There is no reason not to be optimistic about how New York Jets GM John Idzik has started his career here. However, the next couple of weeks are going to present him with numerous critical decisions that will shape both the 2013 roster and the team’s future beyond the upcoming season. Let’s take a position by position look and make a few predictions on what could be on the way.
Quarterback – If the Jets select a quarterback, don’t expect it to be in the first round. Idzik won’t want to tie himself to a shaky prospect like Geno Smith with a such a high selection with his first ever draft pick as a GM. It is more likely the Jets will look to the middle rounds to add another quarterback to their depth chart. Keep an eye on EJ Manuel in the 2nd round and Zac Dysert in the 3rd or 4th round.
Idzik also needs to decide what to do with that TEBOW fella. Considering Tebow is an asset (even an extremely low valued one) and Idzik has shown he is patient, look for the Jets to wait until a few weeks after the draft before releasing Tebow, if they can’t find a trade partner by that point. They are likely waiting to see how the draft shakes out for them and other potentially quarterback needy teams.
Running Back – All eyes will be on a potential trade for Chris Ivory leading up to the Draft. If the Jets can get Ivory for a 4th or 5th round pick, it would be very good value for a player who can immediately start for them. If the Jets don’t pull the trigger, they could focus on mid-round prospects like Christine Michael or Le’Veon Bell. Regardless, it doesn’t appear they are satisfied with a Mike Goodson/Bilal Powell platoon. The trade for Ivory almost makes too much sense for it not to occur.
Wide Receiver – The Jets need to add another player or two here. Depending on if they acquire an extra pick or two, it will be interesting to see how early they address their need in the Draft. A veteran could be added at some point post-draft but it would be surprising if the Jets didn’t leave next weekend with at least one new wide receiver.
Tight End – A “must” position to be addressed in the Draft, potentially very early. Keep an eye on Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce. The Jets badly need to improve their depth here, meaning a draft pick and a bargain bin veteran could be added before the summer.
Offensive Line – Guard wouldn’t be a sexy first round pick but there remains a decent chance the Jets could consider Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper with the 9th overall pick. Either player could start from day one and could help give the Jets one of the better run blocking offensive lines in football. If a Guard isn’t taken Thursday night, it will be addressed at some point during the Draft. Brandon Moore and Stephen Peterman both remain free agents and could always be added post-draft if the team is uncomfortable with their depth.
Defensive Line – There has been some chatter about the Jets and North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams in the NFL Draft, which could make you think the team isn’t exceptionally high on third year player Kenrick Ellis. It would be surprising if the Jets didn’t add another piece to their defensive line rotation via the Draft or free agency at some point, but it doesn’t seem likely they’d spend a pick before the third round in this area.
Linebacker – If there was one player you could say was the safest guess for the Jets to take at 9 right now, it would be Barkevious Mingo. It is wide open but Mingo seems the most logical choice because of his skill-set and the Jets draft position. This team isn’t done adding outside linebackers despite bringing Calvin Pace back and it wouldn’t be shocking if they drafted two over the course of draft weekend.
Secondary – REVIS. REVIS. REVIS. The biggest decision Idzik faces is how to handle Darrelle Revis in the coming days. Does he pull the trigger before the Draft or will he remain patient into the summer? It legitimately seems like there is a 50/50 chance a deal is done in the next week at this point, if it goes through it could change the team’s entire approach to Draft weekend.
The team is also likely to draft a safety in the first three rounds. Keep an eye on Matt Elam and DJ Swearinger in particular.