this past season when Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Sione Pouha and Mike Devito all had starting roles on the defense.  Jets fans should certainly embrace the youth movement on defense but that doesn’t mean it also isn’t a cause for concern as well.

9.) If you can Dodge a wrench!

Steelers OLB James Harrison just signed a contract to play for the “Ball Busters” Dodge-Ball team and we’ve already gotten an exclusive picture of Harrison in his uniform.

10.) Mark Sanchez off-season watch 2013

In case you’re wondering what diabolical things Mark Sanchez has been up to since the end of the season well look no further.

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