1. Outside of Geno Smith, there may not be a more important player on the New York Jets roster in terms of swinging the team’s 2014 performance than Quinton Coples. If he can play to his physical talent for a full 16 games and provide the Jets a consistent threat off the edge, it will take their defense from good to great. There is no reason that Coples shouldn’t be a 12-14 sack player in this defense, based on his natural talent and the scheme.
2. When I tweeted the statement above about Coples, a few people countered with Dee Milliner as being of equal, if not greater importance. Without question, it will provide an enormous boost to the Jets back-end if Milliner can build on his final four games of the season. Is Rex going to treat him as the team’s number one cornerback next season? It will probably depend who is opposite of him and the matchup but Milliner’s importance isn’t far off from Coples. Hopefully, the Jets will supplement in the secondary with additions at safety and corner through free agency and the NFL Draft.
3. When Mark Sanchez is inevitably cut by the Jets, the best landing place for him may be Minnesota. He would have a reasonable chance to beat out Christian Ponder, could learn under Norv Turner and would be supported by a strong running game immediately. I’m not sure if we’ll ever see Sanchez start a full 16 games for another team but landing in a sensible spot like Minnesota would certainly improve his chances.
4. While I am very skeptical about his ability to ever develop into a consistently productive NFL receiver, Stephen Hill deserves and is going to get another extended look in training camp. He will have an uphill battle to fight, as he should start behind Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Free Agent Signing X and Draft Pick X on the depth chart but if he could show any type of real progress, the Jets are likely to hold on to him. The problem with Hill being your #4 or #5 receiver is that he doesn’t play special teams, which is something you normally need from that part of your depth chart. Hill will need to demonstrate enough value as a deep threat and situational player to merit keeping his roster spot, or he could be dumped or traded by the end of August.
5. He may not be as flashy or have the same “potential” but sign me up for Odell Beckham Jr at #18 before Marqise Lee. (This is under the assumption Mike Evans is gone). Beckham Jr has monster hands, competes for the football and demonstrates a great understanding of how to play receiver. This sounds dumb and simplistic but he is a football player. He plays with a toughness and explosiveness that many receivers lack coming out of college. Stephen Hill was a track star playing receiver when he left Georgia Tech. OBJ is a receiver with a strong all-around skill set.
6. Encouraging to see players like Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Geno Smith already well into their offseason programs.
7. Our Connor Rogers has his BIG BOARD live over on our NFL Draft page. Go check it out. From his board, prospects like Jace Amaro, Odell Beckham Jr, Mike Evans and Dee Ford all present good value for the Jets at #18.
8. I don’t know if it is going to come from Mike Goodson or a middle round draft pick but the Jets badly need an infusion of speed like this in their backfield.
9. …And now the Jets best three consecutive defensive plays of the season. ENJOY!
10. Muhammad WIlkerson is a terrific player and somebody who should have been an All-Pro last season. However, does anybody else think that 2 years from now, Sheldon Richardson could be the better overall player? That is how high I think Richardson’s ceiling is.
11. The Jets are very likely have 11 or 12 overall draft picks this May. I would be surprised if they didn’t select both a cornerback and quarterback somewhere between the 3rd and 5th round.
12. I remain surprised by how many people think Ed Reed played very well on the field in the seven games he was on the Jets last season. Ignore the garbage time, lollipop interceptions. He struggled heavily in both coverage and run support. It would be insane to hand him a starting job next season.