Christmas Eve. The NFL Draft is finally upon us, starting with the first round in primetime tomorrow night. Here is a look at a collection of final mock drafts and our selection for what the New York Jets will do with the 16th pick. We can’t promise we will be right but it certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented if we were.
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated – Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle, Memphis
Michael Lombardi, NFL.com – Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
Rob Rang, CBS Sports – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
Pat Kirwin, CBS Sports – Nick Perry, Outside Linebacker, USC
Walter Football – Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
Charley Casserly, NFL.com – Quinton Coples, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, North Carolina
Chad Reuter, NFL.com – Riley Reiff, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
Pro Football Talk – Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina
Chris Gross, Turn On The Jets – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
Justin Fritze, Turn On The Jets – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama
Joe Caporoso, Turn On The Jets – Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina
Analysis – The opinions of what the Jets will do has only got cloudier in the days leading up to the draft. There is no player who is anywhere near being a consensus pick and no clear cut favorite of the team. Courtney Upshaw, Mark Ingram and Quinton Coples have watched their draft stock fall, while Mark Barron and Michael Floyd have been steadily rising.
I am not abandoning my belief that Ingram will end up on the Jets now. However, could they get him without trading up? It doesn’t sound like he will be a top ten pick, so the only real threat is Seattle at #12. Could the Jets move up to #11 without having to give up their second round pick or should they risk staying put and hoping Ingram falls into their laps?
At this point, it seems like Upshaw should be available at #16, while there is no chance Mark Barron will be. If the Jets want the clear cut top safety in this draft, they are going to have to move up a few spots…maybe even as high as #9, where Carolina remains a logical trade partner given the team’s history of working together.
One last point, do not write off the Jets trading up for Trent Richardson. If you think it is crazy for them to trade up into the top five and make that big of a splash, you haven’t been watching Mike Tannenbaum the past 6 years.
Here are my projections for the Jets first round pick, in descending order of likelihood:
5. Stay Put Or Trade Up For Michael Floyd – If he is there at 16, he will be very tempting. If he gets near 16 and the Jets miss on Ingram and Barron, they could consider doing what it takes to get him.
4. Trade Up For Mark Barron – He isn’t getting to number 16. The Jets could swap picks with Carolina at #9 to have a shot at the draft’s top safety.
3. Stay Put And Take Courtney Upshaw or Chandler Jones – If the Jets miss out on Ingram and Barron, I don’t think they risk trading back. They will take whomever they have rated higher, Upshaw or Jones with their pick.
2. Trade Up For Trent Richardson – The mega deal that Mike Tannenbaum is known for. The Jets get themselves an elite back to lead their Ground and Pound. It will cost them but if Richardson turns into an All-Pro, isn’t it worth it?
1. Stay Put Or Trade Up For Melvin Ingram – Ingram may fall to the Jets at 16 but they could avoid the risk of losing him by trading up to #11.