Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas Tech offensive linemanJace Amaro
speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
I’m not an expert, but I am a good conspiracy theorist. Combining information about the invited draft prospects, with the expected positional rankings of players, and expected drafted round, I’m guessing a path of the 2014 NFL Draft. I can’t predict players as the Jets could go best available, or by need, but I think they are going to go with the best available in a specific need spot in rounds 1-3. I then think they will go best available overall in rounds 4-7.
Round one, the need pick. You need to get a surefire starter. We get caught up in superstar, but in reality you need a starter, and if he’s a star then great. The players brought in for workouts have included Odell Beckham, but more than anything have been cornerbacks. Private workouts were scheduled for Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard, Kyle Fuller, Bradley Roby, and Jason Verrett. The fact alone that 5 of 30 private workouts are going to 1st round cornerbacks, and Cromartie is gone leads me to believe that more than likely the Jets will tag a defensive player in the 1st round. I’m almost certain fans will boo at another defensive first rounder, but I also think it’s for the best because you won’t find another immediate starter in the 2nd or 3rd round with players like Jean-Baptiste or Keith McGill. In this scenario, the Jets would have starters of Milliner and one of the above mentioned rookies, and let Kyle Wilson fight it out with the depth players from last year for the nickel slot.
Round two, another need pick. I can’t predict with accuracy, but I would guess they try to get a tight end over a receiver. If you noticed the players brought in for private looks, Eric Ebron wasn’t there. However, the names Seferian-Jenkins and Jace Amaro have been linked. After that I’ve heard the name CJ Fiedorowicz. I think those are round two players. I also think the Jets would have to trade up to get Amaro, or Seferian-Jenkins, but not Fiedorowicz. That being said, I think you may see the first trade of the draft for New York, perhaps sending a 4th rounder or something to move up a few spots in Round two to tag the hopeful starting tight end. Whether it’s Amaro or Seferian-Jenkins is dependant on who’s available. Fiedorowitz is a consolation prize, because he’s not as good. The one caveat being, if Ebron, Amaro, and Seferian-Jenkins are all gone between picks 15-35, I think we may still see a trade up for a receiver in round two. That being whoever falls from the tree of standouts believed to be 1st rounders including Beckham Jr, Lee, or Cooks.
Round three, if they are able to get the tight end earlier, produces the receiver everyone’s been waiting for. My guess is Bruce Ellington. I would like to see a bigger receiver, but judging by the things Idzik and Mornhinweg seem to both like, it is more of the fast and explosive type of receivers. Rumor was the Jets wanted to bring in the same type of short explosive guy in Desean Jackson if his price was more reasonable. Ellington, the 5’9″ receiver from South Carolina is short, fast, has burst, and has been compared to Randall Cobb. Also, despite his short stature, he’s 197 pounds, making him more stocky and durable. The Jets have been checking out South Carolina’s pro day, and it’s not a coincidence as it’s not to scout Clowney. Although Ellington wouldn’t start, he would add speed and explosiveness to the offense, return kickoffs and punts, be a deep threat, and an/or an underneath speedy guy in spread receiver sets. This gives the team on offense ball control elements with Chris Ivory, Eric Decker, and a big tight end, and big play potential with Chris Johnson, Ellington, and covers them with third down and red zone threats, balancing out the offense with players that work on all situations on the field.
Rounds four through seven are a toss-up, but I think this is a good starting point for what you will see in rounds one through three.