The Jets will be selecting 18th overall in May’s NFL Draft and the debate rages on in regards to how they should use the pick. While the majority of the fan base and draft analysts are clamoring for a top tight end or wide receiver, there are other needs the front office must address. Let’s take a look at the not-so-obvious:
This is the game changer for the Jets defense. While Quinton Coples future seems extremely promising, the other side is a huge question mark at the moment.
Calvin Pace had a career year with 10 sacks in his eleventh NFL season. He was often given one on one match ups on the edge, even against tight ends at times. The Jets front seven was extremely overpowering and commanded many double teams, leaving Pace as the forgotten man.
Envision a young, fast, edge rusher in Pace’s role. Antwan Barnes (in limited snaps) flashed in this spot before his season ending knee injury. Although Barnes should be fully recovered by the time training camp begins, he has never been an every down outside linebacker.
While I’m not expecting an elite talent such as Buffalo’s Khalil Mack to fall to the 18th pick, there will be some nice options available on day two and day three to address this need.
Potential Selections: Jeremiah Attaochu, Kyle Van Noy, Adrian Hubbard, Morgan Breslin
3rd Down Running Back
Losing Mike Goodson was devastating for the Jets last year. Coming off a four game suspension, Goodson looked extremely explosive, a dynamic the Jets offense has lacked for the past decade (after the Joe McKnight pick did not work out).
While Goodson, much like Barnes, is returning from a season ending knee injury, he is no sure thing. Will he instantly be as explosive? Will his legal matters be solved? Question marks can lead to black holes and the Jets need a second option.
Acquiring Tampa Bay’s third round pick in the Darrelle Revis trade was a dynamite throw in last year by John Idzik. The 2014 NFL Draft will be loaded with talent left on the board on day two. Using one of the third rounders on a speedster may pay dividends.
Potential Selections: Dri Archer, De’Anthony Thomas, James White
Let me make something clear: I’m a big Geno Smith fan. I liked him a lot before the 2013 NFL Draft and was ecstatic when the Jets landed him in the second round last year.
With that being said, adding a mid round quarterback may be an intelligent idea this year for a multitude of reasons.
Reason number one: Do the Jets even have a capable back up quarterback? I never jumped on the Matt Simms bandwagon. He could not even keep his starting job in college at Tennessee. He has a big arm, but that does not make him a back up NFL quarterback by any means (a pretty significant job).
Reason number two: Geno Smith was inconsistent throughout his rookie season. He was impressive at times and horrendous at others. He’ll need to show progress in year two to show the front office he is the guy. If he is not the guy, adding another guy to develop will be key. The list of quarterbacks in this draft class is pretty extensive.
Potential Selections: Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Brett Smith, David Fales