The 2013 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and more and more research is happening between the draft staff. Some recurring questions focusing on the Jets seem to be coming about, including the following:
Who should the Jets take? Where is the best value? Who should they look at in the middle rounds? In what order do you fix the Jets’ issues?
Here, we look at possible scenarios for the 1st 4 rounds, while providing backup options in the event that certain prospects have already been selected when the Jets are on the clock.
1a. Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon- Dion Jordan is the kind of guy that will “wow you” on film. Flat out, the guy is a freak. He is 6’6″ with long arms to keep separation. His pass rush needs some work and fine-tuning, but his upside is through the roof, giving him the edge over Jarvis Jones here. Jordan has shown the ability to drop in coverage at Oregon, and has the speed to rush the passer. Weight is a concern as he will likely need to add some bulk to be an effective every down player in the NFL.
1b. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia- Jarvis Jones is the most sound and solid OLB prospect. He can step into any defense and cause havoc right away. He has the most developed and complete pass rush game of the available OLBs. Jones was dominant all year in the hardest conference in college football with 14.5 sacks and 85 tackles. He has the ability to make plays off the edge, and is second to none with his burst, timing, and flexibility. He was recently cleared for participation by NFL doctors at the combine after a spinal stenosis issue.
2. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama- Quite simply, Chance Warmack is the best prospect in this class. With the Jets’ need for Guard help, he would be a significant upgrade at the position. Putting him between Nick Mangold and Brick Ferguson would be incredible. Warmack will be a Pro Bowler sooner rather than later in his career. Not to mention, a good Offensive Line is at the foundation of every team that is a contender.
1. Tank Carradine, OLB, Florida State*- Tank (Cornellius) Carradine is a difficult prospect to judge. If he were completely healthy, he would more than likely be the best pass rusher in this draft. He has agile feet and incredible closing speed. His blend of flexibility and bend helps him get the edge, plus he has smooth lateral quickness and redirection. He is also very reliable in the open field as a tackler. His motor also seems to always be running.
2. Corey Lemonier, OLB, Auburn- Lemonier has been flying under the radar because of the OLB prospects at the top of the 1st round. He is 6’3″ with long 34 inch arms and is quick off the edge with a great combination of speed and power. Lemonier is another player with his motor always running.
3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson- If DeAndre Hopkins is available in the 2nd round, and the two previous players aren’t there, the Jets should snag him and not look back. Depending on the team’s attitude, if they’re completely rebuilding, taking Hopkins will solidify their WR corps for the future with Kerley and Hill. Also, with the drama surrounding Santonio Holmes and word that he is being asked to restructure his contract or face the possibility of a release, this could be a smart selection. Hopkins runs really good routes and has big, strong hands to go get the ball.
1. Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati- Kelce is the best all around tight end in the draft, in terms of value. He is a huge target at 6’6″ 255 pounds. A great blocker and still has the athleticism to make catches in traffic. He can make plays after the catch and has deceptive speed. Kelce also has very strong hands and has a bit of a mean streak.
2. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State- If the Jets were to draft a quarterback this year, it should be Manuel. He is well built and a true dual threat QB. He is quick with a strong and fairly accurate arm and throws a better deep ball than most of his counterparts in this year’s class. He can make all the throws with the ability to run some read option.
3. Justin Pugh, OL, Syracuse- With Moore and Slauson being free agents, the Jets have a need at guard. Pugh here will be a good pick to replace one of the two. He has good to great range, feet and mobility. He can get to the second level easily while keeping his pad level low. Solid value in this range.
1. Jon Franklin, RB, UCLA*- Franklin has great speed and the ability to make people miss. He hits the hole, and does it fast. A bit undersized, he can develop into a 3 down back in the NFL, while getting spelled by Bilal Powell. He needs to work on his pass protection and catching out of the backfield, which are the reasons he may fall this far.
2. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford- Taylor was a 3 year starter for Stanford and extremely effective. He shows a good mix of speed and strength, and is definitely capable of being a 3 down back. Taylor has a chance of being a workhorse for the Jets next year. He is also good in pass protection, which is certainly a plus for any running back prospect, and has some versatility out of the backfield as a receiving option.
3. Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina- Reddick started the 2012 season slow but picked it up towards the end. He is an overall solid linebacker in terms of technique but will be best utilized by a 3-4 team that likes to blitz from the inside. Does that sound like a team we used to know? Reddick also seems incredibly fast on tape. He might not be the fastest in a straight line, but field speed is different than straight-line speed. Either way, Reddick has the tools and instincts to be a good NFL inside linebacker, especially with the right coaching.