New York Jets Draft Fit Over “Need”

Chris Gross breaks down the New York Jets drafting strategy to select players who fit their offensive and defensive scheme in 2012

With the 2012 NFL Draft officially in the books, the common theme among draft analysts seems to be placing grades on how each team did based on the players selected, and at which point they were taken. However, it is unfair to grade each team or each pick this early. Other than the fact that some of these guys have most likely not even arrived at their team facilities yet, there never seems to be enough emphasis placed on the value they hold with the particular team they’ve been drafted by. Often times when teams complete their drafts they are analyzed by how well they filled their needs and whether or not they got good value at the point in which they took particular players. However, there are variables not accounted for in this practice.

The first is that a team may not necessarily view their biggest needs the same as the people analyzing their draft. The Jets, for example, opted to pass on selecting what seem to be their most pressing needs this year – a Right Tackle, and a pass rushing Outside Linebacker. However, New York may not have viewed these positions as their highest priorities heading into the draft. There are several reasons for this.

First, with a new offensive coaching staff in place, and an offensive coordinator whose main area of expertise is with the offensive line, the team may feel that the players currently on the roster may be their best options at Right Tackle. Previously, at Turn On The Jets, we reviewed the idea that Mike Tannenbaum may still have faith in Vladimir Ducasse, a notion that seems to be getting stronger as each day passes without any activity at the position. It seems as though the Jets are confident that Tony Sparano will be able to get the most out of some combination of Ducasse, Wayne Hunter, and Austin Howard opposite D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Therefore, the Right Tackles available at certain points throughout the draft may not have held the same value to the organization as they would have with other teams.

Second, schematics of a team are often times omitted in draft evaluations. When Sparano arrived in New York this offseason, he made two things that he intended to do with the Jets’ offense very clear. He wants to be a run first team, and he wants to be able to stretch the field with big plays. Based on this, the Jets did very well in this year’s draft. Although the question marks with the team’s approach at Right Tackle will certainly be questioned into the season, and rightfully so, New York’s first three offensive selections all hold the potential to be excellent fits in Sparano’s system.

Terrance Ganaway is a very big, physical back, who will form a hard-nosed trio of runners with Shonn Greene and Tim Tebow. Robert T. Griffin should, at the least, provide some added depth to the interior of the offensive line this year, which has proved to be very crucial to this team, as displayed through the struggles it faced during Nick Mangold’s absence last season. Griffin has potential to develop and contribute nicely down the road.

Stephen Hill holds the greatest potential of all the offensive players selected by the Jets this year. Aside from the fact that his physical abilities give him one of the highest ceilings out of any player in his class, Hill seems to be perfect for the type of offense Sparano plans to implement. He has great size at nearly 6’5” and plays in the 215 lbs range with blazing speed (4.31 40). He comes from a run first offense at Georgia Tech, therefore he has a large amount of blocking experience, which will be critical to the Jets’ ground and pound approach. Most importantly, though, is his big play ability. The Jets were looking for a wide receiver to stretch the field and take the top off of opposing defense, and that is exactly what they got in Hill, who had nine catches of over 30 yards last season. He also has proved he can make people miss and create after the catch, so his big play ability is not just limited to the deep ball. To New York, Hill’s value was most likely higher than other receivers because of how well he fits with what they plan to do on offense.

Defensively, the Jets seem to have taken a similar approach. Although the verdict on selecting Quinton Coples over Melvin Ingram will be open for some time, New York most likely viewed Coples’ value as higher for what they plan to do schematically on defense. Rex Ryan seems to be focused on building this team’s pass rush from the interior before focusing on obtaining an edge rusher. Ryan has already declared that, although Coples has the athleticism to play OLB, he was brought to New York to put his hand in the dirt. Expect Ryan to run several different fronts defensively this year, as he could show more 4-3 looks than the Jets are used to. The Jets depth at defensive line is greater than it has ever been in the Ryan era, so it will be interesting to see how Rex uses that.

Among the other defensive players, DeMario Davis has the ability to be used all over the field. He will be more of a fit in the Jets’ scheme as a 3-4 ILB, but if Rex does choose to show more 4-3 looks this season, he has experience as an OLB there as well. Either way, his speed will likely make him a situational weapon for the Jets this year, as he will be able to provide help on passing downs in coverage and with blitzes from the interior.

Of the two safeties selected, Josh Bush has the potential to play right away because the Free Safety position is more open. Bush has deemed himself a safety with cornerback cover skills, so it will be interesting to see how the first team All-ACC product will do in the area the Jets struggled so badly last year. Antonio Allen will provide much needed depth at Strong Safety, while giving New York a bit of an insurance policy if LaRon Landry gets injured. Allen should contribute on special teams, and could be groomed behind the veteran leadership of Landry for the future.

It is difficult to judge how the Jets did in their draft this early. Many view them neglecting the most glaring needs on their team. While this may be the case, it is just hard to imagine an NFL team doing something like that without a plan. It is certainly fair to assume that the Jets did their homework on each player selected, and depending on what they intend to do in all three phases of the game this year, these guys were most likely viewed as the best fits for New York, which in turn made their value with the team higher than it may have been somewhere else. While the future of this team and these players is somewhat unclear at this point, the Jets, if anything, seem to have drafted for a particular type of identity, something that could finally provide some much needed stability in New York.

Initial Reaction – New York Jets 2012 Draft Class

Initial reaction to the New York Jets 2012 draft class. Boom or Bust.

 

The New York Jets left the 2012 NFL Draft with eight selected players. Many of the team’s decisions were somewhat surprising and fairly questionable. However, they did get good value in a few situations. Throughout the week we will be breaking down each player in-depth, looking at where they could fit in 2012 and beyond, along with plenty more. For now here are a few initial thoughts. The eight selections were as follows –

  • Quinton Coples – Defensive End – North Carolina – 1st round
  • Stephen Hill – Wide Receiver – Georgia Tech – 2nd round
  • DeMario Davis – Inside Linebacker – Arkansas State – 3rd round
  • Josh Bush – Free Safety – Wake Forest – 6th round
  • Terrance Ganaway – Running Back – Baylor – 6th round
  • Robert T. Griffin – Guard – Baylor – 6th round
  • Antonio Allen – Strong Safety – South Carolina – 7th round
  • Jordan White – Wide Receiver – Western Michigan – 7th round

Boom or Bust – The Jets rolled the dice with this draft class, many times choosing potential over production. The first three picks in particular have immensely high ceilings because of their athletic ability but viable questions about their transition to the NFL. At least with Hill and Davis, their motor/passion for the game is not in question. Coples is the player who needs to prove more than anybody that last year was a fluke situation and he can bring it 100 percent on every play.

In the late rounds, Bush was an off the radar prospect who apparently has the smarts to compensate for a lack of athleticism. Doesn’t that sound like Eric Smith? Ganaway had one big year and was aided by having RGIII at quarterback. However, he will now have the benefit of working with Tim Tebow in an option package.

Speed Kills – Without the question, the Jets got substantially faster and more athletic in this draft. Hill is a physical freak who has the ability to blow the top off of defenses in a way a Jets receiver hasn’t since the 1980s. Davis runs a sub 4.5 forty as an inside linebacker and should have a good chance to contribute immediately on passing downs.

How Is That Possible – The Jets didn’t select a right tackle or outside linebacker. We will get into this more throughout the week but this a borderline mind boggling decision. For now, it looks like they are ready to roll with Wayne Hunter, Bryan Thomas and Vladimir Ducasse all potentially playing big roles on the 2012 team.

Value Picks – Two stand out in particular to me, Antonio Allen in the 7th round and Terrance Ganaway in the 6th round. Allen was projected by many as a 3rd to 5th round pick but slipped because of how much time he spent in the box while at South Carolina. Allen projects as a traditional strong safety and provides needed depth behind LaRon Landry this year and could become the long term starter at the position. Ganaway is experienced with the option and could be an immediately productive player in the Jets Tebow package of plays. Bilal Powell should be on notice for a roster spot.

The Home Run – Even more so than Coples, I think Hill has the most potential to become the star of this draft class. He will start from day one and provide a much needed deep threat opposite Santonio Holmes. 6’5, 206 pounds, 4.31 forty is scary. Beyond that, Hill routinely produced monster plays down the field in college, is a willing and strong blocker on the second level and has a terrific attitude by all accounts. He could be a special player from the first second he steps on the field in this offense.

Question Coples – I have offered some harsh criticism for the Coples pick. I hate to hear motor/effort/attitude questions on a player. I also liked the Jets depth at defensive end and I’m not crazy about Mike DeVito potentially being moved to clear more reps for him. However, physically Coples has the ability to not just be a 10-12 sack guy but a 14-16 sack guy. Can Rex get it out of him?

New York Jets Draft: Thoughts On Hill And Davis

Thoughts on the Jets selection of Stephen Hill and DeMario Davis

A few quick thoughts on the New York Jets decision to trade up for wide receiver Stephen Hill and draft linebacker DeMario Davis

1. It appears the New York Jets are taking the best player available instead of looking to fill needs. They have ignored right tackle, outside linebacker, and safety despite major holes in their depth chart. With no picks in the 4th or 5th round, look for them to sign Yeremiah Bell, Chris Johnson, and maybe Vernon Carey down the road when they come to the realization that Wayne Hunter, Vlad Ducasse or Austin Howard isn’t the answer at right tackle.

2. I love the Stephen Hill selection, he is a physical freak who has the right attitude to take advantage of his natural abilities to become a big time player in the NFL. It is fair to question the value of spending a 2nd round pick on a receiver in a Ground and Pound offense but if Hill becomes the needed big play threat opposite Santonio Holmes and makes Sanchez that much better it will be worth it.

3. Davis is a great athlete with a high motor who will hopefully be starting next to David Harris at inside linebacker by next year. The Jets have put together the pieces to play a much larger share of snaps in the 4-3 instead of a 3-4. How about this for a 3rd down line up? Coples and Maybin at end. Wilkerson and Pouha at defensive tackle. Harris and Davis at linebacker. Revis, Cromartie, Wilson, Landry and a free safety in the secondary. That should be a line up that gets after the quarterback.

NFL Draft: New York Jets Day Two Preview

The TOJ staff breaks down what to look for from the New York Jets in day two of the NFL Draft

The New York Jets have the 47th (2nd round) and 77th (3rd round) pick in tonight’s draft. Myself and staff writer Chris Gross tell you what to look for. Stay tuned throughout the night as we will be updating after each selection –

The best news coming out of last night is how much talent remains on the draft board, particularly in areas of need for the New York Jets. I am going to run down a few positions and who they could target –

Running Back – I don’t anticipate them taking a running back in round two. Maybe they would consider Lamar Miller or LaMichael James if they slipped near them in round three. However, I think it is more likely they will consider Robert Turbin with one of their late round picks.

Wide Receiver – I have a tough time seeing the Jets passing on Stephen Hill or Alshon Jeffery if they are at available at 47. The team is high on both players and both have the ability to be day one starters opposite Santonio Holmes.

Outside Linebacker – Apparently the Jets are not high enough on Courtney Upshaw to make any move to trade up for him. However, would they pass on him at 47? Upshaw, Vinny Curry, and Andre Branch could all be in play at 47 as the Jets look to continue building their front seven.

Safety – It would be frustrating to see the Jets pass on Trumaine Johnson is he somehow falls to 47 but apparently they love LSU’s Brandon Taylor who they could get after the 47th pick. The Jets are leaving this draft with a safety and I think it ends up being Taylor or George Iloka.

Offensive Tackle – Jonathan Martin, Cordy Glenn, and Bobbie Massie are all players talented enough to step in at right tackle to start day one. Isn’t that hard to ignore with New England adding Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower last night?

My prediction? They end up with Alshon Jeffery or Brandon Taylor…if they are feeling frisky, maybe both. Then again, who the hell would have thought they were taking Quinton Coples last night?

Here are five routes Chris could see the Jets taking –

1 – Trade up into the first five picks of round two and select Courtney Upshaw – Upshaw has slid into the second round, something that seemed impossible a few months ago. However, with a great need at OLB, the Jets could save face with the Coples pick by moving up and selecting the Alabama product. Having fallen this far already, Upshaw is going to be an absolute steal in this draft, and it is no secret as to how I think he could help the Jets.

2 – Get an OLB other than Courtney Upshaw – If the Jets opt to not select Upshaw again, there are two names that would also fill the void at OLB. Vinny Curry out of Marshall and Andre Branch out of Clemson are both still on the board. Although they are not quite as good as Upshaw, both of these players would still provide significant improvement on the edge for the Jets. Jonathon Massaquoi is another DE/OLB hybrid to keep an eye out for in round three.

3 – Select an explosive offensive player – Whether it is one of the remaining talented Running Backs in Lamar Miller or LaMichael James, or one of the Wide Receivers that can be used to stretch the field opposite Santonio Holmes in Alshon Jeffery or Rueben Randle out of LSU. Anyone of these players would add a very good dynamic to the Jets offense, while also giving them the home run threat they so desperately need.

4 – Select a Safety – Out of the remaining defensive backs, there are three appealing names that would improve the Jets depth at safety: Trumaine Johnson, Antonio Allen, and Brandon Taylor. All bring something a little different to the table, but would provide instant upgrade to the depth at the safety position. Of the three, Taylor may be the best, while Johnson may be the most intriguing due to his physical intangibles and versatility.

5 -Select a Right Tackle – There is still plenty of talent on the board here as well. Cordy Glenn, Jonathan Martin, Bobby Massie, and Mike Adams are all have first round talent, and with a need at RT, one of them must be considered if available at pick 47.

Noticeably, the top two ranked moves on this list are to select a pass rusher. Although the Jets selected Coples, he will play a 5-technique Defensive End in the Jets scheme, so they still need to get themselves someone to apply pressure off the edge. There is plenty of talent left at this position, and New York needs to do whatever it can to get their hands on one of these players. Here are some notable non-first round picks that have made a name for themselves getting after the quarterback throughout their careers: Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Jared Allen, Elvis Dumervil, Mike Vrabel, Joey Porter, and Adalius Thomas, just to name a few.

The Problem With Drafting Quinton Coples

TOJ looks at the problem with taking Quinton Coples in the first round of the NFL Draft

If you couldn’t tell last night, I was not happy about the Quinton Coples selection. Staff writer Chris Gross has me feeling a little better about it this morning but I still have many reservations, so let me explain why.

I love Rex Ryan as head coach and I like Mike Tannenbaum as a General Manager. Both individuals have been successful more than they have not since becoming employed by the New York Jets. However, part of what makes them good at their jobs is also what leads them to making occasional poor personnel decisions. Lately, the poor personnel decisions have been outnumbering the smart ones.

They are both head strong, stubborn individuals which leads to overestimation of talent and belief in their ability to salvage any situation. We have seen Tannenbaum neglect the offensive line, believing they would be okay with Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke starting in 2007 instead renegotiating with Pete Kendall and signing a right tackle. He repeated the mistake last year by letting Damien Woody walk, installing backup Wayne Hunter as a starter and then finding no depth behind his starting offensive line.

Since Rex has taken over, he espouses the belief that he can make any player or situation work in his locker room and we have seen Tannenbaum’s draft and free agency mistakes gradually increase. What I am talking about? Let’s review the past couple of years –

–  Taking Division I-AA lineman Vladimir Ducasse in the 2nd round, switching his position immediately and expecting him to start. Ducasse has given the team nothing through 2 years.

– Bringing Derrick Mason into the locker room when he had a history of causing problems. Mason caused problems.

– Signing Plaxico Burress over brining Braylon Edwards back. Burress couldn’t get open in between the 20s and caused problems in the locker room.

– To a lesser extent, Rex pushing for another corner in round one back in 2010 when it wasn’t an area of need as the Jets took Kyle Wilson. Through two years, he has been average at best and made one impact play (an interception last year against San Dieg0). While it is too early to fully judge him, it is fair to be disappointed with his production thus far. Rex also went crazy for John Conner in the 5th round of the same draft and we have seen Conner be average at best last year when given a full time role (watch the tape).

– Last year the Jets took Kenrick Ellis in the third round. He basically redshirted his rookie year because he was nowhere near ready to play.

These recent choices factor in my judgement of the Coples selection. The Jets are coming off a poor off-season last year which led directly to a 8-8 record. They have many holes in a roster that currently resembles that of a 7-9 team, not a 10 or 11 win team ready to compete with New England. It was a smug decision to draft Coples. It was a decision that says, “we are a player or two away and we can risk it on a boom or bust prospect.”

What you need to remember is that Coples is a defensive end, not an outside linebacker. The team has already confirmed he will play with his hand in the dirt and compete with Mike DeVito for the starting end position. Instead of addressing a glaring area of need at outside linebacker, safety, right tackle, wide receiver or running back by drafting that spot or trading back to acquire picks to fill all those holes, the Jets drafted at a position where they had two capable starters (Wilkerson and DeVito and two capable backups (Dixon and Pitoitua). Beyond that, last year’s third round pick Kenrick Ellis was supposed to see reps at defensive end along with nose tackle, which he won’t have the chance to do as much anymore.

So what do you do now? Do you trade/cut Mike DeVito, start Coples and let your run defense suffer? Or do you have Coples be a rotational player on passing downs, where he would likely be most effective? Unfortunately, the Jets needed more than a rotational player in the first round, they needed a 3 down player.

The questions about Coples effort and motor are maddeningly frustrating to hear. However, if the proper veterans (Sione Pouha) stay on him and he is coached properly (pressure on Rex and DL coach Karl Dunbar), the talent Coples has is unquestionable. On physical attributes alone, he is the best pass rushing prospect in the draft. I do believe he has the skill set to be a double digit sack guy. I also believe he has the potential to be a complete non-factor this year.

The question is why do Rex and Tannenbaum need to keep rolling the dice? Why take the player with effort/attitude issues at a position where he could struggle to get reps on your roster when you could have taken a comparable player without the effort/attitude issues at a position of need? It is stubborn. It is headstrong. It is smug. It is Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum in a nutshell. The approach worked in 2009 and 2010 but came up empty last year. Let’s hope this spin of the roulette wheel ends up on the Jets number.

A Positive Analysis Of Quinton Coples

Chris Gross gives a positive analysis of New York Jets first round pick Quinton Coples

Our resident defensive lineman and staff writer Chris Gross breaks down Quinton Coples and comes out with a more positive feeling than I have about the pick – JC

With the 16th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets shockingly passed on coveted prospect Melvin Ingram for Defensive End Quinton Coples out of North Carolina. As the pick was announced, analysts and fans frantically began to point out why this was a terrible decision by the Jets. How could New York be so lucky to have Ingram fall into their laps and then opt to pass on him? To make matters worse, the Jets selected a player who arguably had more question marks surrounding him than anyone else they had reportedly been interested in.

The common flaws linked to Coples are that he does not posses the high motor, killer instinct, and relentlessness needed to be a dominant defensive lineman in the NFL. As many of these contentions may be true, they also are a bit exaggerated. There are, in fact, times in games when Coples seems unmotivated and takes plays off, but these moments are not as plentiful as they are perceived to be.

Game evaluation of Coples reveals him to be many things as a player. He is extremely big (nearly 6’6” 284 lbs), and uses that size to his advantage. Coples utilizes his hands and length very well. His reach allows him to create the separation between offensive linemen necessary for him to take control and dictate what he is going to do. He has a fantastic burst off the ball, among the best at his position, and closes the gap just as fast as any defensive lineman in the draft this year. Coples is also phenomenal against the reach block, displaying excellent ability to get his head to the outside and force every play back in. Very rarely is he caught out of position, giving up the edge.

In terms of his pass rush, Coples has fantastic maneuverability. He shows great bend and ability to dip his shoulder on his rushes, causing serious problems for any guard or tackle trying to block him. He displays excellent strength and explosion, having repeatedly run through blockers at the point of attack last year in his pursuit of the quarterback, while also showing ability to execute a double move, if necessary. He can do it with speed, strength, and technique, an immeasurable combination in a defensive lineman. Along with that, Coples plays with a serious mean streak at times shown through his aggressive style of play.

So, the obvious question is, why the harsh reaction to the pick? Although many of the negative assertions about Coples are exaggerated, they are not false. At times, Coples does take plays off and can appear lazy on the field. He tends to lose discipline, sometimes getting caught too far up field, allowing open running lanes on draws and screens underneath him. However, these flaws are nowhere near as frequent as assumed. These are aspects of his game, and character that do need to be worked on at the next level, but with an elite defensive coaching staff in New York, as well as quality veteran leadership in Sione Pouha on the defensive line, Coples can certainly eliminate them in his development.

During his senior year at UNC, Coples also suffered a drop in numbers from his junior season. In 2010, he compiled 10 sacks, while in 2011, that number fell to just 7.5. However, like any position in football, when a player has success, teams will notice that and begin to account for him. During his senior year, Coples drew the attention of every offense North Carolina faced, and for good reason. During the Miami game, in particular, the Hurricanes’ slid their pass protection to Coples nearly 100% of the time, while scheming double teams to account for him on run plays. This was very common among all of Coples’ opponents during his senior year, which was a great cause for his decreased statistics. Remember, a drop in numbers is not necessarily equivalent to a drop in production at any position along the defensive line. There are countless intangibles and contributions that do not show up in the stat line.

Along with the drop in his numbers, Coples has also somehow gotten the reputation of a selfish player. There have been several reports that he developed a “me first” attitude during his time at North Carolina. However, during his junior season, when multiple members of the Tar Heels’ defense were suspended for the year, Coples was asked to play more time at Defensive Tackle, rather than his natural Defensive End position, to account for the lack of depth. Coples did not complain, just simply went out, played, and tallied 10 total sacks that year. Prototypical “selfish” players usually don’t make such sacrifices and perform at a level like that.

The claim that Coples lacks effort, as I said, is exaggerated, yet realistic. In stretches, he has a habit of catching blockers, rather than attacking them off of the ball like he usually does. Although, these plays seem much more common late in games and at the end of long drives, which suggests that it may be more of a conditioning issue, rather than an attitude issue. This seems to make more sense, because the majority of the time, Coples does actually play with valiant effort and high motor. On one play in particular against North Carolina State in 2010, Coples chased down QB Russell Wilson on a 50 yard run, before he was forced out of bounds inside the 10. Normally, “lazy” players aren’t seen chasing anyone down from behind.

Other than his play, the largest factor that contributes to the idea that Coples was a bad pick for the Jets is that Melvin Ingram was still on the board. The common thought among Jets fans was that Ingram was the best option for New York in the first round, and to be able to stay at 16 and get him would be a huge victory. Passing on Ingram was most likely going to be an unpopular move by the Jets, so anyone else drafted in that spot was going face heavy scrutiny.

The bottom line on Coples is simple: He certainly has some question marks, but also has shown he can be a dominant football player, and his superior size and athleticism give him tremendous upside. Remember, this is the same player who drew comparisons to Julius Peppers following his junior season. If there is one coach capable of maximizing his talent and turning him into an asset in the NFL, it is Rex Ryan. Ryan, along with the veteran defensive leadership in Pouha, David Harris, and Darrelle Revis, could be just the supporting cast Coples needs to develop into a force in this league for years to come.

New York Jets Draft Quinton Coples

The New York Jets drafted UNC defensive end Quinton Coples in the first round of the NFL Draft

With Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, Courtney Upshaw and David DeCastro still on the board. The New York Jets continued their perplexing off-season by selecting North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples. Of all the pass rushers on the board, Coples had the most question marks about him and does not have the versatility to play major reps at outside linebacker. Both Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan confirmed Coples will play defensive end. He is a guy who displayed an unnerving lack of motor and passion for the game of football. Sound familiar?

Here are some excerpts of the draft reports on him leading up to draft day. Keep in mind, Coples play dropped off substantially from his senior year to his junior year. –

“Played not to get hurt. Not an elite pass rusher from the edge. Motor runs hot and cold”

“Has developed a me-first reputation”

“Marginal competitor. Does not apply himself. Lacks the heart, desire and glass eating makeup desired in the trenches and must ratchet up the intensity if he wants to play against the big boys in the pros”

Now there is a reason Coples was a first round prospect. He was a beast in his junior year (10 sacks) and had a monster senior week. He has strong explosiveness and has very good interior pass rushing moves. The reason the Jets are going to keep him on the defensive line primarily is because he will be more effective sliding between defensive end and defensive tackle on some passing downs.

What is frustrating is that Rex Ryan continually compared Coples to Shaun Ellis or Trevor Pryce, which is exactly what he did with Muhammad Wilkerson, last year’s first round pick. Coples is a defensive end and will hopefully be a good one but now that leaves the Jets will three defensive ends (look for Mike DeVito to be on the trade block), but still major questions at OLB, RT, FS, WR, and RB. Similar to free agency, the Jets have ignored their major holes and added to a position where they had capable starters.

More to come…

Turn On The Jets First Round Mock Draft

TOJ with a full first round mock draft

I had to get at least one full first round mock draft in the books. There are a few trades factored in here –

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB – Big shoes to fill in a tough rebuilding situation.

2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB – A needed move by the quarterback desperate Redskins.

3. Minnesota Vikings – Morris Claiborne, CB – You need somebody to cover Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, and Brandon Marshall.

4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB – They are idiots if they don’t take him.

5. Buffalo Bills (Trade With Tampa Bay) – Matt Kalil, OT – Fills a major need for them.

6. St. Louis Rams – Fletcher Cox, DT – Good value spot for a special talent.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon, WR – They have needed receivers since Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell left.

8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB – Matt Moore isn’t putting people in the seats.

9. San Diego Chargers (Trade With Carolina) – Mark Barron, S – Will the Jets call about moving up to take him instead?

10. Tampa Bay Bucs – Luke Kuechly, LB – Very good value for a player who should be a great three down linebacker.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Michael Brockers, DE – A nice piece to add to an improving defense.

12. Seattle Seahawks – Quinton Coples, DE – They need help getting after the QB. Boom or Bust.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (Trade With Arizona) Chandler Jones, DE – Late riser will be nice addition to front seven.

14. Dallas Cowboys – David DeCastro, G – Tough interior blocker who Bill Callahan will love.

15. Arizona Cardinals – Michael Floyd, WR – Potential big play threat opposite Larry Fitzgerald.

16. New York Jets – Melvin Ingram, OLB – The pass rusher the Jets need falls into their laps.

17. Cincinnati Bengals – Stephen Gilmore, CB – Terrific value here. Could be better than Claiborne.

18. Carolina Panthers – Dont’a Hightower, LB – Nice piece to add to their front seven.

19. Chicago Bears – Riley Reiff, OT – They always need help protecting the QB.

20. Tennessee Titans – Whitney Mercilus, DE – He will pair with Kamerion Wimbley to form a nice pass rushing duo.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB – Needed addition to their secondary.

22. Cleveland Browns – Stephen Hill, WR – Pairs with Richardson to give offense needed playmakers.

23. Detroit Lions – Cordy Glenn, OL – Too good of value to pass up.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dontari Poe, DT – Will develop behind Casey Hampton.

25. Denver Broncos – Doug Martin, RB – They need a legit number one back.

26. Houston Texans – Kendall Wright, WR – A threat opposite Andre Johnson.

27. New England Patriots – Courtney Upshaw, OLB – Good value here, could be immediate starter in Patriots defense.

28. Green Bay Packers – Shea McClellin, OLB – Pass rushing threat opposite Clay Matthews.

29. Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz, C – Should be long time anchor for line.

30. San Francisco – Nick Perry, DE – Too much talent to pass up here.

31. New England Patriots – Harrison Smith, S – Just seems like a New England type player.

32. New York Giants – Jonathan Martin, OT – Should be immediate starter.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack: Final Thoughts On The NFL Draft

TOJ with 12 final thoughts on the New York Jets heading into the NFL Draft

One last rant on the NFL Draft and a special 12 pack for you to enjoy as you saddle up for a great night of sports. Stay with us throughout the night, as I will be live blogging throughout the entire first round and updating the post after each pick. After the Jets make their selection, myself and Chris Gross will provide instant analysis. Tomorrow we will provide further analysis, along with breaking down the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Finally, the NBA playoffs do tip off on Saturday so look for a first round and Knicks preview at some point tomorrow.

1. No Trade, No Trent – It is being reported today that there is a “0.0” percent chance the New York Jets will trade up for running back Trent Richardson unless he begins to fall or they receive a “sweetheart deal.” Nothing is a 0.0 percent possibility with this team but unless Richardson unexpectedly escapes the top 5, it doesn’t sound like he will end up on the Jets.

2. He Is A Guard – There is also chatter picking up about Stanford Guard David DeCastro being a possibility for the Jets at #16. The problem is that they reportedly plan to move him to right tackle if they select him. I don’t like moving a guy out of his natural position to fit a need on your team. Don’t put a square peg in a round hole. If you want to address tackle in round one, go up and get Matt Kalil who could slide into the 7-10 range or stay put and take Riley Reiff.

3. Fighting Irish – If Michael Floyd is on the board at #16…the Jets are going to strongly consider him. If they pick him over Melvin Ingram, this website will riot in protest. I dislike taking a receiver in the first round as a “Ground and Pound” team, particularly when you badly need somebody who can get after the quarterback. Floyd over Courtney Upshaw would be slightly easier to stomach but I still would disagree with the move.

4. Trade Back – If the Jets miss out on Melvin Ingram, Mark Barron and Michael Floyd, and they feel they could still get Courtney Upshaw or Chandler Jones by trading back a few spots, I have no problem with that move. Unfortunately, that is likely a risky route because it sounds like Jones will be a top 15 pick anyway and the Bengals are reportedly high on Upshaw at #17.

5. Mid-Round Safety – Unless the Jets are going to trade into the top ten, they aren’t getting Mark Barron. Look for them to target LSU safety Brandon Taylor in the 2nd or 3rd round, unless Trumaine Johnson is available at 47…who I can’t see the Jets passing on there.

6. Lucky Break – It is starting to sound like there is a very good chance Melvin Ingram will slide all the way to #16. Keep an eye on Seattle at #12 but if he gets by them, the Jets should be in good shape. I’d be shocked if they passed on him at #16, if he was still available…shocked.

7. Day Two and Day Three – I don’t want to get too much into day two and three prospects for the Jets until I see how they handle their first pick but keep an eye on running back Robert Turbin and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

8. The Other Outside Linebackers – If the Jets don’t end up with an outside linebacker today, look for them to make a strong push for Vinny Curry or Andre Branch tomorrow.

9. Veteran Trades – I am sure the Jets will float out a few veterans in trade offers but I don’t expect anything to happen, mainly because nobody wants Bart Scott, Calvin Pace (at his money), Wayne Hunter, or Eric Smith. The sleeper is moving Dustin Keller but that still remains a long shot.

10. Disaster Picks – Dontari Poe or Quinton Coples have bust written all over them.

11. Keep An Eye On – Buffalo trading up for Matt Kalil. San Diego trading up for Mark Barron. Tampa Bay trading up for Trent Richardson.

12. 7 Paths For the Jets…

  • Take Melvin Ingram at 16
  • Take Michael Floyd at 16
  • Take Chandler Jones at 16
  • Take David DeCastro at 16
  • Trade Up For Mark Barron
  • Trade Way Up For Trent Richardson
  • Trade Back For Courtney Upshaw

Final Thoughts On New York Jets & NFL Draft, Part 1

Chris Gross gives his final thoughts on the New York Jets heading into the NFL Draft tonight

In part 1 of our final thoughts on the NFL Draft, staff writer Chris Gross gives us a review of what to look for this weekend. Check back in a few hours for my final thoughts and a first round mock – JC

After extensive review and evaluation at Turn On The Jets all week, I have a few final thoughts regarding the Jets potential moves before Roger Goodell takes the podium at Radio City Music Hall tonight.

5 Moves I’ll Be Happy With

1. Stay put and draft Courtney Upshaw – By now its obvious that I feel this will be the best move for the Jets. I’ve gone over everything I love about Upshaw and how I think he will be a tremendous fit in Rex Ryan’s defense.

2. Trade Up for Mark Barron – Barron is another player I feel will be a great fit under Ryan. The Jets still need help at safety, and although Yeremiah Bell is on the radar, Barron could team with Revis to form a dominant secondary for years to come. Depending on the asking price, I think Barron is worth jumping ahead a few spots.

3. Stay at 16 and draft Melvin Ingram – I have not been very high on Ingram at all. I still feel Upshaw is the better player and should be taken over him if both are available. However, if Ingram can be had without making a trade and New York opts to select him, I will be all for it. As I have said, he has tremendous upside. He is strong, fast, athletic, and versatile and I have to believe that if Ryan takes him, it is for good reason. Rex can certainly get this promising prospect to fulfill his potential.

4. Somehow end up with Fletcher Cox – Odds are Fletcher Cox will be selected before pick 16, so if this were to happen, the Jets would likely have to trade up for him. However, like Barron, I think he is one of the few players worthy of the sacrifice. Cox will undoubtedly have an impact right away, and his explosiveness and tenacity will upgrade the D-Line to one of the best in football.

5. Select Michael Brockers at pick 16 – I would not be very fond of trading up for Brockers, simply because I do not think he holds high enough value at his position to be worthy of such a move. However, if he can be had at pick 16, or even by trading back a few spots, I would gladly be on board. Brockers has tremendous size and ability to be a great 5-technique on the Jets defensive line, and would provide a great interior pass rush playing opposite Muhammed Wilkerson. This would help to get pressure off of the edge with the amount of attention offensive lines would have to pay to the interior.

5 Moves That Will Have To Prove Their Worth

1. Trade Up For Melvin Ingram – As I said, if Rex sees something to take Ingram over Upshaw, I trust his judgment. However, from what I have seen on him, I don’t like the idea of sacrificing picks to get him.

2. Select Chandler Jones at any point – Whether they take him at 16 or trade back, Jones will have a lot to prove. I do think that he has the potential to be a fantastic player in this league. His size and athletic ability give him an extremely high ceiling.

3. Draft Quinton Coples – Like Jones, Coples has a very high upside as he is very athletically gifted and has great size. However, as much as I hate to say it, I see too much of Vernon Gholston in him to immediately support a move like this.

4. Trade Up For Trent Richardson – The only reason I put this move in this category is because of what it will cost the Jets. There is no doubt in my mind that Richardson will be an elite NFL Running Back, however if New York is going to sacrifice the necessary picks to obtain him, he better become that in a hurry. Giving up a first rounder next year is a serious gamble, and although I think it will pay off, I’d still need to see it happen.

5. Draft Michael Floyd – I do like Floyd, but with the holes on defense, and the Jets clear commitment to the run game, I’m not very fond of the idea of taking a Wide Receiver in the first round. Alshon Jeffery could be available in round two, and although he may not be as polished as Floyd, he could still develop into a great player.

2 Moves I Would Hate

1. Taking Dontari Poe  – As I wrote in my D-Line preview, Poe would not be a good choice for the Jets and they should not consider him at any point. He does not play up to what his combine numbers show, and he seems extremely lazy. I’m not saying he will not develop into a good player, I just think the Jets would be wasting their pick on him. This would be a terrible decision, and one that I would be shocked to see.

2. Taking an Offensive Lineman In Round One – I do realize the Jets need a Right Tackle, but there is so much talent at other positions of need in the first round. The Jets have neglected this position while there is decent talent still available on the free agent market (Vernon Carey), so to see them use their pick on a position they seem comfortable with would not be good.

Names to Keep An Eye On

Running BacksDavid Wilson, Lamar Miller, Doug Martin, LaMichael James. All of these players would be quality second round selections, and would all add speed and explosiveness to the Jets running attack. Each of them would bring a different dynamic to the table and would complement Shonn Greene well. Of the bunch, Miller is probably the fastest, Wilson is the most complete, and James has been the most productive at the college level.

Outside LinebackersVinny Curry, Jonathan Massaquoi, Bruce Irvin. Curry and Massaquoi have good size and average speed at the position. Conversely, Irvin has below average size, but excellent speed. Curry has the potential to be drafted the highest, but I don’t necessarily see him as being that much better than Massaquoi or Irvin. Irvin certainly has the highest ceiling, but comes with some baggage, having had multiple run ins with the law in his past. None of these players are comparable to the OLBs who could be obtained in round 1, but if the Jets opt to go in another direction, they all could develop nicely down the road.

Alshon Jeffery, WR South Carolina – Jeffery is reportedly on the Jets radar and for good reason. He has tremendous size at nearly 6’3” 216 lbs, and good speed to go with it, having run a sub 4.5 40 at his pro day. He would provide the Jets with the big target capable of stretching the field that they need opposite Santonio Holmes.

Vontaze Burfict, LB Arizona State – I’ve defended Burfict throughout the entire draft process arguing that his character was being unfairly judged and that his lackluster testing numbers do not hamper his abilities on the field. However, Burfict made me eat my words this week when news broke of a positive drug test at the combine. Although I do think he has some mental issues he needs to work out, I still stand by my assertion that Burfict has the ability to be a great linebacker in this league. He needs to get into the right situation, with the right people around him, and believe it or not, I think the Jets would be perfect for him. As much as the Jets are perceived to have a circus like atmosphere, I do think that Rex Ryan is one of the best player coaches in the league, and despite what happened last year, can still get his guys to buy in as good as anyone. It would do Burfict wonders to be around guys like Mangold, Revis, Harris, and Ferguson. If he could be had in one of the later rounds, which I think is very realistic, he would be a pick worthy of the risk for New York. He has the potential to form a deadly combination at Inside Linebacker with David Harris in the future.