Initial Reaction – New York Jets First Round Selections – DEFENSE!

Initial reaction to the New York Jets selecting Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson in the first round

Are we so sure that Rex Ryan is a lame duck coach who has no influence in Florham Park anymore? Tonight felt an awful lot like many previous drafts with Rex Ryan as the head coach, as the New York Jets selected a defensive lineman in the first round for the third straight year and added a cornerback in the first round for the second time in three years.

The results were surprising by anybody’s estimate, considering the Jets had a decent amount of talent at cornerback and defensive line entering into the night particularly in comparison to the rest of their roster. Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson are both very good prospects and were both taken in slots that were reasonable value for them. However, the Jets opted not to trade down in a deep draft in areas of need for them. They also passed on players like Chance Warmack at 9 and Kenny Vaccaro at 13, both of whom would have filled bigger needs than Milliner and Richardson and who would have been strong value at those respective spots.

After St. Louis traded into the 8th spot to take Tavon Austin, a highly likely target for the Jets at 9, the team likely reverted back to their board after not being able to find trade down partners. Milliner was considered by some to be the best defensive player in the Draft and will immediately step into the starting line-up over Kyle Wilson. Milliner will also deal with endless comparisons to Darrelle Revis, who was recently traded away to Tampa Bay.

We’ve seen Milliner linked to the Jets on more than one occasion and he was the less surprising of the two first round picks, Sheldon Richardson…the defensive tackle from Missouri was a head turner. Again, the Jets clearly stuck to their board and had Richardson ranked as the best player available to them at #13, surprisingly ahead of Star Lotulelei. This selection could indicate more 4-3 looks on the way and also a general lack of confidence in Kenrick Ellis. Richardson is more of a penetrator on the defensive line than a run stuffer. Richardson along with Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples could form an unbelievable trio upfront for years to come.

Again, both Milliner and Richardson are good prospects but doesn’t this team need to find a way score points? How many years in a row can they take a corner or defensive lineman in the first round? You can’t judge a draft after one round and there is still plenty of talent available for the Jets at 39, which we will get into more tomorrow along with a closer look at Milliner and Richardson.

How did everybody out there feel about the picks?

Finally, a shout out to everybody who attended the UStadium Draft Party tonight…it was great meeting everybody!

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Anthony

    Could not be more pleased by these selections, thank you for asking, Joe. By your initial reactions I coulda sworn you lost your shit on twitter over the picks, do I’m.glad you’ve taken a breath, and relented a bit.

    I’m not sure exactly the talent you speak of at corner, but it is true that DL is not a need. The very nature of the richardson pick speaks volumes about Idziks willingness to draft the best available player and his faith in Rex to find a home for our 4th 290+ under 25 year old lineman.

    Miliner was an incredibly lucky bounce and an impact rookie immediately. I trust Idzik will continue to drwft value, but for now, I will go to bed a happy man.

  • Raj

    I liked the picks and listening to Idzik talk about taking BPA(which I like for Jets because filling needs isn’t going to help make playoffs this year) made me like Idzik even more. I thought taking Eifert or Vacarro would have been a reach(would have preferred trade down at 13 but what can you do?) and glad to hear that Jets stuck to draft board.

  • KAsh

    I am surprised at what Idzik claimed: that both Milliner and Richardson were in the top 4 on the Jets’ big board. If true, grabbing them at #9 and #13 is an amazing value. Everyone has said that the Jets need to go with the BPA because every area can be shored up, and – what do you know? – Idzik seemed to agree.

    Milliner I get: Rex likes his Nick Saban defensive players. He has very few weak areas and has had some of the best coaching available in college.

    Richardson is an odd choice to even make the board. The only thing that I can think that makes him preferable to Lotulelei is that Star has shorter than ideal arms. Or Ryan has been quietly and systematically retooling the defense into a 4-3.

  • Anthony

    I don’t think its about a 3-4 or a 4-3, I think Rex wants a track meet to the QB.

  • Dave

    Surprised as everyone but after some more thought I’m happy with the picks.
    Milliner is a beast and will make an impact right away, now the opposing teams passing plan can’t just be “find Kyle Wilson and throw to the guy he is covering”
    Listening to the press confrence sounds like they loved the motor and attitude of Richardson, sounds like they expect that to carry over to some of the existing players.

    I like Idzik honestly by 9 all the cream of the OLB’s was already picked what can you do? Not his fault, and I believe they wanted Austin obviously that’s why St Louis felt the need to move up and grab him.

    I’m calling Denard Robinson to the jets right now… Random I know

  • Jay1

    We know Rex is a great defensive minded coach. But Rex has yet to prove he can develop a draft pick into a starting player. We have numerous 1st rd picks who do not come on until try are at the end of their contract. Mo is showing why he was picked in the first, but only after 4 years of ahhhhh….

    My fear is Rex builds their ego before the performance earns it. Feeling good is not as important as a realistic vision of your weaknesses and areas you need to focus on the perform at a higher level.

    As for the picks, as long as out defense can hold opposing teams to a 3 points, we should have a shot

  • LIJetsFan

    Considering that the Jets defense struggled against the run last year taking Richardson who has difficulty anchoring v.s. the run was a head scratcher. OTOH, Richardson appears to be able to perform multiple roles along the DLine which we all know fits right in with Rex scheme.

  • Not trading down was a mistake. Too many holes to fill. Without trading, I would like to have seen at least one offensive pick – Eiffert would have been a great addition and we could have gotten him in the high teens. You won’t find someone like him later. You will find a guard later in this deep draft. 2nd round pick likely to be a linebacker. Possibly 3D in a row. No help for Sanchez. Hope we get Ivory without giving up too much.

  • Dave2220

    I can see a plan… Strong D, draft OL, TE, LB today, get Ivory in a trade… (Lacy still there in the 2nd?) and we will be as good as we will be… Guard in top 15… does not happen often, so beating the Jets up over that is ridiculous… would the ND TE have been a good choice… maybe… but Sack Exchange II sounds good to me!

  • Richard

    Jay1-Wilkerson is only going into his thrid season. I think the lockout hurt him his first season though.

  • JerryB

    Both of the players selected have talent, speed, toughness and non-stop motors. Rex will scheme to get the most out of them. Kudos to Idzik for sticking to BPA and not drafting for need in Round #1.

  • Jay1

    D2 – thanks, mixed up Wilson and Mo.

  • Lidman

    I think Wilkerson has come on great and has really started to develop a pass rush game. Coples simply took time to grasp the 3-4, but anyone who watches him can see he simply has tremendous ability; and remember he was 4-3 DE in college, so he can provide pressure off the edge. If you can get penetration, from Wilkerson and Richardson, then Coples will be very hard to stop. I also don’t think this is ‘vote of no confidence’ on Ellis. He was a project and they let Sione go. Remember, they added Garay too. Giants have proven that rotating great athletes on DLine has been a great strategy. We shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t address LB until later though…2/3 probably go with G/WR or TE…though I wouldn’t mind Alex Okafor..guy makes plays.

  • Galo

    Still think they should have went with a TE or OLD in the first round, with at least one of their picks.

  • Sean

    The Jets seemed to be the only team who actually stayed on the clock into their final minute each time. I think this shows they really wanted to trade down, but just couldn’t find the right partner at the right time, so I can’t blame them there.

    The only legitimate offensive players available at those spots were Warmack and then Eifert. Only 2 potential offensive targets, and maybe they didn’t see them being as good as other teams, so I can’t fault them there.

    I hated the Richardson pick at first. I felt like the fans you saw on camera; WHO? I didn’t like it at first because he didn’t project as a NT. But if this means we’re going 4-3, with pass rushers up front a la the Giants, well I’ve been wanting that model for a long time now.

  • dooooowa

    I think the Jets had just bad luck how the draft went.

    There was no DT picked until their pick. That ment two things.

    1. Many good OLB’s were gone by their pick
    2. People thought a trade would happen, because teams wanted a DT before Caroline could pick them. But because no DT’s were picked there was nothing anyone could’ve wanted from us.

    I think they had Mingo and Austin at #1 and #2 on their board. If the Raiders go DT, we get one of them.

  • dooooowa

    Another thought about the Richardson pick. I think they plan to counter NE No-Huddle with him. You can’t go very big against NE, because your players will be tired early. With his motor he maybe can get after Brady without leaving the field for any down.

  • Joe,

    I am very disapointed in the Jets right now. I am ok with the Milliner pick, but why Sheldon Riohardson when ther are so many other holes. And why a guy who played in a 4-3 for a 3-4 defense. I truly hope they are going with a 4 man front.

    I have arrived at 4 conclusions.

    1 Rex still runs the show.
    2 Idzik doesn’t have a pair.
    3 Sanchez will again be the QB
    4 The Pats got FOUR picks for theit 1st rounder and we couildn’t get atrade done to move down.The Pats continue to be LIGHT YEARS ahead of the Jets.

    I am praying for a better day 2.

  • Lidman

    Joe M…remember, the Jets were in a pickle with Revis. He was hurt, so they couldn’t get ‘full value’ for him. Second, the market for him was limited, so the fact they got a early teens first rounder is good. Third, they weren’t going to pay him, and they couldn’t ‘Franchise’ him, so he was going to walk away.

    NE trade was made with Minny desiring to move up, to grab a specific player. Unlike the NYJ this trade came together over a 20 minute period, so there was little time to mull over decision.

    Finally, give NE all the picks they want. Nobody has had more draft choices, over the past 5yrs, as NE. How has that gone? Sure Gronk has been very good, and Hernandez and McCourty solid. Volmer is Ok..but go back and look at some of their picks. People credit BB for having nearly 1/3 of his roster be undrafted, free agents. The flip side of that is, what has become of all their draft picks.

    Tom Brady, and any great QB, makes up for a lot of mistakes. Had they had ANY defense, in the past 5yrs, they’d have won 2-3 SBs.

  • Lidman

    56 picks since ’07…how many really ‘great’ players are on this list?

    Gronk has been great, when healthy. Mayo has been very good, when healthy. But for as many times as ‘the great genius, Bill Belechick’ has traded down and acquired more picks, you’d think he’d hit, on just some ‘solid’ players, a bit more.

    When ‘Tommy’ leaves, let’s see how smart he is (and yes, I’ll give him credit for drafting ‘Tommy’).

  • mike

    gronkowski and hernandez alone are more valuable than all of the jets picks during the same span combined, so come on now.

    i, for one, am happy that ryan still has much input and isn’t the lame duck espn makes him out to be. kyle wilson WAS exposed last year, cromartie won’t be back in 2014, so i like the milliner pick. meanwhile the d was soft against the run last year, and richardson is a HUGE improvement over departed fan favorite mike devito. the offense still stinks, but the defense is looking much much better today than it was yesterday. that defensive line is gonna be a monster for years to come.

    now all we need is a running back who can start, a tight end who can start, a guard who can start, one or two linebackers who can start, a safety who can start, a quarterback who doesn’t turn the ball over, and depth at every position. so yeah, buck up jets nation!

  • Lidman

    Mike..look, I said Gronk, when healthy, has been great. But Hernandez? always hurt and what’s he done? You know who Hernandez is: he’s a less durable Dustin Keller. If Brady had Keller, is it hard to see him catching 80+ balls in that offense? Up until this year, he’s been very durable.

    Back to the draft, I hope they can maybe trade their 2nd and pick up a 3rd. So many productive guys still out there. Was ecstatic Mingo was scooped up, he’ll be a bust. The guy couldn’t get to the QB against college competitioni, so now he’s going to do it against NFL LTs????? Same goes for Jordan.

  • KAsh

    I think Jordan will make it in the league. But I was surprised Miami traded up to get him.

    What is the likelihood of the existence of some reverse-Bambino curse that possesses the GM of the second-place team in the AFC East and makes him mortgage the house on boom-or-bust players that come with questions attached?