New York Jets: Biggest Areas of Need
The New York Jets are reeling at 1-8 and contending for a top pick in next year’s draft. The Jets have needs at a number of positions moving forward, but what is the biggest area of need and the one that should be addressed most heavily in the draft (and potentially free agency)? Let’s break it down:
Cornerback: It is no secret that the Jets whiffed big but not bringing in a skilled player at this position. The one guy they did bring in, Dimitri Patterson, went AWOL and as a result the Jets were forced to rely on a second year man who still had yet to prove himself, who is now on injured reserve, and a group of journeymen. The pass defense for the Jets has been atrocious, nullifying the strong play from a highly talented defensive line. This is a passing league in the modern era, the cornerback is the cornerstone of defending against the pass, and this is where the Jets are most vulnerable on defense.
Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws the ball against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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Quarterback: Michael Vick isn’t the answer going forward, and Geno Smith has not only failed to progress but has actually digressed. This is one of, if not the, most important positions on a football team. A good quarterback is tasked with a lot, from calling audibles to assigning protections and eventually making the right read on a play and delivering the ball accurately to an open receiver. The Jets are struggling to put points on the board and at this point the receiver core can no longer be blamed now that the Jets have Eric Decker, Percy Harvin, and Jeremy Kerley as a number three guy (where I always thought he would fit best on an NFL team).
Nov 2, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Jets guard Willie Colon (66) and center Nick Mangold (74) on the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Offensive Line: The reason the 2009 and 2010 Jets team was so successful was because the offensive line was stout and dominant. The Jets could run at will and the quarterback had time to make his reads and throw the ball. As a result the Jets controlled the tempo of the game and were able to play an old school ground and pound game, which was what that team was best suited for at the time. Slowly we watched as that dominant unit slowly disintegrated and now we are left with only two of the standouts from that squad. Unfortunately D’Brickashaw Ferguson seems past the peak of his career and Nick Mangold is getting up there in age. This unit will need to be rebuilt moving forward because without a strong offensive line a football team cannot do much.
These are just three needs of a struggling team, and while there are others these are the most important for now. The linebackers will need to be addressed soon as well, but for now the unit plays solid enough. The tight end group is not ideal yet but hopefully Jace Amaro will quickly acclimate to the position and eliminate those drops. The wide receiver corps will remain serviceable for some time assuming everything works out with Harvin, and we seem pretty set at the running back position. The one last thing the Jets need to do soon is get a quality free safety, thus moving rookie Calvin Pryor to his natural position of strong safety and allow him to hit some people. Many things will need to happen before this team is a contender again, and we are not just talking about on the field talent. What do you think the biggest positions of need are for the Jets? Sound off in the comments below.