NFL Draft Preview: Handicapping The New York Jets’ Options In The 2nd & 3rd Rounds


Jul 27, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks with the media following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the Jets filled a position of need by drafting Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville. But that was yesterday, today rounds 2 & 3 take place and the Jets need to select at least two more players that will be part of the foundation of this team for the next 5-7 years. What are their remaining options? Here is a link to yesterday’s preview which has write ups on some of the names that are still available today. Statistics and scouting information from were analyzed and used to get a better grasp of the players. Opinions are my own.

Round 2

The Favorites

1) Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech – A pass catching tight end at 6’5″ and 265 lbs. that is a matchup nightmare, as I said yesterday. He was in the conversation for pick 18 before falling after the combine. If he lasts until 49 he is an amazing value.

2) Marquise Lee, WR, USC – Lee was the top WR in the country in 2012 and would have been a top 10 pick if he was eligible to come out. However, injuries, poor quarterback play and drops have affected his stock in the eyes of some teams. He is a deep threat, a player that also thrives on yards after the catch and is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. After all is said and done he could be the best wide receiver in this draft and a real steal at 18 then he fell out of the 1st round and would even be a better value in round 2.

3) Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt – All-time SEC leader in receptions with 262 and receiving yards with 3,759. Matthews has the size at 6’3″ to get jump balls and the speed at 4.46 to get loose in the secondary. He has good strength which helps him get off of jams well. Not as much hype around him because his measurables weren’t terrific and he dropped some passes at the Combine but his tape, especially playing against SEC defenses is very good. Also, he is Jerry Rice’s cousin.

4) Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU – Landry has the best hands in the draft with a drop rate of only 2% and he is an excellent route-runner that knows how to get open. He ran a 4.7 forty yard dash at the Combine which dropped him to the mid second round but 4.7 is not the way he plays on the football field. Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey will be able to give an excellent evaluation of Landry due to their time together at LSU.

5) Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss – A 6’2″ man that weighs 221 lbs. that runs a 4.34 forty yard dash is an amazing athlete. You pair that with excellent production in a power conference and Donte Moncrief is a steal in the 2nd round. Moncrief gets out of his breaks so quickly he separates from man coverage and when he sets the corner up he beats him with a double move. He has the strength and quickness to get a good release even when being pressed. I see no downside to taking him if the Jets pass on a WR in round 1.

6) Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State – Another big, strong receiver (6’3″ and 220 lbs.) that doesn’t have any trouble getting off of press coverage, Robinson meets the standards that Mornhinweg laid out for his wide receivers. He has been extremely productive at Penn State with 97 catches and 1,432 yards in 2013. Robinson may not have terrific top end speed but he is deceptively fast and his acceleration in and out of breaks are also above average. He is a smart player that knows the entire route tree from the pro style offense at Penn State. Robinson is very physical and has a 39″ vertical which lets him excel at jump balls and improves his ability as a red zone target.

The Others

1) Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska – Jean-Baptiste has had a meteoric rise in the last few days to where he is mocked by plenty to go in the 1st round when he was originally considered a 4th round prospect. This is a classic case of monkey see, monkey do as Jean-Baptiste’s best asset is his size and big corners are what Seattle has used so successfully. Jean-Baptiste is 6’3″ with 4.45 speed and long arms. He uses those arms well playing press man to redirect receivers. He has good ball skills but isn’t physical enough and isn’t a good or willing tackler.

2) Pierre Desir, CB, Longwood – With 25 career interceptions, Desir is a ball magnet. He dominated the low level of competition he played against but still has work to do to make it work at the professional level. Needs technique refinement and hasn’t really played true press coverage. He has a lot of athletic gifts, including good acceleration and closing speed, fluid enough to change direction well, and has great height at 6’1′. Desir would not be an immediate starter but someone who could grow into the role in time.

3) Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington – Seferian-Jenkins is an interesting prospect. While he has good size  (6’6″ tall and 262 lbs.) that he uses to grab jump balls and tough throws, strength to get off of jams, soft hands, good initial burst off of the line, experience lining up in-line, split out wide and in the slot and improved blocking ability, Seferian-Jenkins also had a DUI and some issues with his attitude. He seems to have overcome the attitude concerns and is rising in recent mock drafts, some have him in the 1st round. He has passed Niklas for 3rd best tight end in the draft and some like him better than Amaro.

4) Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame – Niklas is an interesting prospect. He is 6’7″ tall and 270 lbs and nicknamed Hercules by his teammates at Notre Dame. Last season he had 32 receptions for 498 yards and 5 touchdowns. Mainly used as a blocker Niklas is just scratching the surface as a receiver. He would be an immediate help as a red zone target with the ability to challenge a defense down the seam.

5) Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State – 6’1″ receiver that has a 39 1/2″ vertical leap, Adams is an extremely athletic player who can go get jump balls or bad throws and is a great red zone player. He also has good hands. His speed and strength are a question mark as he ran a 4.56 forty yard dash and has trouble getting off of jams. Adams is young and has room to add muscle to his frame which will improve his strength.

Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Tre Mason (21) carries the ball defended by Florida State Seminoles defensive back Lamarcus Joyner (20) during the first half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Next Group

1) Demarcus Lawrence, DE/OLB, Boise State – Lawrence was a player that was moved around a lot in Boise State’s defense to get him the best match ups so he is familiar with a lot of defensive roles. He is a defensive end right now primarily, who has good, quick, strong hands to get through gaps quickly but also has a variety of pass rushing moves including a swim, rip, club and spin move. He is flexible enough to get around the edge and has the ability and potential to handle coverage as a linebacker. His speed is a little slow so he may be a “tweener” but if you put him in places he will succeed in, like Rex Ryan does, then you have a good pass rusher who has a chance to be great.

2) Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State – Described as hitting like a truck in run support, the 5’8″, 184 lb. corner/safety plays much larger than that. He has superior acceleration and closing speed combined with excellent awareness and play recognition skills make him a weapon in the secondary either as a slot corner or strong safety or slide nickel safety. Joyner is also an excellent kick returner who uses his acceleration skill to be a threat to take the ball to the end zone on any return. Was a linebacker in high school and is built like a running back, his play is described as violent. There is room on any team for a guy like this, you find a spot for him.

3) Trent Murphy, LB, Stanford –  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. Murphy is a former steer-wrestler and plays like it, using his anticipation skills in addition to his athletic skills to get to the quarterback. Tough, physical and has the ability to be a 3 down linebacker in the NFL. Would only draft this player if a trade down happened.

Wild Cards

1) Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA – A couple of mock drafts have the Jets taking Su’a-Filo at 18 and although I wouldn’t love it, I would understand it because guard is a need with Winters unproven and Colon held together with duck tape. An athletic guard that has great upper body strength, agility to move laterally and the speed to pull quickly and effectively, Su’a-Filo has been described as the most pro ready guard in the draft. The crowd would boo this pick unmercifully but he will probably be a good pro.

2) Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri – A very versatile player from Missouri in the 1st round? Sounds familiar. Ealy can play defensive end, defensive tackle, and outside linebacker with his athleticism. As with any conversion to OLB, coverage is an issue but since he won’t have to be a star right away Ealy will be able to be used as a chess piece to put him in the best position to get to the quarterback.

3) Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU – Van Noy does most everything asked of a linebacker very well but none outstanding. He is good in coverage, had 13 sacks and 20 tackles for loss last year, and has very good instincts as well as play recognition. He is knocked for not having enough athleticism but this is a very good, three down linebacker that would fit in perfectly opposite Quinton Coples for years to come.

4) Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech – Terrific blend of athletic prowess and football acumen, Attaochu is 6’3″ and 252 lbs. and runs a 4.57 forty yard dash. The ability translates to the field where he has a large variety of pass rushing moves and has improved against the run and in coverage. Plus he’s mean, he has a nasty attitude in a James Harrison kind of way and that is a good thing for a linebacker to have. Attaochu just needs some polish on his game to reach his potential and a year playing in sub packages while learning from Calvin Pace and the coaching staff should get the job done.

Oct 5, 2013; Kent, OH, USA; Kent State Golden Flashes running back

Dri Archer

(1) runs against Northern Illinois Huskies linebacker

Jamaal Bass

(6) at Dix Stadium. Northern Illinois beat Kent State 38-24. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Round 3

The Favorites

1) Dri Archer, WR, Kent State – Speed is the name of the game in the NFL these days and no one has more speed than Dri Archer. Archer was unofficially timed at 4.16 in the forty yard dash, which is the fastest ever recorded time. His official time was 4.26. Kent State moved him around and played him at running back, slot receiver and kick/punt returner. Any way you can get this player in space you do it. His size (5’8″ and 173 lbs.) compares to Dexter McCluster who has had success in a jack of all trades role with the Chiefs. If he were at 80 the Jets would run the card in. They could trade up for this player.

2) Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin – I’ve been a big fan of Abbrederis since he torched Ohio State’s Bradley Roby for 10 catches and over 200 yards. There were additional plays that aren’t counted in the stats where Roby just had to commit a penalty to stop Abbrederis. He isn’t the fastest player but he just knows how to get open, especially on 3rd down. Every team needs at least one guy like that.

3) C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa – A terrific blocker that was not utilized much as a receiver in the Iowa offense. At 6’6″ and 265 lbs he has decent speed at 4.78 in the 40 yard dash and also has good hands. A good in-line blocking tight end with the potential to be an underneath security blanket for Geno Smith. Helps both the running and passing game.

4) Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado – 4.33 speed with good route running ability and also has good hands, Richardson shows the depth of this draft with his availability in the 3rd round. His touchdown catches averaged 47 yards. Averaged. 51 of his 83 catches were for 1st downs which is another excellent trait for a receiver. He is a little small at 6’0″ and 175 lbs and has had some durability issues, including a torn ACL that kept him out for all of 2012. His father was also a wide receiver that briefly played for the Jets.

5) Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State – Jackson is gifted athletically blending size (336 lbs.), strength, agility and speed. Although inconsistent he is aggressive with defenders, looking to dominate. He can pull, he can drive block, he can absorb a bull rush and can get to the next level. Has a chance to be a quality starter for many years if he keeps his focus.

The Others

1) Keith McGill, CB, Utah – McGill brings size, versatility and the ability to play press man coverage. He was brought into Utah as a FS, where he played five games before injuring his shoulder. The shoulder didn’t respond to rehab so surgery was necessary and he missed the 2012 season. When he came back in 2013 they switched him to corner and he used his 6’3″ size, leaping ability and long arms to press and intimidate his opponents. Like Cromartie, before he came to the Jets he has the label of a less than willing tackler but that is correctable with coaching. Assuming he checks out physically, the Jets have another chess piece for Rex Ryan to move around at safety and corner. After he learns he should settle in nicely opposite Milliner to form a duo that can play the press man coverage that Ryan likes.

2) Trai Turner, G, LSU – A large man at 310 lbs. who likes to maul defenders, especially in the run game. Needs some technique refinement but is surprisingly quick off the ball for a man of his size. His lateral agility is a question mark as he gets beaten quickly inside by defensive tackles occasionally.

Wild Cards

1) Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/OLB, Texas – Had 86 tackles including 22 for loss and 13 sacks as a senior playing both defensive end and spy linebacker. Can drop in coverage, support the run and rush the passer. Has a great motor which lets him make plays all over the field with terrific chase speed. Doesn’t miss very many tackles against the run. He has been injury plagued with a severely sprained ankle in 2010 and a torn pectoral muscle in 2012. He isn’t as strong as he needs to be so he gets blocked out of plays and he stays too upright on his rushes not showing the knee bend necessary to get around the edge. He has a lot of potential, if Rex Ryan thinks he can make Jeffcoat great then he might be the pick.

2) Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson – Anyone from Clemson will be linked to the Jets due to Rex Ryan’s son playing at the school. He has good size, acceleration, closing speed, arm length, and ball skills. He was 2nd team All-ACC as a junior where he had 4 four interceptions and 17 passes defended. His speed is suspect at 4.57 and Breeland can get beat deep. He is inexperienced in press coverage and only has one year as a starter. Breeland is aggressive and does hand fight down the field which could lead to flags if he doesn’t adjust.

3) Preston Brown, ILB, Louisville – An inside linebacker that is fluid enough to drop into zone coverage successfully, a player that uses his long arms and flexibility to be a good blitzer, and he comes forward to stop the run, hitting hard. Instinctive nature, decisiveness and high football IQ let him play faster than his measureables. Doesn’t have good speed or athleticism and is a liability in man coverage.

As you can see, the experts weren’t lying when they said this was a deep draft. There are very good players available through these 1st 3 rounds and more will be remaining for Saturday. This is the way teams are built.