Predicting the Week One Starters from the Jets’ 2013 NFL Draft Class


May 10, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik (left) talks with head coach Rex Ryan (right) during New York Jets rookie minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We have talked about this at length in weeks gone by, the fact that John Idzik had a very widely debated inaugural draft with the New York Jets. The grades ranged from B to D, which is quite the jump. Many felt that Idzik ignored dire needs of the team and instead made unexpected selections.

What he actually did was stick to his big board, and didn’t waver from it for any reason. He went with the best player on that board, no matter what the position. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the Jets needed to get younger, but what you have in the result is a draft that will produce several starters come week 1.

Here are my thoughts on who they will be:

SHELDON RICHARDSON: OK, we start with the obvious. Richardson was chosen for his ability to be an impact player along the defensive line. The move of Quinton Coples to outside linebacker cements the idea that the Jets want Richardson to play right away. By all accounts, he looked good at rookie minicamp. I know that doesn’t tell us very much, but the writing is quite clearly written. Sheldon Richardson will be running out on the field with the first team defense week one against Tampa Bay.

DEE MILLINER*: Obviously, with the trade of Mr. Revis, Milliner was brought in here to play. He had a terrific college career, and he will serve to move Kyle Wilson back into the slot. Even though he wasn’t able to do anything but ride the bike, Rex Ryan commented on how sharp Milliner is with his knowledge of the defense. He talked about how he is right there with all of the answers.

The asterisk is for his health. He has had five surgeries already, and is not ready to work out yet. The biggest concern is whether or not Dee can get on the field enough to get the work in to start week one. If he is healthy, there is no doubt he will be on the field, on the opposite side of Antonio Cromartie.

Nov 25, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kent State Golden Flashers offensive lineman Brian Winters (66) along the sidelines during the second quarter against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple defeated Kent State 34-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

BRIAN WINTERS: The youth movement will continue on the offensive line. I was thinking about also putting a draft pick at right guard, but in the end, I believe Stephen Peterman will win that job ultimately. But the same won’t be said about left guard.

Oday Aboushi has been talked about by Rex Ryan as a “swing guy”, that will play on both sides of the line. For the sake of a prediction, that doesn’t scream “starter”, it says depth. So far, Rex has been happy with what he has seen from Brian, saying that “you know what you get out of the kid from Kent State”. What we are going to get from the kid is a starting left guard.

TOMMY BOHANON: And finally the sleeper pick to start, the final pick of the 2013 group. Lex Hilliard has done nothing to blow anybody away at the fullback position, despite replacing John Conner last year. A lot of us wondered if the selection of Bohanon was the beginning of “Terminator 2”, but Bohanon showed of some skills at rookie camp.

He seems to be quite the receiver, and that will help him greatly in Marty’s offense. In 2001, Cory Schlesinger, under the tutelage of Marty, caught 60 passes in his offense. A pass catching fullback is an underrated weapon in his system, and I believe Bohanon will be just that.

Four starters in the draft class? I see that as a pretty good start to the career of John Idzik, don’t you?