New York Jets: 2nd and 3rd Round Safety and Linebacker Prospects

A run down of outside linebackers and safeties the New York Jets could target with their 2nd or 3rd round pick

The New York Jets are in need of both an outside linebacker and a safety. Unfortunately, both holes won’t be filled with the 16th pick unless the team trades down and acquires more picks later in the draft, although they will be selecting from a decreased pool of talent if they choose that route. Fortunately, the Jets also have the 47th and 77th pick in the draft to address whatever they don’t address in round one. Here is a look at a few players they could target either at safety or outside linebacker:

Harrison Smith, Safety, Notre Dame – Opinions vary widely of him, with some seeing Smith as a borderline first round pick and others thinking he looks more like a third or fourth round prospect, Smith is versatile enough to play in the box and off the ball in the center field role. As a junior he had 7 interceptions but followed up last year with zero despite having 10 pass break ups. He performed well at the combine which has seemed to stabilize his stock as a second round pick. Smith was a two year captain at Notre Dame.

Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson – The Jets have shown a good amount of interest in Branch, who could sneak into the bottom of the first round which means they may have to trade up from 44 to grab him. Last season he had 10.5 sacks, with 4 coming in a single game against Virginia Tech. Branch had a strong combine and pro day, showing good speed and explosiveness. There is some concern about him transitioning into a full time outside linebacker but in the Jets defense, he will get to put his hand in the dirt in some pass rushing situations.

George Iloka, Safety, Boise State – He has good size (6’4, 225 pounds) but many of the pre-draft concerns are about his pass coverage skills and stiffness in his hips, which would be an issue since the Jets signed their inside the box safety in LaRon Landry. Iloka didn’t record any interceptions last season and had a couple of shouting matches with coaches on the sideline.

Markelle Martin, Safety, Oklahoma State – Considered a pure free safety. In 2010 he won the Alamo Bowl MVP thanks to a 62 yard interception return for a touchdown and breaking up two other passes. Last season, he had 74 tackles, 11 pass break ups but zero interceptions. Martin also recently had a pinched nerve in his knee which made him miss working out at the NFL Combine. He is 6-1, 207 pounds.

Vinny Curry, Outside Linebacker, Marshall – He racked up 11 sacks last season, and was able to run a 4.64 at his Pro Day despite being 266 pounds. There has been some chatter about him sneaking in the first round because of his versatility to play both in a 4-3 and 3-4 system. Obviously, the Jets seek versatile players because of their high number of personnel packages. He could end up producing at the same level of a player like Courtney Upshaw despite going lower in the draft.

Ronnell Lewis, Outside Linebacker, Oklahoma – Starting to receive a good amount of hype as a great value pick in the second round. Lewis is a solid all-around player who was nicknamed “The Hammer” by his teammates…sounds like the type of player Rex Ryan would be interested in. Last season he had 59 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss. Lewis has had injury issues in the past with his back and knee.

Trumaine Johnson, Safety, Montana – He has good physical skills, running a 4.5 forty at 6-2, 204 pounds and performed well at the combine. The Jets might be a little gun shy about taking a FCS level player after seeing how Vladimir Ducasse has developed but if coached up properly, he was the ability to turn into a very good player in time. Last season he had two interceptions and played well against Tennessee with 7 tackles, a pass break up and a forced fumble.

Bruce Irvin, Outside Linebacker, West Virginia – Irvin could be Aaron Maybin 2.0, at 245 pounds and with a ton of speed to get after the passer. But what else can be bring to the defense along with situational pass rushing? I am not sure you could play him and Maybin at the same time. He record 8.5 sacks last year after having 14 the year before.

New York Jets: Concern About Courtney Upshaw

TOJ looks at the New York Jets options at number 16 in the NFL Draft and if taking Courtney Upshaw is a smart move

The prevailing logic on the New York Jets first round pick has them selecting a pass rusher in the first round. Most draft boards have Courtney Upshaw still being available for them with the 16th overall pick. Yet, is Upshaw good value for the Jets at #16, especially if safety Mark Barron or wide receiver Michael Floyd is still on the board?

Since the off-season has started, I have written that wide receiver is not a priority position for this team. With the way their offense is built it doesn’t make sense to spend a first round pick on a receiver to put opposite of Santonio Holmes, who you have already invested huge money in. That being said, Floyd is pretty much regarded as a clear cut top ten talent right now and arguably being on the same level as Justin Blackmon. The Jets would be getting a needed big play weapon and a player who could take away double teams from Santonio Holmes, making him more productive. It is a selection that takes away from the Ground and Pound identity they are trying to build but ultimately could substantially improve their offense.

A more practical solution could be looking to move the pick if Floyd is available. There should be a line of teams anxious to get their hands on him and the Jets should be able to collect an extra second or third round pick for moving back, which will give them more versatility and options in the top 100 selections of the draft with plenty of mid-round talent.

When it comes to Barron or Upshaw, most people’s initial reaction is to take the pass rusher now and worry about safety later. If you are sold on Upshaw as a game changer rushing the passer, that is the right move but if not, it isn’t so clear cut.

Upshaw isn’t on Melvin Ingram’s level when it comes to explosiveness, speed or versatility. I am all for the Jets making an aggressive move to get Ingram but if they are going to stay put at 16 and miss out on him, Barron could be a better option.

At 279 pounds and looking more like a 4-3 end than a 3-4 outside linebacker, Upshaw could very well translate in Calvin Pace 2.0. He is going to be a productive NFL player but will he give the Jets another outside linebacker who is solid against the run, struggles in coverage and maxes out at 8 sacks in a season because he lacks elite burst off the ball? That type of addition certainly would help the defense but the Jets could survive with Pace and Bryan Thomas playing the bulk of reps for another year if that is the case.

The Jets currently have serious depth issues at safety. Right now the depth chart is LaRon Landry who has major durability concerns. Eric Smith who needs to be a role player, not a starter and Tracy Wilson who has never played a meaningful NFL snap…that’s it. This defense needs a player who can step in and start immediately. Can the Jets risk that with a 2nd or 3rd round pick or should they take the safer route with Barron if he is on the board?

I am not advocating for the Jets to ignore outside linebacker/pass rusher because they need one but maybe that is the position they look to address in round two or three, or even trading up into the back end of round one. Remember the Jets have veterans in place who can play the bulk of the reps at outside linebacker. They don’t have that at safety. If you have Barron or Upshaw to choose from and you grade out Barron higher, take Barron.

TOJ New York Jets Mock Draft 1.0

TOJ rounds up all the recent mock drafts and gives his selection on who the Jets will take at number 16 in the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is only 22 days away. Let’s take a look around at what various mock drafts have the New York Jets doing with the 16th overall pick and then we will give our current projection:

Don Banks, Sports Illustrated – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

Mel Kiper Jr, ESPN – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Todd McShay, ESPN – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Walter Football – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

Rob Rang, CBS – Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

Pete Prisco, CBS – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Draft Countdown – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

TOJ –  Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Analysis: Roll Tide. Barron and Upshaw have been popular picks for the Jets since the day the season ended. Both players were key parts of a National Championship defense and both players fill huge areas of need for the Jets. At this point it seems that Upshaw is the pass rusher who matches up the best to the Jets spot in the draft. Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples should both be off the board. Andre Branch probably could be selected in the late 20s. Despite rumors of the Cowboys being interested, #16 seems a little high for Barron who the Jets might be able to trade back a few spots and still grab. Floyd’s stock has been soaring and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him selected in the top ten.

Upshaw would be a solid selection, although there should be concern about him fitting into the 3-4 outside linebacker role. At 279 pounds and lacking an elite burst off the ball, Upshaw could be Calvin Pace 2.0. A player good against the run, who struggles in coverage and gives you 6-8 sacks per year. He has also had knee issues over the past few months.

At the moment, Upshaw does seem like the safest bet for the Jets at 16, if he is still on the board. Here are TOJ’s projections as of right now in descending order of likelihood

5. Stay Put and Take Michael Floyd – It is hard to see the Jets prioritizing a receiver in the first round with the type of offense they plan to run but Floyd’s talent could be too much to ignore if he is still available at 16.

4. Trade Up For Melvin Ingram/Quinton Coples – Mike Tannenbaum has never been shy about going to get his guy. It would cost the Jets a hefty price to move into the 7-9 range needed to select one of these guys but they could view Ingram’s value as too much to ignore.

3. Trade Down For Andre Branch – Depending on how the board breaks, the Jets could look to move back 10-12 spots and select Branch, a player they are apparently pretty high on while accumulating another pick.

2. Stay Put Or Trade Down A Few Spots For Mark Barron – The Jets could be content to take Barron at #16 if Upshaw is off the board or they could trade back a few spots and look to still grab him. An intriguing scenario could arise if the Jets trade back to the 27-29 range for Branch, see Barron beginning to fall and then use the extra pick/picks acquired in the Branch trade to hop into the first with a second pick and maybe grab both.

1. Stay Put And Take Courtney Upshaw – Seems like the safest bet at the time.

New York Jets: What Have You Done To Win Your Division?

The New York Jets must build the type of team who can consistently beat New England

There is an inevitable reality in the AFC East as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are active participants, the New England Patriots are the team to beat if you want to win the division. Until the New York Jets find a way to get past them in the standings, they will be forced to scrap for a wild-card spot and win three straight road games if they ever want to appear in a Super Bowl.

In Rex Ryan’s first two seasons as the Jets head coach, they were able to go 3-2 against the Patriots including a memorable playoff upset. In these games, the Jets were able to overcome Bill Belichick’s countermove to their talent at cornerback by building his offense through Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, thanks to terrific game planning and timely big plays from their offense.

They weren’t as fortunate last season as the Jets lost both games and never seriously threatened the Patriots for the division. On defense, the Jets couldn’t scheme around their deficiencies and they never got the needed big plays from their offense.

Why could the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots twice last year? They could hit the quarterback and they could make big plays in the passing game to take advantage of their weak secondary.

We have seen the Buffalo Bills sign Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to improve their ability to get after Tom Brady. Whether their passing game can generate big plays remains to be seen but at a minimum New England will have a difficult time protecting Brady and he shouldn’t have time in the pocket to distribute the ball to Gronkowski, Hernandez and recently signed Brandon Lloyd.

When you look at the Jets current roster, they are still yet to address their gaping hole at pass rusher. There is only so many blitzes you can throw at Brady until he beats you, hence the team’s need for a player who can simply beat his man one on one to the quarterback. There aren’t many players, if any who can adequately match up on the Patriots tight ends in single coverage. The Jets certainly aren’t equipped with them as they are still woefully undermanned at safety. They are going to need as many people in coverage as possible, meaning they don’t have the luxury to continually throw their extra defensive backs on blitzes.

The rumors have the Jets addressing their hole at pass rusher through the draft. How aggressive Mike Tannenbaum pursues the need remains to be seen but something needs to be done to enhance the speed and athleticism of the front seven.

On the other side of the football, you need to make plays in the passing game to beat New England. Think about the Jets victories over the Patriots in recent years. In 2009, Jerricho Cotchery gashed them for big plays down the middle of the field in the second half to lead a comeback victory. In 2010, Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller ripped apart their secondary in the regular season victory and in the playoffs it was Cotchery and Edwards who again did the damage.

Last season the Jets didn’t have Cotchery ripping off a 58 yard reception in the 4th quarter or Edwards hauling in a 37 yard grab down the sideline to set up a touchdown. The big plays were nowhere to be found.

They must return this year, whether it comes from Dustin Keller being used properly, Braylon Edwards returning or the Jets finding another big play receiver.

It certainly could create a dilemma for the Jets on draft day. If you are sitting at number 16 with Melvin Ingram and Quinton Couples off the board, staring at either Courtney Upshaw or Michael Floyd, what do you do? Upshaw’s stock as a 3-4 player has fallen due to his size and potential issues with his knee while Floyd’s stock is climbing every day as a big play receiver. It seems at this point that Floyd would be much better value at that spot but is the need too big to ignore at outside linebacker or can you justify taking Floyd by saying you need to replace the big plays in the passing game that allowed you to beat New England in previous years?

New York Jets Set For Big Draft

The New York Jets have ten picks in April’s draft and plenty of holes to fill

The New York Jets will head into April’s draft with 10 picks. They have a first round selection (16th overall), second round selection (47th overall), third round selection (77th overall) and then a fifth round selection, three six round selections and three seven round selections. It is worth noting that they cannot trade their compensatory picks, two of which are in the sixth round and two of which are in the seventh round.

So what can we expect from the Jets? Throughout Mike Tannenbaum’s history, he has aggressively pursued trades to acquire starting caliber players using the draft. Whether is was Thomas Jones, Kris Jenkins, Antonio Cromartie, or Santonio Holmes, he isn’t shy about parting with picks to fill needs with veteran players. Tannenbaum also has a history of trading up to acquire players the organization has targeted like Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller, Mark Sanchez, and Shonn Greene. Generally, it would be wise not to expect the Jets to stand pat with their ten selections.

The Jets still have holes on both sides of the football, most notably in three locations: right tackle, free safety, and outside linebacker. Outside of that, they could use help at wide receiver, running back and inside linebacker.

The early chatter about the draft has the Jets targeting a pass rusher with their first pick. Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples will both likely be gone by number sixteen, so if the Jets want either badly they will need to trade up into the 7-10 range. Courtney Upshaw could fall to them and if he does, expect them to snap him up. I also wouldn’t be shocked if they moved up a few spots to grab him if he slides into the 12-14 range. Finally, they have taken time to individually work out Clemson’s Andre Branch. He is a player the Jets could trade back into the late 20s to grab and acquire another pick in the process.

Mark Barron, the top safety in the draft, is also likely to be picked somewhere in the 25-35 range and the Jets could consider coupling a trade back for Branch with a trade up from their second round pick to grab Barron. The team could also choose to stay put and target Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith, the second ranked safety in the draft on most boards, with their 44th pick.

Overall, with three picks in the top one hundred and ten picks overall, the Jets need to find 2-3 new starters, whether it is through the draft and, trading picks for veteran players, or going back over the free agent market. There are upgrades out there to Wayne Hunter, Jim Leonhard, Bryan Thomas, and Chaz Schilens, it is just a matter of Mike Tannenbaum pulling the trigger.

New York Jets: Moving Forward From Tebow…

The aftermath of the Tebow press conference and where the New York Jets go from here

Tim Tebow’s press conference didn’t leave us with anything we didn’t already know. He is a class act and easily handled the 40 minutes of questions hurled at him by the media. Unless you are surprised by hearing him say that him and Mark Sanchez have a great relationship, he is going to work his hardest to do whatever the coaches ask him to do, and that faith is a big part of his life, there wasn’t anything newsworthy said today. Tebow said all the right things, which is a good start for him with the New York media.

So now we move on. Tebow is on the Jets. He will either be a successful or unsuccessful role player, push Mark Sanchez to meet his potential or lead to an ugly quarterback controversy…only time will tell. As a Jets fan, I hope it works and I will be rooting for it work. That being said, can we shift to the discussion to the NFL Draft being exactly a month away and the Jets still having many holes to fill?

Perhaps their off-season strategy will be worked around draft weekend and looking to make moves in the dust that settles after that weekend. I do know this team can’t be comfortable with a current depth that boasts Tracy Wilson as the starting free safety, Chaz Schilens as the starting split end, Wayne Hunter as the starting right tackle, and Bryan Thomas, Bart Scott, and Calvin Pace all still starters at linebacker.

Mike Tannenbaum needs to find starters by using his draft picks (the team currently has six and will likely get a few more via compensatory picks), remaining cap space, and whatever trade assets the team has.

When you look at this team needs, you would hope they are building to beat the New England Patriots. They are the team who has owned the division the past decade. They are who represented the AFC in the Super Bowl last year. They are who is preventing the Jets from getting home playoff games on a yearly basis.

From what I have seen, you beat New England by hitting Tom Brady and slowing down their tight ends. Buffalo got the memo and signed Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. It is time for the Jets to beef up their pass rush and add a safety who has some type of hope of slowing down their duo at tight end. Beyond that, it is time to make sure other teams can’t batter Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow by improving their offensive line.

I welcome Tebow to New York but I soon hope to be welcoming an outside linebacker, safety, and right tackle to join him.

Don’t Panic Jets Fans, NFL Draft Is Deep At Safety

After losing out on Reggie Nelson, Chris breaks down the safeties the New York Jets could pursue in the NFL Draft

With the Jets getting spurned by Reggie Nelson after hosting the free agent safety for a weekend long visit, it seems as though LaRon Landry is the only viable option left. But if Landry happens to politely decline an offer from the Jets as well, Mike Tannenbaum and Co. will most likely need to address this need via the draft. Many “experts” view this year’s crop of safeties to be shallow in comparison to other positions. However, when taking a closer look, this may not be the case at all. There are three safe picks that the Jets could make in one of the early rounds this year that may save their safety situation for the upcoming season.

The first, and probably most popular, of the bunch is Alabama’s Mark Barron. By now, Jets fans know who Barron is simply because his name has been linked to the team in countless mock drafts. Having played his entire career under the tutelage of defensive backs guru Nick Saban, Barron was a cornerstone to the nation’s top defense this past season, making him the safest pick at his position this year. Barron certainly has the skills and big game experience that will make him an immediate impact player on whatever team selects him.

However, the Jets are starving for a dominant pass rusher, something Rex Ryan has never had since coming to New York. The first round is poised to be filled with game changers at outside linebacker, so Tannenbaum and Ryan may opt to pass on Barron for the likes of Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, or Nick Perry.

So if not Barron, then who else? The two most quality under the radar safeties this year are Antonio Allen of South Carolina and Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith. Allen is more of an in the box type strong safety, having played the Rover position for the Gamecocks last year, but his ability to make big plays in big games should be noted. Last season, Allen’s two best games came at Georgia, where he had six tackles and a 25-yard interception returned for a touchdown, and home against Auburn in which he totaled 13 tackles, including 9 solos, and an interception. His combine numbers aren’t flashy, having run only a 4.67 40-yard dash, so Allen may be a day two option for the Jets.

Smith, on the other hand, has blown away scouts with his athletic ability. At 6’2” 213 pounds, combined with a 4.57 40 yard dash, 19 reps on the bench, and a 34 inch vertical leap, he has all the tools to be a force in both the pass and run games. A 4-year starter and Captain last season at Notre Dame, Smith has also proven to have the durability, experience, and leadership skills that should make him an asset if drafted into the right system. There is a good chance the Jets will give him a look if they choose to pass on Barron. However, at the rate his stock is expected to rise closer to draft day, Tannenbaum may have to resort back to his “Trader Mike” days and work a deal to get into the back end of the first round to grab him.

With Nelson seemingly using the Jets as leverage to obtain more money from Cincinnati, there is certainly cause for concern among Jets Nation. However, there is no reason to panic. As TOJ noted, Nelson is a good, not great, safety. Although he surely would have been an upgrade to New York’s current safety situation, he does not possess the upside of any of these three young players. Rest assured all is not yet lost for Gang Green.

Black Spring – NFL Combine & All Star Clownery

Justin breaks down the NFL Combine and what we learned from the NBA All-Star Game

Tequila is not for the faint of heart. Neither is getting whipped with a belt about 20 times as a crowd of drunken lunatics scream for more. Both things happened in conjunction Friday night at the always classy Coyote Ugly, so my attempt to cover the start of the 2012 NFL Combine was simply reduced to me trying to put enough meat in my body that blinking felt like an Olympic exercise while I heard Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks ramble on about Indy without Peyton, the beauty of the 3 cone drill, and the various difficulties of switching guards to tackles and back again.

Still, I carried on. The best thing about the combine is the back and forth that ex-players and analysts have about the combine being worthless, pointless, having nothing to do with football, yet glancing over the fact that the newest iteration of the hideous workout uniform combined with super HD cameras create an almost uncomfortable level of voyeurism as GM’s and coaches stare in the stands like they’re at some bizarro slaughterhouse or bull auction, scanning each player for body fat, wobbly knees, nose hair, tattoos, and for the Raiders – telekinetic ability. And when they’re done looking from afar, they bring them into a room with various astrological charts, gypsy psychics, polygraphs, Rorschach blots and Friendly’s style color ins.

That’s the process. So who WON the combine? RG3! The great hope for whatever god awful franchise he goes to. While Griffin can run, throw, run, run, and throw a deep ball pretty good, he played at BAYLOR. Baylor. You know what I know about Baylor? That Phil Taylor is from Baylor. And they play against some of the worst defenses in college football. Not the biggest challenge for a quarterback who is going against corner backs, linebackers, and defensive lineman that aren’t even being invited to the combine.

Before going further, I’ll admit I’ve developed an SEC bias when it comes to skill players. AJ Green, Julio Jones, Trent Richardson, Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, Mark Ingram etc. etc. Why the bias? Because it’s been proven time and time again that the new conference of power is the SEC, and it’s not even close. The PAC 12 is great except for the fact that they have Washington, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon State. The Big 12 is full of “traditional” powers that have weakened substantially and the Big 10 is old power that may or may not see some sort of resurgence in the next 10 years. Go watch Michigan State vs. Alabama in their bowl game two years ago.

But does the combine even matter any more? The combine, like the NBA and NFL all star games, is slowly being taken over by player agents, as many agents for prospective first round picks advise their players not to even bother with running or throwing. There is no upside they say, except to satisfy a bunch of analysts that have absolutely no effect on that players draft status. Too much money to risk, too little incentive to perform.

So concerning the combine, what’s the counterargument against the pro day passing against the combine passing for quarterbacks specifically? Think about this. Is a quarterback prospect going to have his college players to throw to when he gets to training camp? Is said player going to tell his offensive coordinator “I’ve never really thrown back shoulder throws, so let’s just keep things simple and maybe I can work on that stuff in the next off season”? Having something that tailored to a players skill set is almost comical when you talk about a guy who is going to be a first round pick, so he sure as hell better be able to make every throw, even if it’s with a set of scrubs in a flag football game.

So the freakshow is over, and it’s time for the truly insane to come out with 4398 mock drafts, but before that, a brief note on the NBA All Star Game. I don’t care if it is a clown-show at heart, things got SERIOUS in the 4th quarter. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made me weep tears of joy as they drained 3’s from the corner and dunked like they were in the Colosseum scene from Escape From LA. And to cap off my childlike joy Lebron James FAILED. Again. But I’ll say this, it’s the All Star Game, not the Finals. Oh, about that.

I’m still trying to come to terms with the perceived mental weakness of James coupled with the most athletic physique to ever play basketball. Maybe he will win 2 or 3 championships, but the Kobe and Jordan era is over for good, and no one will ever challenge them again, especially when the best players are on a team consisting of 3 of the top 10 players in the league that was artificially created to win a championship in the cheapest and most sacrilegious method in the history of sports. CHEATING THE SALARY CAP SYSTEM.

As I’ve said all along, Miami has no soul. So if they want to ever get to that mountain of the immortals, they better win 7, and they better start this year.

Early New York Jets Draft Thoughts

TOJ with a collection of early thoughts on what the Jets could do in April’s draft

The NFL Draft is still a few months away but with the Combine kicking off today, let’s discuss some of the early chatter about what the Jets might do this April.

1. There has been an alarming amount of talk about the Jets selecting a guard in the first round, which I am pretty sure would lead to a storming of the stage at Radio City. Listen, I understand the value of the offensive line but the Jets had three Pro-Bowlers on their line last season. They need to improve one spot on it and that is right tackle. Yes, Matt Slauson is coming back from surgery and Brandon Moore is into his 30s but if they draft a lineman in round one…it better be a right tackle and it better be after trading down.

2. So my preference is clear, I want the Jets to address their pass rush in round one even if that means moving up a few spots to get their guy. Courtney Upshaw is the most complete, ready to go player available at outside linebacker and if gets anywhere near #16 Mike Tannenabaum needs to move.

3. Mark Barron was a player originally being heavily associated with the Jets at the 16th overall pick. However, he is now recovering from double hernia surgery which will likely cause him to fall down most team’s boards. If he gets within close range of the team’s 2nd round pick (47th overall), would they consider moving up for him…especially if they stay put or trade down in the first round?

4. I am aware about the Jets having depth issues from having a limited number of picks in recent years, so it might seem crazy that I am discussing them moving up with their first two picks. However, if you get the guys you want…and need, it is the right move. Do you remember 2007? The Jets traded up for both Darrelle Revis and David Harris. I do not think the Jets will move up in both round one and round two but if they netted a duo like Upshaw and Barron by trading one or two of those picks it will be hard to complain.

5. Mike Tannenbaum has selected four running backs over the past three years and I don’t think anybody would be surprised if he added another one in the middle rounds. The Jets still need depth at the position thanks to Shonn Greene not truly proving himself as a lead back, Joe McKnight having injury issues, and Bilal Powell looking thoroughly average in limited opportunities last year. I am not throwing in the towel on any of the Jets three backs but they need insurance via free agency or the draft.

6. The Jets also need a wide receiver, particularly one with some size. Tannenbaum struck out looking for a big receiver when he selected Marcus Henry. He has had success in later rounds with smaller, slot receivers like Chansi Stuckey and Jeremy Kerley (hopefully). Now he needs to find a player to be a long term split end, unless he address the need in free agency.

New York Jets Draft: Mark Barron Out Until July With Hernia

New York Jets draft prospect Mark Barron is out until July with a sports hernia. Is this a blessing in disguise?

It has been reported today that Alabama safety and frequently mock-drafted to the New York Jets safety Mark Barron will be out until July or August with a double sports hernia. Owch.

At initial glance, this would seem to continue the recently never ending cycle of bad news for the Jets who had to be planning to give strong consideration to Barron at number 16. He is the type of athletic safety Rex Ryan’s defense desperately needs and was without question the top prospect at his position heading into this April.

However, considering the Jets equally…if not bigger need for a pass rushing outside linebacker perhaps this injury will be a blessing in disguise. How about the Jets grabbing Courtney Upshaw or Melvin Ingram at number 16 and then maneuvering up from their 2nd round pick to grab a sliding Barron? That would be a hell of a start to retooling this defense in proper manner.

The Jets have the 47th pick overall pick after their first pick at number 16. Barron was originally projected to go in the 15 – 25 range but with this injury, it isn’t crazy to think he could drift close enough to number 47 where it would be too tempting to ignore the urge to trade up for him.

A nice perk for the Jets this year is that they finally have a selection in every single round.