Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
We are just a shade over two weeks away from the NFL draft. May 8 will be upon us before we know it, and all eyes will be on Radio City Music Hall, and all of our eyes will be on John Idzik and company as he works to shape the 2014 New York Jets’ roster. This will be our “lifeline”, so we know John Idzik has planned quite a bit for this draft.
As the draft approaches, we will continue to analyze mock drafts, release our own mock drafts, and evaluate players that the Jets’ have shown interest in. Of course we are going to do that, it’s fun to speculate, play scout, ..etc. But, we are also going to start drawing some conclusions. It’s time to start to at least attempt to figure out John Idzik’s plan for this draft.
This morning we are going to take a look at the first round. Opening night of the draft is in the spotlight, and more specifically, how are the Jets going to use the pick? Will they be going after an offensive or defensive player with the first round choice?
I will give you the argument for choosing an offensive player, the argument against, the argument for choosing a defensive player, the argument against, and my view.
The most popular opinion is for the Jets to go offense in the first round, either TE or WR, and with good reason. Anybody that watched our team last year knows, we didn’t exactly have an offense. We need players, ones that can make plays.
The Jets have been associated with a lot of these players so far. They have been linked with Eric Ebron, Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, and Brandin Cooks, among others. The draft is deep at the position, and the Jets need at the position is very deep. It seems like a match made in heaven.
AGAINST OFFENSE: The fact that the class of wide receivers is so deep is the exact reason some don’t want the Jets to choose one in the first round. If the Jets can go ahead and choose someone like a Jarvis Landry or a Jordan Matthews in the second and/or third round, why force a first round choice? You could fill another need in the first round and still fill your need for a playmaker later on.
If you can get Troy Niklas or C.J. Fiedorowicz in the second or third, why go crazy making a tight end the choice in the first? You could get say, a pass rusher in the first, or a corner, and then come back for a wide receiver.
So there is that argument.
Feb 25, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive backJustin Gilbert
sits on a bench following his workout during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
For those that are interested in seeing the Jets go defense on the first round, most everyone wants to see them take a cornerback. On it’s face, the Jets do have a need at the position. They have Dee Milliner on one side, but who for the other side.
There are elite talents in the draft at the corner position as well, such as Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State, and Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State. Word is that either one of these players would be able to jump in, and with a full load of off-season workouts, play right away. Why not go here with the first round draft pick, and come back for a wide receiver later on?
They may not be “big” names, but the Jets do have a decent depth chart at the cornerback position. They did sign Dimitri Patterson, who has been productive when healthy. They have Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster as well. It’s not as if there are no cornerbacks on the roster.
Leave well enough alone, and go all-out to improve the offense, right?
Although I do see the point of view involved with taking defense, I do not agree. The Jets must go offense in the first round.
For two reasons, the first is simply because of how anemic the Jets offense was in 2013. It was terrible. They have done work on it, bringing in Eric Decker and Chris Johnson. They have to do more, and they have to do it at the NFL draft. They need to use their top draft board positions for the offensive side.
Finally, the Rex Ryan factor. Rex Ryan is an elite defensive coach, nothing short. Just look at the combination of players that have been on his defense over the years that he has had to work with. Yet, they still are at or near the top of the league.
The same can’t be said for the offense. Marty Mornhinweg is a great coach, but he can’t make an omelete by magic. He needs some eggs to break.
My point? Rex can coach up a mid-level corner better than Marty will do with a poor wide receiver.
That is why the Jets must choose offense in the first round of the draft.