New York Jets Draft Muhammad Wilkerson

The New York Jets got excellent value with their 30th selection in the first round by selecting Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. Most people didn’t expect him to fall this far in round one and Mel Kiper Jr promptly called it “arguably the best pick of the first round.”

Wilkerson is 6’4, 315 pounds and has the versatility to move back and forth between tackle and end on the Jets defensive line. Rex Ryan must be thrilled for the opportunity to mold Wilkerson into the Jets version of Haloti Ngata. They badly needed to improve their depth on their defensive line and get younger at the position. There is a very good chance Wilkerson will move right into the starting line-up, especially if Shaun Ellis doesn’t come back next year. He could slide over to defensive end or the Jets could move Sione Pouha out to end. Wilkerson will likely see time at both positions, regardless.

TOJ Running Draft Commentary

TOJ’s first ever running NFL Draft commentary, follow for instant feedback on each pick —

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, Quarterback, Alabama – The only logical choice for the Panthers, who weren’t going anywhere with Jimmy Clausen under center. Look at the other quarterbacks in this division, they had to make this pick.

2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller, Linebacker, Texas A&M – Denver desperately needed help on defense. Miller arguably provides the most instant impact on defense of anybody on the board. It looks like Tim Tebow will get a shot to be the guy for the Broncos.

3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle, Alabama – Buffalo decides to go defense instead of addressing their quarterback position. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see them trade up into late in the first round to attempt to add a quarterback. How long can the Ryan Fitzpatrick era go on? I’d be more worried about the Dareus pick if we didn’t have that Nick Mangold guy.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, Wide Receiver, Georgia – All the talent without all the drama of Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens. I wonder if this will help convince Carson Palmer to stick around?

5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, Corner, LSU – Some help for selfish Kerry Rhodes in the secondary. Peterson should be a star…probably not an Island…but a star.

6. TRADE – Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama – The Falcons offered up a ton to grab some support for Matt Ryan and Roddy White. Their offense is going to be a handful for a long time with White and Jones on the outside. Cleveland got a nice haul in this deal, gaining a 1st and 4th rounder next year.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Aldon Smith, Defensive End, Missouri – No quarterback for the 49ers. I think Jim Harbaugh is hoping for 3-13 so he can draft Andrew Luck next season. Smith will provide an instant boost to a 49ers defense that is pretty good already.

8. Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker, Quarterback, Washington – A bit of a surprise here. Clearly the Titans got tired of Vince Young’s antics, Kerry Collins’ age and Rusty Smith’s awfulness.

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle, USC – A smart pick for the Cowboys who need to improve their protection so Tony Romo can make it through a whole season.

10. TRADE – Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback, Missouri – A bold move by the Jaguars who finally realized they were never going to get where they wanted in the AFC South with the inconsistent David Garrard under center.

11. Houston Texans: JJ Watt, Defensive End, Wisconsin – Houston probably should have thought about improving their secondary because the last time I checked things like this were happening:

12. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder, Quarterback, Florida State – Very surprised to see Ponder go this high but the Vikings clearly knew they weren’t going anywhere with Tavaris Jackson under center. The bottom line is that Ponder was a reach and they could have traded back for him. You never want to hear comparisons to Chad Pennington on draft day and I loved that guy.

13. Detroit Lions: Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle, Auburn – The Lions are building something serious on defense right now, with Ndamukong Suh up front along with Fairley, who shouldn’t have fell this far.

14. St. Louis Rams: Robert Quinn, Defensive End, North Carolina – A good pick for an improving St. Louis defense, who are disappointed they couldn’t get their hands on one of the big time receivers.

15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, Center, Florida – The Dolphins improve their offensive line instead of looking to add Mark Ingram. Not a bad move by the ‘Fins who are hoping to get their version of Nick Mangold…without the hair.

16. Washington Redskins: Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End, Purdue – A solid, safe pick for the Redskins who will improve a defense that has some quality pieces on it.

17. New England Patriots: Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle, Colorado – Clearly New England got tired of seeing things like this —

18. San Diego Chargers: Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle, Illinois – Wouldn’t have minded seeing the Jets get Liuget, regardless he is a good, versatile player who will improve the Chargers front seven.

19. New York Giants: Prince Amukamara, Corner, Nebraska – Clearly the Giants have some Revis Island envy…can’t say I blame them. A good value pick who will improve their defense.

20. Tampa Bay Bucs: Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End, Iowa – Good value for the Bucs here, who needed to boost their defensive line. Happy to see that Muhammad WIlkerson is still on the board.

21. TRADE Cleveland Browns: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor – Arguably the most popular player linked with the Jets during the months of mock drafts goes to the Browns. Surprised he went before Wilkerson, who becomes the favorite for the Jets along with Akeem Ayers.

22. Indiannapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle, Boston College – Peyton Manning is thrilled Castonzo fell this far to the Colts who get a steal with the 22nd pick.

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Danny Watkins, Guard, Baylor – Might have been a bit of a reach here with some of the talent still on the board but the Eagles are never shy about improving their offensive or defensive front. The guy is already 26 years old though.

24. New Orleans Saints: Cameron Jordan, Defensive End, California – Fell a little further than expected but the Saints certainly needed the help up front after their pathetic display against the Seahawks in the playoffs last year.

25. Seattle Seahawks: James Carpenter, Offensive Guard, Alabama – Um…who? Surprised they didn’t opt for Andy Dalton. How can they be that confident in Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst?

26. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Baldwin, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh – Anybody who watched the Chiefs playoff game last year knows how bad they needed help at wide receiver, Baldwin might have been a slight reach but he addressed a major need and has a great combination of size and athleticism.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Jimmy Smith, Corner, Colorado – Not a surprise pick. Smith has character issues but is a top ten talent who will be a great fit on the Ravens defense.

28. TRADE – New Orleans Saints: Mark Ingram, Running Back, Alabama – Ingram is a hard downhill runner who Sean Payton will get the most out of. There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas so a good move for New Orleans.

29. Chicago Bears: Gabe Carimi, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin – I think we can all agree the Bears badly needed to improve their offensive line.

30. New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive Tackle, Temple – Much more to come…

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward, Defensive End, Ohio State – Another defensive lineman. Heyward is a polished player who should contribute right away.

32. Green Bay Packers: Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State – Can’t argue with the champs.

No, Da’Quan Bowers in round one? Wow.

One Last Dump Of Mock Drafts & Other Pre-Draft Hype

One last dump of mock drafts and a few other video clips and notes to get you prepared for tonight —

Mike Mayock

Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

Rick Gosselin

Derek Sherod, OT, Mississippi State

Wes Bunting

Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

Mocking The Draft

Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

Football’s Future

Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona

ESPN (Kiper)

Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

ESPN (McShay)

Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

SB Nation

Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

NY Daily News (Mehta)

Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

ESPN NY (Cimini)

Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

Turn On The Jets (Malvisi)

Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

Turn On The Jets (Myself)

Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

SB Nation NY (Celletti)

Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

The Jet Report (Rosenthal)

Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

The Green Lantern (Capellini)

Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

It is about that time

A few final notes/predictions…

  • Cam Newton is going number one.
  • Blaine Gabbert is going number three to Buffalo.
  • Miami is taking a quarterback in the first round.
  • New England will trade up for Cameron Jordan.
  • The Giants will take Gabe Carimi.

TOJ’s draft preview for Gunaxin

Final Thoughts Heading Into NFL Draft

The amount of speculation and rumors has reached such a high level right now that it has me counting the seconds until 8 PM so we can see what actually happens. Actually, the draft has been one-upped by the decision of the NFL to follow the legal rulings against them (their record in court in starting to resemble the Panthers record on the field last season) and open the doors to all team facilities tomorrow…so let’s hope it is hopping in Florham Park, as the Jets look to get over the hump of the AFC Championship Game, where their season has ended the past two years. There is also talk free agency and trades could be open by Monday morning…which means the amount of NFL news coming out in the next few days could make all of our computers explode.

When it comes to the Jets, they have consistently been linked with two players over the past few months, Phil Taylor and Akeem Ayers. Personally, I don’t think Taylor will end up being the guy. As a matter of fact, here are my thoughts on what will happen with that 30th pick tonight:

Jets Stay Put at #30 (70%) – If Muhammad Wilkerson happens to fall this far, I think the Jets jump on him and hope Rex Ryan turns him into his next Haloti Ngata. However, in the likely case that Wilkerson is gone, I think it is between Akeem Ayers and Brooks Reed, with Cameron Heyward being an option if both are off the board.

Jets Trade Back (30%) – The Jets trade back into the second round with one of the quarterback hungry teams who are looking to move to #30. In this spot, the Jets could look at Stephen Paea or Jabaal Sheard. Perhaps, they will catch a break and still be able to snag Ayers, Reed, or Heyward if they don’t move back too far.

Final Prediction – In the end, I think the Jets end up with Ayers who didn’t blow anybody away with his combine numbers but produced on the field at a major program, which is more important than any workout.

Draft Week Arrives: Uncertainty Surrounds Jets

Round one of the NFL Draft is only a few short days away and despite having an idea of what direction we think the Jets will go in, position wise, the 30th selection in the draft remains very up in the air. Will the Jets…

  • Address their defensive line by adding Muhammad Wilkerson if he happens to fall to them or by taking Phil Taylor despite his the injury concerns? Could they add a five technique like Cameron Heyward?
  • Improve their pass rush by taking Akeem Ayers, Justin Houston, or Brooks Reed to play outside linebacker? Ayers has been a popular pick  for the Jets the past few months, yet Reed is becoming a hot name and shooting up many draft boards. Houston has questions about his motor and consistency, which should make the Jets gun shy considering that whole Vernon Gholston thing.
  • Surprise everybody and ignore their defensive front seven in round one and add to their secondary or maybe reach for a wide receiver. Cornerback Jimmy Smith would be intriguing if he fell to 30 and Rahim Moore is the best safety on most people’s draft board and he should also be available. Wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Jonathan Baldwin would be reaches but the Jets could be feeling a little desperate with Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Brad Smith all free agents.
  • Disappoint all the fans who show up Thursday night and trade out of the first round. Mike Tannenbaum might want to trade back into round two to acquire more picks and then look to target somebody like Stephen Paea or Jabaal Sheard.

The Jets front office is rarely predictable. Regardless, you would assume this will be a defensive heavy draft for the Jets who need to get younger and improve their depth at all three levels. You would also think the Jets want to leave this draft with at least six players, if not more considering they have only made seven selections the past two years.

What Can Jets Get Out Of Joe McKnight Next Year?

The highlights of Joe McKnight’s rookie season were vomit, fumbles, and failed conditioning tests…not exactly what the Jets were hoping for when they traded Leon Washington away and drafted McKnight in the 4th round last year.

There was a flash of light at the end of the tunnel however when McKnight played well in the Jets meaningless regular season finale, posting 158 yards on 32 carries. He also began to become a decent special teams contributor toward the end of the season. Did McKnight learn his lesson and was this a sign of things to come, or are we kidding ourselves getting excited about a game that was treated like the pre-season and a few good reps on the punt team?

Rex Ryan has talked about giving McKnight a bigger role on the offense in his second year. The Jets drafted him to be their long term third down back but he won’t quite have that role this year because of LaDainian Tomlinson’s presence. Regardless, you would think the Jets will have a package of plays to keep him involved on a consistent basis.

McKnight was drafted because of his speed and versatility. He has the ability to be split out and be a threat catching passes out of the backfield. When the Jets decide to attempt a screen pass (which has been a recurring nightmare under Brian Schottenheimer), McKnight should be a frequent target. He should be also getting reps on stretch plays and tosses that take advantage of his speed.

It is has also been revealed that Jim Leonhard will no longer return punts, which opens up an opportunity for McKnight  on special teams. There is also a chance he could be the team’s kick returner if Brad Smith doesn’t come back next season.

Nobody is expecting a monster year from McKnight in 2011. Yet, he needs to provide a few productive plays each week on offense, along with becoming a reliable returner. If he can do that, he will take a big step in the right direction towards becoming this team’s long term third down back.

12 Pack Of Jets Off-Season Thoughts – Edition #7

The 12 pack is back with a very special Decertification Edition

We are actually going to take a slightly different approach today with the 12 things TOJ will miss the most about the New York Jets if there is an extended lockout/legal battles/whatever is about to happen with these CBA negotiations, in no particular order…

1. Rex Quotes – My favorite television shows of all-time are Lost, The Wire, The Sopranos, and…Rex Ryan’s Press Conference. The first three are already off the air, and now I have to deal with the fourth going away? I don’t know about you but I will miss a Super Bowl guarantee every other day, excessive praise for Jets players, and of course wigs.

2. Game Ending Heroics —

3. Bizarre Breakfasts – How many random mornings were made more entertaining by a bizarre Jets headline this past year? Who is making foot fetish videos? Who is sleeping with a 17 year old? Who has cursed out Tom Brady on the front of the Daily News? Now we have to read about legal proceedings every morning…

4. Waiting for another interview like this

5. Bashing Schotty – If there is no games, there is no reason to write five paragraphs trying to explain why Brian Schottenheimer called a reverse to Jerricho Cotchery on 2nd and 1 that went for a 9 yard loss.

6. The LT Glide

7. The Progress – The last two years have been major steps in the right direction for the New York Jets organization. It would figure that when they are on the precipice of being a Super Bowl team this type of legal mess would occur.

8. The Smack Talk – You can’t run your mouths to Patriots fans if the two teams aren’t playing and you can’t run your mouths to Giants fans if Eli Manning isn’t throwing four interceptions every game because he isn’t on the field.

9. Eating A Goddamn Snack

10. Free Agency Madness – This time of the year is usually reserved for constant refreshing of the computer to see what big name the Jets have signed or traded for.

11. Talking Football With All Of You, Not Legal Matters – Debating, yelling, arguing, cursing with all of you about the Jets and the NFL is a hell of a lot more fun that talking about decertification and appeal courts.

12. Just a sad day for all us NFL fans.

A New Member Joins the TOJ Team

As always, follow us on twitter at, www.twitter.com/TurnOnTheJets and on facebook at www.facebook.com/TurnOnTheJets to get your up to the minute TOJ news.

TOJ would like to welcome a new member to our writing team, AJ Malvisi from Bucknell University, making the Patriot League well represented here (I went to Lehigh for graduate school). AJ will be leading our coverage of the NFL Draft, but first here is a chance to get to know him a little better…

My name is AJ, and I’m going to be the new contributor at TOJ, I’m really excited about this opportunity to talk New York Jets football in the coming weeks with you guys, but first let me clarify a few things.  No, that isn’t a young Darrelle Revis you see on your screen, that’s me, and the beginning of my sometimes great, sometimes miserable life as a Jets fan.  The gang green gene was passed down to me from my Dad, and I have been bred to a life in Green and White (and Blue and Orange, unfortunately). How many years have I been rooting for the Jets? That’s hard to say, there are real time years, and then there are Jets fan years (rough conversion 1yr=2.25 NYJ yrs) so while I still may be in glorified summer camp college, I feel like I am having my mid life crisis as a Jets fan.

My first memory related to the Jets was nagging my dad in his room one morning as I was attempting to conceptualize how any fully functional human being could root for a team that had only won 1 game the entire season.  As he climbed into bed he looked at me and said, “Son, I just don’t know how we do it.”  But such is life when rooting for the Jets, they make you scream at your TV, rip your hair out, bite your finger nails, and start chain smoking, but when they win, when they give back the effort and passion that you give in each and every day, its euphoric.  It is the Yin and Yang of being a Jets fan, for every time Doug Brein misses two game winning kicks with less than two minutes to go in a playoff game leaving you sitting dumbfounded holding hands with your uncles asking God why you go to church on Sunday; Shonn Greene runs over Chargers FS Eric Weddle and into the end zone in the divisional playoffs prompting you to start screaming and hugging random people at a bar in Spain where you are the only Jets fan within a 4,000 mile radius; but I digress.

The decision to write on this blog was an easy one, I’m passionate about my team and I’m relishing the chance to talk to other smart, enthusiastic, and opinionated fans.  Until the end of April, I will be bringing you NFL draft coverage to feed you your off season needs.  I cant wait, see you next time.