The NFL combine is upon us and though the combine has lost some of its importance over the years, it is still a solid measurement as to how certain prospects in key positions should fall in April’s draft. Simply put, a solid/great combine performance can have tremendous or devastating effects on a prospects draft stock ie Dontari Poe just last February who entered the combine as a projected 2nd rounder but after an epic combine workout sealed his stock in the top 15 (was eventually selected #11 by the KC Chiefs).
The Jets have need at QB, RB, WR, TE, O-line, OLB and Safety so It’s safe to say they will have plenty to scout at the combine.
San Diego State TE Gavin Escobar has the size and attributes the Jets need at the TE position with a new offense being implemented.
2.) Dustin Keller
Dustin Keller days with the Jets appear to be over. The Jets have yet to reach out to Keller though it is rumored that Keller’s agents and the Jets will soon to speak probably during the combine but a deal is not expected to be reached. Keller was adamant after the season about not wanting to be tagged (although if the Jets want to tag him he’ll get tagged) so that means he is looking for a long term deal which he probably wont get from the Jets. The tag amount for TEs next season is close to $6 mill and that’s way too much to pay Dustin Keller so he’ll probably walk. If he does the Jets could probably get someone for ½ that tag price and probably get twice the production. I believe Keller had his moments with the Jets but could never completely put it together totally and its not all his fault as the inconsistencies at QB plays into that immensely but his inability to block effectively and reputation for being “soft” as far as injuries is concerned has probably made the Jets a bit weary at this point. I personally would love for the Jets to find a way to keep him as I believe he can excel in the West Coast offense but I would understand if they decided to part ways with him. If they did decided to let Keller walk there are solid replacement options out there including Free Agents Martellus Bennett and Delanie Walker but there are solid TE prospects in April’s draft a few I think would make great fits with the Jets are;
Cincinnati’s Travis Kelce,
San Diego State’s Gavin Escobar,
Western Kentucky’s Jack Doyle
Boston College’s Chris Pantale.
3.) Tim Tebow
The New York Jets are reportedly trying to shop Tim Tebow at the combine but it’s highly unlikely they will get anyone to actually bite on anything. It’s in the best interest for the team to see if they can get anything for Tebow but it will ultimately come down to Tebow getting released by the Jets thus ending his 2 year stint with the team that has been nothing short of a disaster (moreso the team than him). I’m not sure what the future in the NFL has in store for Tebow but I honestly can say I just don’t see what team he actually has a legit chance to start for and that’s putting it nicely. Of course he’s a good kid and it’s going to be rather easy to root him no matter where he goes (outside of the division of course) but I just don’t see it happening. The Jets mismanagement of Tim Tebow this past season not only cost former offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and former GM Mike Tannenbaum their jobs (Tebow mismanagement among other things is what got Tanny canned) but it didn’t do much to help Tebow’s football stock and may have actually hurt it. Tebow is very athletic and can certainly help a team win without a doubt but it won’t be at QB.
Jets OLB Garrett McIntyre flashed in limited snaps last season.
4.) Garrett McIntyre anyone?
The Jets made their first round of cuts the other day in officially dumping Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Eric Smith and Jason Smith. None of these cuts were surprising but what is surprising is the OLB depth chart for the Jets. As it stands currently, the Jets starting OLB right now are Garrett McIntyre and Ricky Sapp, if that aint a thought that will excite Jets fans then I don’t know what will.
Truth is, the Jets need all the help they can get at the OLB position and will have to rummaged deep within the draft and Free Agency to get it. I for one however do believe that Garrett McIntyre can be a quality starter for the Jets at the OLB position. Not saying I think he’d excel but I sure wouldn’t be surprised if he did in given the reps. In very limited snaps in 2012 McIntyre had 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 1 pass defended. To put it in perspective, Calvin Paced started all 16 games and had LESS SACKS THAN Mcintyre and only 11 more total tackles than Mcintyre who started the last 5 games of the season. That’s almost so impossible to believe I’m hoping I made that up. The Jets who are clearly suffering from a lack of depth and talent at the position right now will have to make solidifying the position a top priority starting this weekend at the combine but I honestly believe if given a fair shot, Garrett McIntyre will surprise a lot of people but probably not himself.
5.) Fair market value for Revis?
Jets GM John Idzik and Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan addressed the media at the NFL Combine press conferences and much to no one’s surprise the bulk of the question surrounded their All-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. Idizk didn’t let up and stay with the usual talking points re the Revis situation, left open a possibility to a trade but really talked up Revis’s value to the Jets more than he’s ever done since becoming the Jets GM and speaking on the Revis situation. Rex on the other hand flatout stated that the Revis trade rumors were “inaccurate” and there was simply no validity to the trade rumors. Now all of this posturing is to be expected but I’m getting a sense, and this is just me talking but I’m getting a feeling that Rex and Idzik are starting realize that the trade market for Revis isn’t as immense and as fair as they’d hoped it be. Revis is greatness personified but even still he is rehabbing off a serious knee injury and has yet to start running and cutting, his asking price is kind of steep for a CB that’s currently rehabbing a serious knee injury and as great as Darrelle is, no GM is going to step out on a limb and trade what Revis is really worth when there’s a chance this knee injury impacts the way he plays. Revis is an aggressive football player, he takes WRs out of games with his aggressiveness and speed and this injury directly impacts his techniques and tactics so you really can’t blame a GM for not wanting to trade high valued picks for Revis knowing exactly this. Jets simply cannot allow Revis to walk into free agency next offseason or there’s literally NO chance the Patriots don’t make him the highest paid defensive back in the league and if Revis does walk the Jets would probably be awarded a 3rd round compensatory pick.
The Jets are probably wanting to get some draft picks for Revis in this year’s draft but that may not be feasible the longer the rehab drags on. Yeah the Jets can trade Revis tomorrow but it will probably be for well under fair market value and trading the best Cornerback in the league for a ham sandwich just aint going to cut it. Revis is a leader on this team and is far from a locker room cancer, and trading a player away just for the sake of trading them is something you do to a player that has become a team cancer and Revis is far from that, he’s an official leader and the Jets can’t just DUMP him just for the sake of doing it, they need fair market value in return at LEAST or they need to sit down with Revis’s people are NOT give in to Revis’s demands but at least go BEYOND ½ way. A lot can happen between now and the start of camp but once Revis is up and running and is able to cut again, I believe the Jets should try to shop him again but should ultimately look to lock up the team’s best player just like I outlined a few weeks ago.
6.) Dwight Freeney’s fit with the Jets
Since Dwight Freeney’s release from the Colts I’ve been hearing rumblings about the Jets possibly taking a chance on him and I just don’t see it happening for a few reasons.
-He’s 33 and is looking for another Superbowl at this point and coming to the Jets doesn’t make sense considering they are nowhere close to being a Superbowl contender right now.
– Freeney has practically played primarily in the 4-3 his whole career. He played in a 3-4 last season as the Colts made the transition and placed him at OLB and he did next to nothing.
That said, if Rex brings him in for a workout and likes what he sees I can immediately get on board with the thought of a Freeney edge pass rusher with Coples and Wilkerson on the interior, I believe it’s a long shot that he ends up a Jet but I can definitely understand both sides of the debate on this one.
Seattle’s QB Matt Flynn may be looking at a release if the Seahawks cant move him in a trade, either way the Jets need to be interested.
7.) NFL Cuts
The NFL cut season gets more active as the draft gets closer and NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal gives us an idea as to who he believes will get the slip in the coming weeks and there are some interesting names on the list but a few names on the list that the Jets might and should be interested in are; Alex Smith, Matt Flynn and DeAngelo Williams.
Of course Smith and Flynn may come with price tag but if the Jets are serious about adding legitimate competition for Mark Sanchez then they need to get serious about adding legit competition for Sanchez. The Jets are currently in the process of getting under the cap and by the time the draft comes around they should be further under the cap so a deal for one of these POTENTIAL FA QBs certainly isn’t out of the question especially with Matt Flynn considering the John Idzik connection.
8.) Andy Reid trying to trade the first pick?
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid made it clear that he would be open to trading the number one pick. Quite honestly this is probably the wrong draft to have the number overall pick considering the player most deserving of the overall pick this year is probably a Guard or Tackle and that may be stretching it a bit. I think the Chiefs who have quite of bit of needs probably need to find someone to bite and trade back as I don’t see anyone one player this year they can take first overall that will dramatically change the dynamic of the team but a few starters drafted in the first AND second rounds can certainly change the dynamic.
9.) I wonder if Richard Sherman practices his stupidity or if it comes naturally?
10.) Injured Prospects
There are more than a few injured prospects eligible for this April’s draft and for the record there are 3 prospects that I would love for the Jets to take fliers on anywhere between rounds 3-6. Those players are;
-Florida State University DE Brandon Jenkins
– South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
– Western Kentucky’s DE Quanterus Smith
All 3 players were playing elite football prior to their respective injuries and the Jets could use exceptional talent at the pass rusher and RB positions. All are either close to recovered or in the process of rehabbing and recovering accordingly.