NY Jets: Top 5 positions to address in 2016 NFL Draft
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 holes to fill. They will have 23 free agents this spring. They definitely need to address their top areas of need in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Unlike last season, the Jets don’t have a lot of salary cap space. So, the draft will be a perfect place for the Jets to fill holes. It won’t be easy but they can definitely find some hidden gems in the draft to hold bolster this team to reach even bigger heights in 2016.
Looking across the roster, the Jets need help mostly on offense and upgrading their pass rushing capabilities. The Jets are just a few pieces away from being even bigger contenders in 2016 as the right draft class and yield immediate results.
Let’s take a look at the top five needs the Jets need to address when they’re on the clock.
Next: 5. Quarterback
Oct 24, 2015; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones (12) prior to the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Points Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
5. Quarterback They won’t get a top quarterback. They will be all most likely be gone by the 20th pick.
If the Jets think that they don’t think have their quarterback of the future on the roster, they will have to take one late for the second straight draft. They will most likely re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick but again, there is no guarantee he’ll be back.
The quarterback pool isn’t deep this year. They may be able to draft Christian Hackenberg or Cardale Jones late.
If they release Geno Smith, they will have to find a third quarterback for depth purposes. The draft is a good and cheap way to find one.
Next: 4. Right Tackle
Dec 31, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (74) and Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) during the game in the 2015 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
4. Right Tackle Breno Giacomini will most likely be a cap casualty for the Jets. That will cause a hole to fill and the Jets need to get younger on their offensive line.
The offensive tackle spot is deep enough to wait for the draft. There are quality tackles who played against quality talent that are ready to step right in and take care of business.
They can wait until the second day to pick a good tackle. Many of the quality tackles played left tackle, but have the ability to play right tackle in the NFL as well.
It’s a key position in the running game which the Jets will more than likely want to establish in 2016. The Jets will need to fill this hole in the draft cheaply.
Next: 3. Tight End
November 28, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Austin Hooper (18) catches a pass for a touchdown against Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
3. Tight End
The Jets had the worst tight ends in the league last season. As a team, they had 25 targets, eight catches, 95 yards and one touchdown for the entire year.
To me, targets are the most important stats for pass catchers, because it’s very telling on your ability to get open. There were 50 tight ends that had more targets than the Jets had as a team.
When it comes to the other stats, there were 71 that had more catches, 64 that had more yards and 45 that had more touchdowns. Clearly, all of that shows the tight end position needs to fixed.
There are good tight ends available, especially on the second day. There are also good combo (blocking and receiving) tight ends available.
Next: 2. Running Back
Oct 17, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back C.J. Prosise (20) is pursued by Southern California Trojans defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (99) and linebacker Osa Masina (58) at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2. Running back
Going into the off-season, the Jets will only have one running back on the roster. They may be able to sign one in the free agency period, but they will need to draft one too.
The Jets will probably be looking for a back to replace Bilal Powell. There are good ones on the second day of the draft that should fit the role he had well.
The Jets will also need a good pass catching, #2 back. This class is deep enough to wait to draft a player instead of spending a ton of money in free agency.
It will save them money by using a second day draft selection. Ultimately, this is where they will find there replacement.
Next: 1. Pass rusher
Nov 21, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) pitches the ball as Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) defends in the fourth quarter at Ohio Stadium. The Spartans won 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
1. Pass rusher
The Jets will need to generate more of a pass rush next season. They will have to use their No. 20 overall pick on a pass rusher.
Despite having 12 sacks from Muhammad Wilkerson, they were only able to get 27 from everyone else. The 39 sacks were 12th in the NFL.
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The class is very deep with pass rushers. Joey Bosa is the best player in the draft at that position and would make sense on the Jets.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Jets drafting Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith. If the Jets can land Smith at 20, that would be a bigger steal than Leonard Williams falling to No. 6 last season. Mainly because Smith is the second best linebacker in the entire draft and he could give the Jets a much-needed pass rush from the inside.