This week’s 2013 Fansided NFL Mock Draft is out and their selection for the Jets is once again on the defensive side of the ball but at a different position than the past few weeks. So lets jump right into the pick and my analysis…..
“9. New York Jets – Star Lotulelei, NT/Utah
His heart issues seem to be cleared up which means his status as a top pick is being restored. Lotulelei likely won’t crack the top-10 but the Panthers will be big winners because of that. New York needs to plug the middle of their defensive line and bog down opponents in the run game, and Lotulelei is probably the biggest and best player to do that for the Jets. If his heart holds up, New York is getting a one-time top-3 pick in the middle of the first round. Can you say steal?”
Star Lotulelei is an elite NT prospect that Rex Ryan may find too difficult to pass up if available at #9.
When I watched Star Lotulelei on film its easy to see why he is being compared to Haloti Ngata. He’s a beast by defintion of the word, force up the middle that demands serious attention from opposing O-lines and his upside is tremendous. Lotulelei is a powerful and agile starting nose tackle prospect. He is versatile enough to play almost all interior defensive line positions across many types of fronts. When choosing to bull rush, gets under his man’s pads and churns his legs to push him backwards. He’s usually the first player off the snap, will challenge the hand and foot quickness of guards inside. Utilizes his thick arms to eat up ball carriers coming into his path. Has surprisingly quick feet and a bit of short-area speed to spin off blocks inside and has no problems following plays across the field. Showcases arm-over move to penetrate. Recognize screens and track them down, also willing to move down the line while engaged.
I personally like Lotulelei and believe he’s one of the most dominate players in this year’s draft but can the Jets afford to draft him with all the holes at other positions? The Jets are in desperate need of a playmaking edge pass rusher that can command serious attention from opposing offensive coordinators and with the solid play of Kenrick Ellis last season, can the Jets really go after a NT? It’s a valid question but Lotulelei isn’t just “another NT”, he’s a stud and I really have a hard time believing that Rex would pass on Lotulelei if he’s there at 9 and would certainly understand if Rex didn’t hesitate to draft Lotulelei if he’s there. I personally would rather an pass rusher instead and in this mock, rushers like Bjoern Werner, Barkevious Mingo and Jarvis Jones is still on the board and I personally have a very hard time passing up on one of them in lieu of Lotulelei but I can be convinced of it without a doubt
I give the selection a “thumbs up” ….. I’m not in total agreement with it but if the Jets decided to go with Star here, I would struggle to find a legitimate argument against it.