The NFL Draft is now 13 days away. Here is an updated look at what multiple mock drafts have the New York Jets doing with the number 16 pick in the first round, along with our current projection. Why look at the TOJ projection?…Because we were right the past two years –
Muhammad Wilkerson (#2 in the 12 pack)
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
Charles Davis, NFL.com – Dont’a Hightower, Inside Linebacker, Alabama
Albert Breer, NFL.com – Whitney Mercilus, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Illinois
Todd McShay, ESPN – Chandler Jones, Outside Linebacker, Syracuse
Rob Rang, CBS – Whitney Mercilus, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Illinois
DrafTek – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
TOJ – Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina
Analysis – A few general trends since the middle of last week – Courtney Upshaw appears to be falling to the point that he will definitely be available at number sixteen but there is a feeling the New York Jets could pass on him. We have written about our concerns on Upshaw here before. The Jets need an explosive pass rusher and while Upshaw should turn out to be a solid pro, he could be too much in the mold of Calvin Pace. He will stop the run, set the edge but never be a consistent double digit sack guy.
On the other hand, safety Mark Barron is climbing the boards and it is being speculated he won’t get past Dallas at #14. Personally, I’d prefer Barron to Upshaw at #16 if both remain available but that is seemingly less likely every day. Wide receiver Michael Floyd isn’t expected to get out of the top ten and it’d be a big surprise if the Jets had a shot at him if they stay put.
Personally, I am buying into the Jets professed love of Ingram. The reports from his Pro Day were that they were the most smitten with him and that Jacksonville isn’t interested in him at #7, where most people had him projected to go. Assuming Miami takes Ryan Tannehill at #8, it would seem the Jets could trade up to #9 to get their hands on him. According to the draft board, they’d have to give up their second round pick but would likely get a fourth rounder back.
I think Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets front office have had a quiet, somewhat confusing off-season. From his past history, Tannenbaum loves to trade up and make a splash to get players the team highly desires. He did it for Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, and Dustin Keller. Rex Ryan sees Ingram as Adalius Thomas 2.0. An explosive player who can line up at any spot in the front seven. This is a player that the Jets don’t just want, it is a player that they need. I say they swing the deal and then look to target safety Markelle Martin with their third round pick.
At the moment, here are my projections for the Jets first round pick in descending order of likelihood:
5. Stay Put and Take Michael Floyd – I highly, highly doubt he falls to #16 but if he does, the Jets will strongly consider him especially if they miss out on Ingram and Barron.
4. Trade Back For Andre Branch or Chandler Jones – If the Jets trade back into the mid to late 20s, they could target one of these pass rushers. Tannenbaum rarely trades back but if he can’t move up for Ingram and isn’t sold on Upshaw, this could make the most sense.
3. Stay Put and Take Courtney Upshaw – Seemingly less likely by the day, the Jets may actually even be able to trade back 4 or 5 spots and still take him.
2. Stay Put or Trade Up A Few Spots For Mark Barron – If Barron gets to 16, I think the Jets will take him. If they miss out on trading up for Ingram, they could look to leapfrog Dallas to take Barron.
1. Trade Up For Melvin Ingram – This will be a headline grabbing move that actually makes football sense.