The NFL draft is the same as a high stakes poker game. The draft picks are the chips, the players, and their performance in future years is the pay off. The Jets while weakening the secondary with the trade of Darrelle Revis, have set themselves up for the future payoff. Whenever a player puts his own salary above the team he plays for, I’m all for getting rid of him for whatever you can. I actually thought they should have traded him last summer when he made comments about playing for whoever would pay him more greenbacks.
As things shape up now the Jets are owners of picks 9 and 13 in round 1. As I see it though, the Jets are in a position to absolutely crush this draft and the draft of 2014. I base my reasoning on the Rams trade of the #2 pick, and also the Bengals recent model of taking the best players available to slide down draft boards. Last year alone they drafted 2 talented and productive wide receivers with that method.
Round 1-Pick 9: Trade Jets send pick 9 to Rams in exchange for pick 16 in Round 1 and pick 78 in Round 3. Rams are able to move up to draft Tavon Austin who won’t be there at pick 16.
Round 1- Pick 13: Trade Jets send pick 13 to the Houston Texans for picks 27 in round 1 and pick 89 in round 3. Houston drafts Cordarelle Patterson, Robert Woods, or DeAndre Hopkins who are all more explosive than Keenan Allen or Terrance Williams. New York is now armed with 2 first 1 second and three 3rd round picks. Houston gets the complimentary receiver that Andre Johnson’s been begging for.
Round 1- Pick 16: Jonathan Cooper G North Carolina. Cooper moves in and takes the spot from Vlad Ducasse and helps solidify the offensive line. This helps with both pass protection and run blocking, and helps return one of New York’s strengths from the AFC championship seasons.
Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad running back Mike Gillislee of Florida (22) carries the ball up the field against Senior Bowl north squad defensive back Desmond Trufant of Washington (6) during the first quarter at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Round 1-Pick 27: Desmond Trufant CB Washington. Trufant is the fastest rising player, and an absolute cover corner. Physically he is a 4.3 guy, but on film no top wideout could escape him in drills, or in games. This keeps Kyle Wilson in the slot, and reintroduces some pep into the secondary following the let-down of Revis departure. While Revis will go on to have a great career, Des Trufant will help Jets fans not worry about him and his holdouts anymore.
Round 2-Pick 39: Margus Hunt OLB/DE SMU. Rex has personally worked him out at end and linebacker. He adds versatility to either have Quinton Coples play end or LB. As a round 2 pick he’s not as risky as Dion Jordan or Barkevious Mingo. He also stands 6’8 and almost 280 pounds despite 4.5 speed and freakish strength. Rex will love this pick, and he also doesn’t have to start, he can rotate in and out with Antwan Barnes and Calvin Pace to keep everyone fresh. If that isn’t enough he can play some end too.
Dec 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back T.J. Yeldon (4) is brought down by Georgia Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo (18) during the third quarter of the 2012 SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
Round 3-Pick 68: Bacarri Rambo FS Georgia. The Jets have started to cover all the holes, and one left is free safety assuming Dawan Landry starts at strongside. Josh Bush may not be starting material yet. Rambo is athletic, all over the field, covers distance quickly, a hard hitter, an aggressive run defender and has 18 interceptions the last 4 years. As of the signing of Dawan Landry, the Jets can afford to have him play at free safety and have Landry be the play caller in the secondary while he learns the ropes, while increasing the overall athleticism at the position. Josh Bush can still sub in nickel and dime packages.
Round 3-Pick 78: Steadman Bailey WR West Virginia. Bailey is the best wide receiver in this draft in my opinion. He has the best combination of route-running, hands, speed, and polish make him a valuable contributor from day 1. Santonio Holmes could possibly be released after the season, Kerley is coming on strong, but Bailey could be a go to receiver in the way Randall Cobb became a go to receiver in Green Bay from when he first stepped on the field. Bailey’s stock is all over the board from late 2nd – mid 4th round. He would rather play slot, but at 5’11 and 200 pounds he is interchangeable with Holmes or Kerley.
Round 3-Pick 89: Barrett Jones C Alabama. Why do you draft a center in the 3rd round when you have Nick Mangold? Barrett Jones has started 49 games out of 53 games as center, guard, and was the leader of the dominant Crimson Tide offensive line the past 3 years. He stands 6’5 and 310 pounds, and uses smarts over strength to dominate opponents. Although the Jets drafted a guard in Cooper, Willie Colon is an aging 30+, and a stop gap for the season. Barrett Jones is a film junky, a great player, a great team guy, and highly experienced. He was considered a first rounder before a foot injury pushed him down the boards. This could be the core of the Jets line for years to come with Ferguson, Cooper, Mangold, Jones, and Howard on the end. The fact that he has played multiple positions makes him a lock as a rotation guy for 2013, and a starter at left or right guard in 2014.
Round 4-Pick 106: TRADE Jets send pick 106 to San Diego Chargers for pick 179 in round 6 and a 3rd rounder in 2014. The Jets have already drafted 6 players through the first three rounds, and 3 or 4 of them will start immediately. The Chargers look to restock their roster with Matt Scott from Arizona as a low risk QB to groom behind Philip Rivers.
Round 5- Pick 141: Zac Dysert QB Miami of Ohio University. Zac Dysert broke all of Ben Roethlisberger’s records at Miami of Ohio. He did it while playing under 3 different head coaches. The Jets were in attendance at his pro day. He did fairly well despite playing outside in sub-zero weather on a windy day. By connecting the dots, he’d be a great diamond in the rough for New York who have publicly stated their intention to add another arm to the QB competition. His size (6’3 230 lbs), and ability to make all the throws in adverse weather are a huge plus in an open stadium in the Meadowlands. Some have him rated as a late 3rd-early 4th rounder. Because there are about a ten QB’s routinely rated ahead of him, I see him sliding to round 5.
Round 6- Pick 178: Brandon Jenkins OLB Florida State University. Injuries derailed his senior year, but before that he was a 1st -2nd round type of player. He had the same Lisfranc foot injury that Santonio Holmes is recovering from, but had 22 sacks in two seasons prior to this injury. He ran a disappointing 40 time, which is dropping his stock in combination with his injury. Given time to heal, he is a 6’3 255 pound pass rusher with the hitting of James Harrison, and pass rushing of Clay Matthews. No brainer in my mind. Draft him, let him heal, learn the ropes, and get back to form. Watch film of his hits and you will understand why he is a necessary OLB on any 3-4 team.
Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl north squad wide receiver Denard Robinson of Michigan (16) prior to kickoff of a game against the Senior Bowl south squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Round 6- Pick 179: Denard Robinson QB/RB/WR/KR Michigan. Before anyone suggests that this is too late for him to be drafted, consider how much his stock has plummeted. This is the perfect spot to take a leap on a guy that they can probably try out at corner, returner, running back, and option QB. Just don’t try to get him to throw the ball anymore. His 4.3 speed and ability to make people miss could make him a specialist in the Hester, or Josh Cribbs mold. Draft this guy and find a spot for him!
Round 7- Pick 215: Mr Irrelevant for New York. Mike James RB Miami. Mike James is the 5’10 underutilized 222 pound RB/FB hybrid with 4.5 speed that NY would be wise to invest in. He has better short area acceleration than Lacy, Ball, Bernard, or Franklin with a 1.6 second 10 yard split, and an equal or better 40 time than all of them. He is a no-nonsense north and south runner, but he has patience and sees lanes very well. He reminds me of Larry Johnson when he was in his Chiefs prime, but with more forward lean. He also caught 30+ balls last season showing his hands. His combination of size, rushing, pass blocking, and catching can round out the backfield, and possibly give the Jets a late round feature back a la Alfred Morris of the Redskins last year.
Because of the trade of Darrelle Revis, the Jets are able to parlay that into 10 players in this draft, and two extra 3rd round picks next season. Of these 10 players all could see time in 2013 and about 6 would be upgrades to what is currently on the roster. When everyone is questioning the talent level, the coaching, the holes, and the salary cap, this is the only way to respond. You start with a big draft, and grab as many talented and versatile players as you can. Idzik is happy because he fills 1/5 of the roster with players on rookie deals further managing the cap. Rex is happy because there are some great defensive players to work with and keep the defense top 10 in the league. Woody Johnson is happy because players like Stedman Bailey and Denard Robinson will keep fans packing the stadium, while John Cooper and Barrett Jones keep Sanchez clean and upright while paving the run game. The Jets can’t predict the outcome of players before they touch the field, much like you can’t predict who will win at cards but these players represent a royal flush.