Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – Bring On The NFL Draft Edition

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The NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, which means the time for SUPER BOILING HOT DRAFT TAKES is coming to an end and we could see actual players selected (hooray!) Here are 12 quick Sunday thoughts on the New York Jets, the NFL Draft and a few other miscellaneous things. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

1. Cornerback seems to be the most popular position pick of choice for the Jets right now. Without doubt, it is a position of need. Outside of tight end, it is probably the greatest position of need, depending on how you feel about the team’s safeties and linebackers. However, I’m not sold the position is currently the unmitigated disaster that some make it out to be. Let’s be clear, the Jets were putrid at corner last season. Antontio Cromartie was arguably the worst starter in the NFL last year and Dee Milliner’s growing pains were…painful.

Milliner is more likely to resemble the player he was in December last year, than the player he was in November. A full offseason and the experience gained down the stretch in 2013 should do wonders for him. We’ve been big Darrin Walls fans here since last offseason and the simple reality is he can’t be worse than Cromartie last season. Dimitri Patterson has health concerns but is a competent player when healthy. Even with no additions, the Jets are going to be better than they were at corner last season and if a few things break their way (Milliner progressing the way he should, Walls playing to his potential and Patterson staying healthy), they could be much better than many expect. Now, to be fair you are counting on a handful of “ifs” there and depth is always critical. If you get a crack at Dennard in round one, you pull the trigger because he is the top corner in the draft and is great value at 18. If you get a crack at Roby in round two because he slides, you pull the trigger because you are getting first round value in the second round.

Yet, the Jets don’t need to reach with one of their early picks or go for broke to land a corner. If the board breaks against landing one on Thursday or Friday, it will not be the end of the world that some make it out to be. A trade for a veteran is also not off the table, either during draft weekend or as training camp gets closer.

2. Our friend Evan Silva has suggested the Jets should avoid adding a receiver like Odell Beckham Jr, Brandin Cooks or Marqise Lee with the 18th overall pick. His reasoning is that the Jets are building to be a ground and pound team and it is wasteful to add a receiver who won’t be utilized heavily in 2014. We are fans of Silva but disagree on this thought process. If a player like Beckham Jr is the right value pick at 18, the Jets shouldn’t hesitate to draft him at all. You aren’t just drafting for the 2014 roster with your 18th pick. The Jets need a Z receiver to round out their position group and to get the most out of Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley. Geno Smith thrived when he had three competent receivers on the field last season and a Beckham Jr type gives the Jets the opportunity to have a very strong top three. Beyond that Beckham Jr adds to the return game as well and the overall playmaking of the offense, which is needed.

I’m not sold the Jets are going to be a 15-20 pass attempt team every single week. They are going to be gameplan specific and have weeks when they throw 30-40 times. Marty Mornhinweg frequently has three receivers on the field. Wide receiver should remain seriously in the discussion for the 18th pick.

3. The Jets have wasted an inordinate amount of draft picks on fullbacks in recent years. Yet, they could use an upgrade to Tommy Bohanon and I could see them take a late round player at the position. It also remains to be seen how big of a role a traditional fullback plays in the offense in 2014. Could we see an influx of two halfback sets thanks to the Jets strong depth at the position?

4. Interesting tweet from our offensive line guru, Mike Nolan.

5. I don’t buy the Jets having any serious interest in Kelvin Benjamin, particularly in the first round. The lesson has to have been learned on project receivers, nevermind that Benjamin is already 23 years old…stay away. Similar to other misguided “interest” reports earlier in the offseason, these are likely being funneled by Benjamin’s agent.

6. I will release my only mock next week but as of today I’d still feel safest projecting Jadeveon Clowney as the top pick to the Houston Texans. I’m also not sure Teddy Bridgerwater and Johnny Manziel are going to have quite the steep fall that many are projecting.

7. I’d like to see another inside linebacker added at some point during the draft. It is becoming a somewhat devalued position but the Jets need to think long term as David Harris’ career starts winding down. Demario Davis is an intriguing but flawed player, particularly in pass coverage. Hopefully he takes strides this season but his ceiling may be as an average/competent starter.

8. Quinton Coples is the biggest x-factor/swing player on the Jets defense heading into 2014. Is he going to take the leap, reach his potential, become a double digit sack guy and get his play on the Wilkerson/Richardson/Harrison level or remain a player who only shows flashes? The Jets defense goes up a notch if he becomes the edge player they need him to be. Antonio Allen, Walls, and Davis are also critical swing players. If Allen is playing the proper amount of reps and builds on last season, he could be the difference maker the Jets have missed at safety…for seemingly forever.

9. Very curious to see how Oday Aboushi, Ben Ijalana and Will Campbell look in training camp and the pre-season. We didn’t see anything last year to lead us to believe that any could turn into a competent starter down the road but hopefully with another offseason, at least one of them can be a guy that ascends to a starting role in 2015.

10. The Jets still need a blocking tight end. Considering how they have approached the position in recent years, it may be naive to think the Jets would take two tight ends in the draft, one who is primarily a receiver and one who is primarily a blocker but nothing on their depth chart currently should suggest avoiding that course of action.

11. We’ve been all over the map with our draft night plans but hope to have something concrete in the next 24-48 hours. Whatever it will be, it will be in NYC, be casual, free and involve a live podcast…that’s all we got so far. Our blogging is currently better than our event planning.

12. Good read from Connor Rogers over at BDTP on Sammy Wakins.

  • KAsh

    People seem to forget what the Jets’s honchos have said about what they are looking for in a receiver. Idzik has said that he was going to get a #2 receiver in FA and look to draft a potential #1 receiver (his words, not mine). MM has said that he is looking for college prospects that can beat bump-and-run coverage. And with the additions of CJ2K, Vick, Geno becoming a more willing runner, and the offense incorporating more screens, any new receiver must be a willing blocker (i.e. do the job to the best of his physical capabilities). We need a list of attributes to gauge fit, instead of going by supposed interest.

  • Kyle

    I am really starting to think the jets will go defense in round 1. Although it would be nice to draft OBJ or cooks with the 18th pick, the defensive talent there is too hard to pass up. Dennard Dix or Pryor are immediate starters that can contribute from day 1. Anyway there are receivers that can be selected in the middle rounds that are able to gain separation from press coverage better than OBJ or Cooks.
    Idzik doesn’t draft for need and just watch come draft day, the flashy receivers we want will be off the board and everyone will complain that we took a defensive player. I bet that the player will be a all pro caliber player for the next 8 years.

  • Stevesc

    My thought was that when the Jets signed CJ, they would use the 18th pick for a corner rather than a receiver. The Jets will have a potent running game, which in turn will take a lot of pressure off Geno Smith, whom I believe will be the starter. If Stephen Hill can up his game, added to his strength which is run blocking, the first round pick for a corner seems more likely. Receiver can be addressed in later rounds. We know Rex loves Dennard, who is rated the best press coverage corner in the draft. If he is still available at 18, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were picked, or even traded up to land him. IMHO.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    1. I would be shocked if the Jets dont add a CB or two in the draft as it is a team need & the draft has a lot of talent at that position.

    2. I’m not convinced the team will return to “ground & pound.” If this were actually true, common sense would dictate that improvements at TE (particularly a TE that can block) & FB would have been prioritized this offseason.

    3. IMO any competition at the FB position should come from UDFA or signing a released veteran. It seems foolish to draft a FB in consecutive years, unless there is a hybrid H-back/FB/TE that the team is convinced can be a solid contributor.

    4. It sure would be great if Winters improves substantially this offseason.

    5. With Idzik running the team, it seems fair to assume most media reports are false.

    7/8. LB depth is probably the team’s biggest “under the radar” issue. Pace & Harris are aging & limited, while Coples & Davis are young & have potential, its unclear how much of that potential will be realized. A mid-round pick or two could provide a boost to the coverage units on special teams immediately while allowing the young player(s) time to be groomed as replacements.

    9. It’ll be very interesting to see these three in the exhibition games. Are any capable of actually being a decent backup this year? I’d hate to see Geno put into a position like Sanchez was when the team faced the Ravens without Mangold.

    10. I thought MM historically avoided the use of blocking TEs, & if that is correct, I suspect anyone hoping the team adds one will be disappointed. That being said, it really would be nice if the team a TE that is at least an average blocker rather than another oversized WR.

  • http://twitter.com/MedicFL1 James Boyd (@MedicFL1)

    The JETS have stated their wish to keep pass plays to 20 and under this year.
    To that end, besides the obvious CB/S need, I believe the team will need to p/u another RB, Carlos Hyde comes to mind to mix w/POWELL.
    Aside from our knowing that they’ll go after a WR/TE we remain thin on depth to the O-line and QB.
    I have no reason to believe Vick will stay/contribute. He didn’t even blink at changing his number,a telling sign given his history with it.
    Take a look at all the 1/2 year contracts we have. With these 12 picks there is a lot of work to be done and “best at position” picks keeps ringing in my ears.
    Idzik is in no hurry to field an instant team and has left a lot of doors open re; only picking up MO’S option year – bad move or again a telling sign.
    These players have an uncertain future for sure with the JETS as Idzik will continually build for the sustainable success he raves about.
    Great tagline but no veteran is safe with the way his mind works.
    Not looking forward to another 5 years of building.

  • Justin C.

    @James Boyd
    What makes you think that we are thin at the quarterback position? We have three players at the position in Geno Smith, Mike Vick, and Matt Simms. I understand that Mike Vick is not in the long term plan for the team, but that does not mean that you overcrowd the position this year and be put in a position of having to either cut Matt Simms, the rookie quarterback drafted, or a good player at another position. I am alright with the depth (or in your opinion, lack of depth) at the quarterback position for the 2014 season.

  • mattimar

    I will be bored to tears with another CB in round one irrespective of need. As far as ground and pound, I hope that ship sailed. Teams need to be able to really pass the ball (that is one reason why insider LB is devalued). Lastly they need more than a blocking tight end. I for one hope that they do get one of the top 3 or 4 WR’s in the draft and then get a highly rated TE. We can then go get the OLB, CBs, Olineman and inside linebackers that you suggest. They have wasted too many draft picks on FB’s, low rated QB’s etc. Time to get skilled and add some depth.

  • Steve Windeler

    We need a blocking TE that can catch, kind of like Celek. I’m still not sure how Philly keeps all three TEs. I’m waiting to see what happens there.