Mock New York Jets Draft Wrap Up


If Radio City Music Hall, the Commissioner and the owners had the foresight to see that Draft weekend shouldn’t have been changed, then this would have been the wrap up column from the Draft and we would have an idea of what the 2014 New York Jets finished product will look like. So since there are mock drafts all around I might as well do a mock Draft wrap up article.

So the Draft has come and past with the Jets using their 12 picks to flex their muscles. They were able to move up and down as the situations presented themselves and the result is an improved roster on paper. Now these rookies need to come in a prove that they belong.

In Round 1 came to pick 18 the buzz in the crowd was reaching a crescendo. Off the board went Ebron, Watkins & Evans. The Jets faithful were chanting “ODB, ODB” for Odell Beckham Jr. but the Jets stayed at 18 and drafted Darqueze Dennard, the cornerback out of Michigan State. Dennard is physical and smart which are two qualities Rex Ryan looks for in a corner. He has the ability to play press man coverage and as he adjusts to the pro game he should be able to move across the formation to follow top receivers. The crowd booed the pick but most of them will be wearing Dennard jerseys in next few years.

As the Jets saw the end of the 1st round play out, then the early part of the 2nd they saw that Jace Amaro was still on the board. Do they wait and see if he drops? Is he rated that much higher than Niklas, Sefarian-Jenkins and Fiedorowicz? As Minnesota went on the clock at 40 the crowd noticed the logo changed from the Vikings to the Jets. The crowd erupted as the Deputy Commissioner announced the Jets chose Amaro. Amaro is one of the new breed of tight ends that exploit match ups and can stretch the field. Although his strength does not lie in his blocking he has the core strength and has shown he is a willing blocker. The trade was pick 40 for the Jets pick 49 and pick 104 in the 4th round.

In Round 3 at pick 80 the Jets finally went linebacker and took Stanford’s Trent Murphy. A well-rounded linebacker who played well enough in coverage to not be a liability but his strength is his pass rush ability. He is a very physical player who never stops working. He had 15 sacks in 2013 which led the nation. Also a team leader who leads by example and holds others accountable.

In the 4th round, pick 115 came along and those worried about addressing the wide receiver were appeased as the Jets selected Jared Abbrederis of Wisconsin. Abbrederis is a good route-runner that knows how to beat press coverage and get open quickly. He stepped up in a big, nationally televised game against Ohio State by torching highly rated Bradley Roby to the rune of 10 catches for 212 yards. That doesn’t even count the penalties he drew. Abbrederis is the guy that you hate on other teams because he always makes the big catch. He also has extensive punt return experience which is another need for the Jets.

The Jets next selected Antone Exum of Virginia Tech with their 4th round compensatory pick (137) because Rex loves corners and this is a true value pick to find Exum available here. A concern about recovery from an ACL injury in January of 2013 leaves him here. Exum can be a chess piece moved all around by Ryan and Thurman because he has experience at corner and safety. Has good size at 6’0″ and 213 pounds. Exum has press man experience as well as two years of free safety work to fall back on. The diehards that come on Day 3 of the draft give their approval here.

The Jets traded down from 154 in the 5th round to 162 and picked up pick 237 in the 7th round as a result. Ryan Groy of Wisconsin slipped through the cracks and was still available then. Groy plays left guard mostly but has experience at center and even a couple of games at left tackle. Definitely a backup with starter’s potential.

Into the 6th round at pick 195 the Jets draft a running back going with Mississippi State’s LaDarius Perkins. Perkins is built like a bowling ball at 5’7″ and 195 pounds. He has 4.46 speed and had over 1,500 all-purpose yards as a senior. He cuts well, accelerates well and has breakaway speed when he gets to the next level. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and block as well. Good value in the 6th round.

Pick 210 floored many Jets fans when John Idzik selected Colt Lyerla, the tight end out of Oregon. After all the talk about character and fitting into the “Play Like a Jet” mold, Idzik drafts a player who is extremely talented but has major character red flags, such as an arrest for cocaine possession and multiple suspensions from the school. Still a lot of experts believe he can be an offensive weapon that can break a defense down the seam. A pairing of Amaro and Lyerla would be scary for opponents and Cumberland would still be on the roster as insurance.

The following pick the Jets selected Jeremy Gallon of Michigan. Gallon led the Wolverines in receiving the past two years despite inconsistent quarterback play. He plays much taller than his 5’7″ frame and has the single-game Big Ten record for receiving yards with 369 against Indiana in 2013 as well as the Michigan single-season receiving record (besting Braylon Edwards) with 1,373. Gallon is a better player than his measurables indicate and one that just finds a way to succeed.

The last of the compensatory picks is pick 213. Vinnie Sunseri of Alabama is a safety who can drop in the box and support the run as well as having good hands and excellent football IQ. He also called the signals for the Alabama defense and has value as a special teamer.

The 7th round begins with the Jets own pick at 233. Rex gets his pick and the Jets draft Tajh Boyd, QB out of Clemson. Boyd is mobile, has won a lot of games at Clemson but is also not very accurate and has had a nightmare of an offseason with poor performances. Once considered a possibility of a 1st round pick last year he is now here in the 7th just waiting for a chance. It’s a good value plus Rex has seen him play more than any other college quarterback and likes him. Good developmental quarterback.

Lastly at pick 237 the Jets take a flyer on defensive end Michael Sam of Missouri. Sam will be heralded because of his announcement that he will be the first openly gay player in the NFL. Football-wise, it is odd to see the SEC Co-defensive player of the year available in the 7th round but here he is. Sam had 11.5 sacks last year and finished the plays that were flushed to him. He would project to OLB with the Jets but although he has a high motor, his speed and quickness around the edge. Some teams will stay away because the player will always generate extra attention and could be a distraction in year 1 if the media gets out of control. He also will have to assimilate into the locker room where there still are some prejudices but here he has a friend in Sheldon Richardson and that would make his transition easier.

So there you have it. 12 picks are in the book with the focus on offense with a QB, an RB, 2 WRs, 2 TEs and a OL. Defensively, they got the best corner in the draft and another corner that can can play safety. They also addressed OLB for the 1st time in awhile, as well as some special teamers that will have a chance to develop into future starters. They took some chances with Lyerla and Sam that will test the locker room but on paper they are an improved team today.

We’ll see how the real draft turns out in less than 2 weeks. I, for one, am getting antsy waiting for the Draft. Can’t wait.