2016 NFL Draft: Analyzing the needs of the NY Jets

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the stage before the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets have a lot of questions to answer in helping this team improve for the future. They have several needs that will more than likely be addressed in the 2016 NFL Draft.

This year’s draft has many players that the Jets will enjoy having them on the team. General manager Mike Maccgnan will have a lot of questions to answer in how he will approach this off-season. He did a real good job last year in the draft by drafting defensive end Leonard Williams out of USC and Devin Smith, a deep threat wide receiver out of Ohio State university.

These two players had an impact this season, Williams helped out filling the void in the defensive line when Sheldon Richardson was suspended, and Smith helped contribute to open up the offense more with his presence. This year, they will need to fill certain areas on offense and defense via the draft.

The Jets have multiple picks and need to take advantage of this because it will be important to continue to improve in areas of need. The areas of the team that they will need to focus on is getting an outside edge rusher, two offensive linemen, a running back and a tight end.

The offensive line did a tremendous job this year in protecting the quarterback during the season but late in the year, the age of the line showed. Some of the offensive linemen are getting older and it is time to find younger players.  The two players that the Jets should look to replace are Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson as these two are starting to wear down. With the amount of snaps they play it is bound for the older players to break down easier.

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The two players I think they should look at in the draft are Taylor Decker out of Ohio State University and Joshua Garrett out of Stanford University.

These two have been very productive in being healthy and protecting their quarterback which is a big plus in my book. Both players were considered to be very outstanding linemen and were All- Americans in their conferences.

To me, if you are considered to be All-American then you are a very good player. That also means that you worked hard on and off the field to make sure you worked to be the very best.

The next area of work the Jets need to improve on is drafting an edge rusher to help complete the defensive front. The defense has been in the top 10 for the past couple of years and will continue to improve as time goes on. The players that they should keep an eye on are Jordan Jenkins out of Georgia University and Kevin Dodd/Shaq Lawson out of Clemson University. These three players caused major havoc against opponents this year and will be a major upgrade to teams in the NFL.

These players were All-Americans in their respective conferences in the SEC and ACC. They still have things to improve on which isn’t unusual if they come in and work hard. Any of these players will be a major addition and upgrade to the Jets. I think the most completed player of the three I have mentioned is Dodd because of his quickness of the ball and the techniques he uses to get to the backfield.

Nov 21, 2015; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive end Kevin Dodd (98) celebrates after a sack during the third quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Clemson defeated Wake Forest 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The running back situation will be interesting to see how the Jets will address this with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell heading into free agency. If the Jets bring back one of these two players or just let them go, it could change their draft needs dramatically. Two players that the Jets should keep an eye on are Ezekiel Elliot out of Ohio State University and Derrick Henry out of Alabama University who are both physical runners.

These two were amongst the top in their conferences in the Big 10 and SEC. Both are very explosive coming out of the backfield, and the only thing they need to work on is catching passes out of the backfield. Elliot and Henry averaged a tremendous amount of yards is rushing this season and wore down many opposing defenses. Their size was a big issue because both backs weighed in at an average of 220 pounds. That size of running backs are usually playing on the defensive side of the ball but now in today’s games, they are usually at that average weight.

The final area the Jets could look to improve in is at the tight end position as this area has been lackluster for the Jets the past two seasons. It is a must in trying to find someone to help out the offense because it would be a big improvement. Even though they drafted Jace Amaro two years ago and he was productive, they won’t know how he will be after coming off a major shoulder injury.

Amaro’s size was a big problem for most opponents in trying to cover him. The Jets should have a backup plan in place and they keep an eye on Austin Hooper out of Stanford University or even Bryce Williams out of East Carolina University. These two are the same size as Amaro and could be very helpful for the Jets’ offense. It will help develop a potent two tight end offensive situation.

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The Jets have done well in improving this team so far and need to continue to build on this for the future. They will need to look into bringing young players that could help the team. The organization has areas that need to be addressed sooner rather than later because the time is now to push the envelope come next season.

The way the team was put together in 2015 was a nice surprise and had the fans excited for what the future should bring. Expectations for this team will be at an all-time high and they can’t disappoint the fans. Maccagnan is ready to make this team a Super Bowl contender and so far, he has taken the right steps in trying to achieve that. We will wait and see how everything goes in the off-season and see him work his magic for the second straight time.