New York Jets Draft Pick Analysis: Guard Robert T. Griffin

Chris Gross breaks down New York Jets 6th round draft pick guard Robert T. Griffin

Chris Gross will be in the film room for Turn On The Jets breaking down all eight of the New York Jets draft selections. Today we look at 6th round pick, guard Robert T. Griffin. (At the bottom of the article, I offer a brief commentary on Griffin from the film I have watched). – JC

With their last of three selections in round six of the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Guard Robert T. Griffin out of Baylor University. The Jets were expected to select an offensive lineman at some point in the draft due to the lack of depth up front. However, it came as a surprise to many that New York opted to wait until the end of the sixth round to finally pull the trigger on one of the many big men available this year. Griffin certainly has impressive size at over 6’6” 340 lbs, but there are several aspects of his game that currently prevent him from utilizing his massive frame.

The biggest flaw in Griffin’s game that was exposed in the wide-open offense that was run at Baylor is his lack of athleticism. Although he shows flashes of quickness and agility at times, Griffin more often than not struggles immensely in space. He was frequently asked to pull last season, but was very ineffective in this area. There were times when he blocked no one, times when he showed poor balance and coordination by falling on his face, and times when he flat out ran into one of his teammates. Griffin also showed very poor blocking ability at the second level. When asked to move beyond the line of scrimmage to block linebackers, something very common for any guard to do, Griffin never seemed to be able to get his feet underneath him, and would either be beaten with agility or by strength. His poor balance and lack of center of gravity would make him an easy target for linebackers to shed at their disposal.

Griffin also does not posses the footwork that you would look for in an NFL offensive lineman. He is not very explosive out of his stance, and has a hard time sliding in pass coverage. He also has a tendency to lean his shoulders forward leaving him extremely vulnerable to pass rush moves of both speed and strength. On some plays, Griffin looks as if he is lost, completely unaware of his assignment, causing him to turn his shoulders and allow defenders to come off his backside and make a play. Overall, his footwork is very inconsistent. In short spans, Griffin’s feet can look quick and agile, but the majority of the time his footwork is slow and ineffective in getting his massive frame to be in any position of use.

Although he has several inconsistencies and imperfections, Griffin does do some things well. He has great tenacity, and seems most comfortable in straight on man blocking. The vast majority of the time when defenders were lined up directly over him, Griffin would show the ability to get into them and use his strength and size to drive them off the ball. His footwork is best shown in his kick out blocks, as he proved to be able to get his head inside of defenders and drive them toward the sideline, opening running lanes up the middle.

However, he sometimes does not use his hands to his advantage. Griffin has a very poor habit of trying to block with his shoulders, which allows defenders to get into him and gain the leverage needed to move him around as they please. He also has a tendency to play far too high, allowing defenders to gain even more leverage on him. In order to develop successfully, he needs to work on staying low and improving his hand placement in the worst of ways.

There is undoubtedly some cause for concern in the play of the former Baylor guard. However, it makes some sense that he was appealing to the Jets. First of all, he was, as previously stated, the last of three sixth round selections, so there was very little risk in taking him. Also, his size is certainly attractive. If he can ever learn to apply the proper skill to his frame, he will have tremendous success in the NFL, but that is a very big “if.”

Griffin does have decent man blocking skills, so it isn’t a complete mystery as to why Tony Sparano and the offensive staff would be open to working with this young man. The bottom line is that he will certainly need time to develop. What will work in his favor for this season is the potential lack of depth along the offensive line. Depending on how the remainder of free agency plays out, Griffin could make the active roster simply for the need of an extra body. However, he would be much better suited on the practice squad for a season or two in order to grow and develop as an NFL lineman. Sparano is surely the right man to aid in his development, and at the point in the draft in which he was selected, Griffin’s potential payoff outweighs any risk associated with him. Because of his size, he does have tremendous upside. However, don’t expect anything too soon, as he is an extremely raw product.

New York waiting until the sixth round of the draft to select a lineman, especially one who is going to be such a work in progress, only solidifies the notion that they are ready to move into camp with Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse competing for the starting job at Right Tackle. Mike Tannenbaum and the coaching staff can say that Austin Howard will be in the mix as well, but everyone associated with this team knows that is simply untrue. Expect the Jets to look into adding a veteran that is still left on the free agent market at some point before the season, perhaps Vernon Carey, whose name has come up countless times due to his familiarity with Sparano. As for Griffin, he is a long way away from becoming a capable offensive lineman in this league, if ever.

Editor’s Notes – From the Baylor film I watched, Griffin doesn’t look like a player who merited a draft pick. The Jets clearly picked him because of his size and their faith in Tony Sparano. Griffin did show good drive blocking skills when he could get on his man, which does translate well to this offense. However he is very, very raw and simply gets lost out there way too much. His field awareness and ability to move around or get to the second level have a long way to go. He looks like the type of player to store on the practice squad for a couple of years.

New York Jets Draft Pick Analysis: Wide Receiver Jordan White

Chris Gross breaks down New York Jets 7th round pick, wide receiver Jordan White.

Chris Gross will be in the film room for Turn On The Jets breaking down all eight of the New York Jets draft selections. Today we look at 7th round pick, wide receiver Jordan White. (At the bottom of the article, I offer a brief commentary on White from the film I have watched). – JC

With the 244th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Wide Receiver Jordan White out of Western Michigan. In a move that first seemed to be New York looking to add some wide receiver depth to increase the competition heading into camp, this selection has the potential to be much more significant to the Jets. When putting in the game film of Western Michigan from last season, there are several things about Jordan White that jump off the screen right away. He is very confident, extremely tough, and runs some of the best routes you will see from any wide receiver in the draft this year.

Before becoming the Jets’ version of Mr. Irrelevant, White was posting Biletnikoff worthy numbers at Western Michigan. Last season, he caught an astonishing 140 balls for 1,911 yards and 17 touchdowns. Remember, Biletnikoff Trophy winner Justin Blackmon had 121 receptions for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns. Not to compare the two, but White’s production as a Bronco should certainly be noted. In 2011, White also had 8 games with over 10 receptions, including a season high 16 against Toledo, a game in which he racked up 238 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had 7 multi touchdown games last year, and had at least one catch of 20 yards or more in every contest, including his season long 61 yarder against Ball State.

Prior to 2011, White also had 94 receptions for 1,378 yards and 10 touchdowns as a Junior. At Western Michigan, he was undoubtedly the workhorse of an offense that averaged over 35 points per game in 2011, while establishing himself as Quarterback Alex Carder’s unquestioned favorite target.

White’s immense production at Western Michigan can be linked to countless aspects of his game. His ability to find holes in coverages and create separation for himself is equivalent to, if not better than, some polished NFL veterans. He has excellent awareness, strong hands, and his route running has the capability of translating to the NFL immediately. He uses double moves effectively, and is very intelligent, constantly knowing when to cut routes short, or extend them.

One of the most important factors that hurt White’s draft stock was his limited sample of play against elite competition. Having played in the MAC West, White was hampered by the notion that he was excelling at a lower level, and could not have that same type of success in the NFL. However, in White’s small amount of play against more respected football programs, he rose to the calling in a big way. In 2011, three of his most productive games came against Big Ten opponents. In the season opener against Michigan, White had 12 catches for 119 yards. Against Illinois, who was ranked in the AP top 25 at the time, he tallied 14 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. And in White’s last game as a Bronco, the 2011 Little Caesars Bowl against Purdue, he reeled in 13 balls for 265 yards and 1 touchdown. Although the experience may not be great, he has certainly shown that he can succeed against higher-level defenses when asked to.

Along with the notion of not having faced enough elite competition, White’s physical traits were most likely the reasons for his draft slide. He does not possess the elite size, standing just under 6’0” 208 lbs, nor does he have the speed (4.69 40) to make him a number one receiver in the NFL. Many times in the draft, production like White’s takes a backseat to potential, especially in the later rounds.

Although White does have several positive aspects to his game, there are certainly some holes as well. He does not have great elusiveness, but makes up for it with his willingness to fight for extra yards. He is not going to make many people miss after the catch, but he will plug straight ahead and use his drive and strength to get the most out of every play. White also has much better speed coming out of his breaks than his 40 time would suggest, however it is unclear on how much that will assist his game at the next level.

While White does have good hands, and will make some spectacular catches at times, his range is very limited by his size and speed. Often times on deep routes, if the ball was slightly out of his reach, White would have difficulty transitioning to make the play. However, it is highly unlikely that he will be asked to run deep routes in the NFL, so this should not affect his play too significantly. He also needs to work on selling his routes on run plays to the opposite side of the field.

So how can White fit with the Jets? Of the games I watched on him last year, I could not help but compare his play to that of Jerricho Cotchery’s. White will never be a true number one receiver in this league, but has the potential to be a vital piece of any passing game. He was most productive last season between the 20’s, with 116 of his 140 catches coming in that area. This could make him a very valuable weapon to keep the chains moving throughout drives. Although most of his catches in 2011 came on first down with 63, he was also very effective on third downs, averaging 12.6 YPC. He could develop into a very nice third down safety net for Mark Sanchez. He is strong, smart, and most importantly, consistent. Sanchez would love to have someone he can consistently rely on, other than Dustin Keller.

For White, his place with the Jets will ultimately come down to a few key things: how well he picks up the offense, how he takes advantage of what limited reps he will get in practice, and the type of relationship he develops with Sanchez. While I do not think that any of these things will be a problem for White, especially with how reliable he became to Carder at Western Michigan, coupled with his displayed intelligence and high work ethic, he is going to have to prove why he was so productive in college, and may only have a small window of opportunity to do so. White can also show his worth by contributing on Special Teams, something that I would fully expect him to be able to do.

Although there are certainly no guarantees in this league, especially for late round draft picks, I would not be surprised at all if White ended up beating out Patrick Turner, Scotty McKnight, Logan Payne, and Eron Riley for a roster spot. His production in college combined with his obvious work ethic shown on film actually makes it likely that White will end up having some type of role with the 2012 Jets. Although his impact this year may not be significant, Jordan White could develop into a very solid NFL player at some point down the road.

Editor’s Notes – I really like the comparison Chris made to Jerricho Cotchery because that is who I was consistently reminded of when watching film on White. It is impossible to ignore the astronomical numbers he put up, regardless of the level of competition. White has a natural ability to find the soft spot in a defense and has reliable hands, particularly in traffic. The main question for him is, can he consistently get separation from NFL caliber cornerbacks? The Jets could offset some of these issues by working White out of the slot, where I expect him to spend most of his time.

In the immediate future, White projects as a logical backup to Jeremy Kerley in the slot receiver role. He will need to beat Patrick Turner and Eron Riley for a roster spot this season and to do that he must make an impact on special teams.

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 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 NFL Draft Live Blog

Live coverage of the NFL Draft tonight. Who will the New York Jets select?

Stay with us here all night as we guide you through the insanity of the NFL Draft. We will update each pick, along with provide running commentary on the night’s proceedings, endless rumors, and questionable decisions. Make sure you are also following Turn On The Jets on Twitter and Facebook, along with our staff writer Chris Gross on Twitter. Will Mike Tannenbaum continue his history of trading up? Will he finally trade down? Or can he stay put for once in his life?

16) New York Jets – Quinton Coples, DE

15) Seattle Seahawks – Bruce Irvin, DE What? What? What? A complete shocker and a complete, absolute reach. What are you thinking? The Jets better take Ingram.

14) St. Louis – Michael Brockers, DE – A nice piece to add for the Rams front seven. They have to be disappointed they missed out on Floyd. Another player I am happy is out of consideration for the Jets.

13) Arizona Cardinals – Michael Floyd, WR – Arizona saves the Jets from themselves by taking Floyd. Thank god for no wide receiver in the first round! It is looking like the Jets will have a good shot to leave with Ingram or Jones.

12) Philadelphia Eagles – Fletcher Cox, DT – The Eagles trade up and get terrific value with Cox here. Kansas City will regret the day they took Poe over Cox, who is going to be a stud and bring a dynamic playmaker to Philadelphia’s front seven.

11) Kansas City Chiefs – Dontari Poe, DT – Boom or bust. Thrilled the Jets didn’t end up with him. Ingram, Floyd, Cox, Brockers, Jones and DeCastro all still on the board for the Jets.

10) Buffalo Bills – Stephon Gilmore, CB – Kind of a surprise here. Many people ranked Gilmore just as high as Claiborne in this draft. Buffalo is building quite a defense out there in upstate New York. He will provide some electricity to their back end.

9) Carolina Panthers – Luke Kuechly, LB – A much needed addition to their front seven. Kuechly is a three down linebacker who should be a star at this level. He is very good value at number nine.

8 – Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB – A new young quarterback in the AFC East. How many weeks until he starts this season? By the way, it will be Knicks vs. Heat in the first round…Sixers are tanking the place out right now. Also Rangers are up 2-1 heading into the 3rd.

7) Tampa Bay – Mark Barron, S – Another target for the Jets disappears. Barron will be a nice addition to Greg Schiano’s defense. With St. Louis at #14…I can’t see them letting Floyd get past them so it does look like it will be an outside linebacker for the Jets.

6) Dallas Cowboys – Morris Claiborne, CB – Trade Mania! Wow. Dallas moves up 8 spots to get the draft’s top corner. By adding him and Brandon Carr Dallas has rebuilt their shabby secondary. Rob Ryan must be a happy guy. They must have been tired of being torced by Eli, no?

5) Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon, WR – The Jaguars traded up to get the wide receiver they desperately needed. It leaves an interesting choice for St. Louis with the 6th pick. Claiborne? Cox? Somebody else?

4) Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT – Plenty of speculation about them taking Claiborne but in the end they went with the big time tackle to protect Christian Ponder…can’t argue with it.

There is some chatter about the Jets moving up to 13, swapping picks with Arizona. If Barron is there he would be tempting, if not look towards Ingram or Jones.

3) Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB – A good move for both Cleveland and Minnesota to swing this trade. Cleveland desperately needed a playmaker and Minnesota can still get their guy at 4, whether it is Kalil or Claiborne.

2) Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB – Vick. Griffin III. Eli. And Tony Romo missing wide open receivers in critical spots. The NFC East will be fun for awhile.

1) Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB – Mel Kiper Jr. is in love. Chris Berman is past his prime. We will see Mr. Luck in week six at the New Meadowlands. It will be interesting to see what kind of weapons the Colts work to surround him with throughout the rest of the draft.

7:55 – Last pre-draft update: I don’t think the Jets will trade up but if they do Carolina is a logical partner at #9. Mike Tannenbaum and Carolina GM Martin Hurney worked together on the Jets trade up for Darrelle Revis and on the Kris Jenkins trade. The Jets could get antsy about landing their pass rusher, whether it is Melvin Ingram or Chandler Jones. We haven’t heard Mark Barron’s name at all associated with the Jets…a little odd?

7:30 – 30 minutes out and the most buzz for the Jets involves Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram and Michael Floyd.

7:15 – First big splash of the night. Cleveland has moved up to #3, presumably to get Trent Richardson. Apparently they were panicked about Tampa Bay moving up to steal him and they didn’t want to miss out on him like they did on RG3. You can cross Richardson off the list for the Jets. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings look to move back again. Minnesota picked up an extra 4th, 5th, and 7th round pick…not a bad haul.

6:35 – Evan Silva of Rotoworld’s final mock draft now has the Jets taking David DeCastro instead of Melvin Ingram (as it did in his mock draft this morning)…Todd McShay, Mel Kiper Jr and Mike Mayock all have the Jets taking Michael Floyd. I won’t bail on my Ingram pick now but I am starting to sweat about being right for the third year in a row. You can’t call 2 years in a row a streak, right?

By the way, how nervous are Rangers fans right now? You can’t lose a game 7 in your building. I am confident the Blueshirts will take care of business tonight. Personally, I am more concerned about the Knicks somehow losing to Charlotte while Philadelphia beats Detroit so we could get the Bulls in round one instead of the Heat.

5:45 PM – Sal Paolantonio has been sitting outside the locked Jets war room getting pieces of paper slid under the door to him every 30 minutes. So far he has concluded the Jets could trade up, trade down, stay put and that they might take David DeCastro, Michael Floyd, Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, Courtney Upshaw, or about fifteen other players…thanks Sal.

Rich Cimini has reported the Jets could trade up for Chandler Jones. We can’t confirm if he is saying this only because both of them went to Syracuse…probably.


TOJ New York Jets Mock Draft 4.0

TOJ rounds up all the final mock drafts and gives his prediction for what the New York Jets will do with their pick

Christmas Eve. The NFL Draft is finally upon us, starting with the first round in primetime tomorrow night. Here is a look at a collection of final mock drafts and our selection for what the New York Jets will do with the 16th pick. We can’t promise we will be right but it certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented if we were.

Mock Drafts

Don Banks, Sports Illustrated – Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle, Memphis

Michael Lombardi, NFL.com – Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina

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

Rob Rang, CBS Sports – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Pat Kirwin, CBS Sports – Nick Perry, Outside Linebacker, USC

Walter Football – Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

Charley Casserly, NFL.com – Quinton Coples, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, North Carolina

Chad Reuter, NFL.com – Riley Reiff, Offensive Tackle, Iowa

Pro Football Talk – Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina

Chris Gross, Turn On The Jets – Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

Justin Fritze, Turn On The Jets – Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

Joe Caporoso, Turn On The Jets –  Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina

Analysis The opinions of what the Jets will do has only got cloudier in the days leading up to the draft. There is no player who is anywhere near being a consensus pick and no clear cut favorite of the team. Courtney Upshaw, Mark Ingram and Quinton Coples have watched their draft stock fall, while Mark Barron and Michael Floyd have been steadily rising.

I am not abandoning my belief that Ingram will end up on the Jets now. However, could they get him without trading up? It doesn’t sound like he will be a top ten pick, so the only real threat is Seattle at #12. Could the Jets move up to #11 without having to give up their second round pick or should they risk staying put and hoping Ingram falls into their laps?

At this point, it seems like Upshaw should be available at #16, while there is no chance Mark Barron will be. If the Jets want the clear cut top safety in this draft, they are going to have to move up a few spots…maybe even as high as #9, where Carolina remains a logical trade partner given the team’s history of working together.

One last point, do not write off the Jets trading up for Trent Richardson. If you think it is crazy for them to trade up into the top five and make that big of a splash, you haven’t been watching Mike Tannenbaum the past 6 years.

Here are my projections for the Jets first round pick, in descending order of likelihood:

5. Stay Put Or Trade Up For Michael Floyd – If he is there at 16, he will be very tempting. If he gets near 16 and the Jets miss on Ingram and Barron, they could consider doing what it takes to get him.

4. Trade Up For Mark Barron – He isn’t getting to number 16. The Jets could swap picks with Carolina at #9 to have a shot at the draft’s top safety.

3. Stay Put And Take Courtney Upshaw or Chandler Jones – If the Jets miss out on Ingram and Barron, I don’t think they risk trading back. They will take whomever they have rated higher, Upshaw or Jones with their pick.

2. Trade Up For Trent RichardsonThe mega deal that Mike Tannenbaum is known for. The Jets get themselves an elite back to lead their Ground and Pound. It will cost them but if Richardson turns into an All-Pro, isn’t it worth it?

1. Stay Put Or Trade Up For Melvin Ingram – Ingram may fall to the Jets at 16 but they could avoid the risk of losing him by trading up to #11.

NFL Mock Draft: What Pick Each Team Should Make

Chris Gross gives his first round mock for the NFL Draft, based on what selection each team should make

Staff writer Chris Gross submits his mock draft, based on what pick he thinks each NFL team should make in round one. Stay tuned later for my mock draft 4.0, rounding up recent mock drafts and giving my final prediction for what I think the Jets will do – JC

With countless mock drafts surfacing over numerous media outlets leading up to Thursday night, the common theme seems to be predicting what every team is most likely to do. However, there are so many aspects that are impossible to predict for every NFL team during the draft. Therefore, that will not be my approach in this mock. Instead, I will actually play GM for every NFL team and select which player each of them should pick, rather than who I think they will pick. I will not account for trades, other than ones that have already been made, because if I get into which teams should make trades and to where, it will get far too sticky. Again, this is not how I think the draft will play out, but rather how I think it should play out.

1 – Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB Stanford – The Colts have already told Luck that he will be the first overall selection on Thursday night, and rightfully so. They took one of the biggest gambles in NFL history this offseason, agreeing to part ways with the man that rebuilt the franchise from the ground up. They need to be extremely smart with this pick, because if it flops, the fan base in Indianapolis will likely form a mutiny against Jim Irsay, especially if Manning proves to be healthy and effective in Denver. That being said, Luck is easily the most logical, and safest choice at number one. Sure, Robert Griffin III is appealing for all of his intangibles, but Luck not only has the ability to be an elite NFL quarterback very soon, but he also possesses the confidence and leadership qualities that will help make the transition from Peyton Manning in Indy much less difficult.

2 – Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor – Washington made this trade to get Griffin, and that was exactly what they needed to do in this draft. Griffin will give the Skins the face the franchise has been starving for. Owner Daniel Snyder has made a name for himself by overpaying veteran free agents that have rarely worked out. However, Washington has drafted well recently (Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Roy Helu). He has begun to build this team the right way, through the draft, and selecting RGIII will be the most significant step in that process.

3 – Minnesota Vikings – Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State – I realize Matt Kalil is probably the safest pick for a team that needs more lanes for Adrian Peterson, and protection for their young quarterback, Christian Ponder. However, other than Peterson and Percy Harvin, who is constantly hampered by migraines, what other playmakers does this team have on offense? Minnesota hasn’t had elite talent at WR since the departure of Randy Moss, and I believe Blackmon is too great a talent for them to pass on. He will give Ponder another much needed weapon, while spreading out defenses more, which in turn, will help Peterson and the run game.

4 – Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB Alabama – Offensively, the Browns are a disaster. They have massive questions at Quarterback, and their best offensive player, Running Back Peyton Hillis, bolted for Kansas City. The only bright spot on this offense is Tackle Joe Thomas. Not only is this a smart pick for Cleveland, because they should be doing nothing but selecting the best player available here, but it also fills a great need. Richardson is going to be elite at the next level, and there is no better way to rebuild an offense than with a strong running game.

5 -Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College – Everyone loves Morris Claiborne here, and rightfully so. Claiborne is the best CB in the draft, and the Bucs are a little light in the secondary. However, can anyone name Tampa’s starting inside linebackers? Kuechly is the best in this year’s class, and new coach Greg Schiano, a former linebacker at Bucknell, should not hesitate to draft the potential Quarterback of his defense for the next decade. Some might consider this a reach, but do you really see any reason 500+ career tackles should fall out of the top 5?

6 – St. Louis Rams – Matt Kalil, OT USC – The Rams could address their need at WR with Floyd here, but it is time for them to start considering the future of their young Quarterback, Sam Bradford. Jason Smith hasn’t turned into the elite protector they thought he would be when they took him with the 2nd overall pick in 2009. Bradford played in only 10 games last season due to injury, but in those 10 games, he was sacked an astounding 36 times. The Rams need not to hesitate on taking Kalil to prevent Bradford from becoming the next David Carr or (gasp) Chad Pennington.

7 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame – Jacksonville could easily address its much needed pass rush here, but the idea of giving second year quarterback Blaine Gabbert a big target like Floyd is too great to pass up. As much as the defense is in need of help, so too is the offense in need of a playmaker outside of Maurice Jones-Drew and Mercedes Lewis. New owner Shahid Khan needs to find a way to prevent blacking out games in Jacksonville, and there is no better way to put people in the seats then grabbing a high profile offensive player. This move makes both football and business sense.

8 – Miami Dolphins – Morris Claiborne, CB LSU – I realize that the Dolphins greatest need is at quarterback, and I am actually a fan of Ryan Tannehill, just not at this pick. If the Dolphins trade back and grab him that could suffice, however Claiborne’s value here is extremely high, and Miami would be foolish to pass him up. Claiborne has elite talent and would provide an instant upgrade to a secondary that struggled last season. If Miami is smart, it passes on Tannehill, who I feel is a boom or bust prospect, takes Claiborne, and holds hope of landing Matt Barkley next year, whom they’ve wanted all along.

9 – Carolina Panthers – Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi State – I’ve said before, I think Cox is on another level in terms of defensive lineman in this year’s class. Defensive Tackle is the greatest need for Carolina, and this is great value for this year’s top dog. Cox is fast, strong, explosive, and aggressive and should be able to make an impact immediately.

10 – Buffalo Bills – Riley Reiff, OT Iowa – Buffalo has needed an elite left tackle for years now, and Reiff has to potential to provide that down the road. The Bills made the big splash this offseason with the Mario Williams signing, now it is time to address its most pressing need. Reiff will provide stability to help Ryan Fitzpatrick get the ball to the playmakers (Jackson, Spiller, Johnson) on offense.

11 – Kansas City Chiefs – Dontari Poe, DT Memphis – Although I am not sold on Poe, and do think his skill set will serve him much better in a 4-3, rather than the 3-4 scheme that Kansas City runs, I feel his intangibles and potential as a NT are too much for new head coach Romeo Crennel to pass up. Although Poe is very much a boom or bust product as well, Crennel and KC should take a chance on this one. Poe has the size (348 lbs) and strength (44 reps) to develop into an elite NT in this league. This will certainly take time, but if it works out, Poe will be another building block in Kansas City establishing an elite defense.

12 – Seattle Seahawks – Melvin Ingram, DE South Carolina – Although I think Ingram is better suited as a 3-4 DE/OLB hybrid, there is no doubt in my mind his abilities will allow him to excel in any scheme. Seattle is another team in need of a pass rusher and Ingram is arguably the best available here. He has the ability to move around the defense and will be an asset for years to come in Seattle.

13 – Arizona Cardinals – Quinton Coples, DE/OLB North Carolina – To me, Coples hasn’t been consistently productive enough throughout college. This does not mean he won’t succeed at the next level. His intangibles give him tremendous upside, and he could become a dominant pass rusher in the right system, especially in the NFC West. Some view Coples as a better fit in a 4-3, however his speed and athleticism could make him a perfect fit as a DE/OLB hybrid.

14 – Dallas Cowboys – Mark Barron, S Alabama – It is no secret Dallas needs help in the defensive secondary. Safety is the biggest need, and Barron is the best of the bunch this year. Jerry Jones should not hesitate on taking the Alabama product because if he doesn’t, division rival Philadelphia will be waiting at pick 15 right behind them.

15 – Philadelphia Eagles – David DeCastro, G Stanford – Philly has more pressing needs at defensive tackle and outside linebacker, but no one can deny the beating that Michael Vick took last year. Vick certainly doesn’t help his own cause with the amount of running he does, but DeCastro should provide more stability on the offensive front, allowing Vick to sit in the pocket just a bit longer. Tackle could be addressed, but the Eagles just signed free agent Demetress Bell.

16 – New York Jets – Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB Alabama – I’ve said it all along, and I am sticking with my pick until the end, if Upshaw is available, he should be the Jets’ pick. His experience, ability, and leadership skills will make him an asset in Rex Ryan’s scheme, and he will fill the need that the Jets have had on defense since Ryan’s arrival. How could you not want the Defensive MVP of College Football’s National Championship game?

17 – Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama – Cornerback probably isn’t the biggest need for Cincinnati but pairing Kirkpatrick with Leon Hall will greatly bolster their secondary. The Bengals just resigned S Reggie Nelson, and at pick 17 the value is far too high to pass up the first team All American.

18 – San Diego Chargers – Chandler Jones, DE Syracuse – Jones’s stock is rapidly rising as draft day approaches, and some don’t see him making it past the Jets at 16, so his value here could be fantastic. San Diego has not had an elite pass rusher since Shawn Merriman’s “Lights Out” Days, but Chandler could finally revitalize that. He has the physical tools and size to develop into an elite OLB/DE in San Diego’s system.

19 – Chicago Bears – Michael Brockers, DE, LSU – Defensive Line is a big need for the Bears, and Brockers is the best available here. His physical intangibles and violent play will make him a great fit in front of Urlacher and Briggs.

20 – Tennessee Titans, Dont’a Hightower, ILB Alabama – Tennessee made a great move to improve their defense this offseason by signing Kamerion Wimbley. They have solid youngsters in the secondary between Michael Griffin and Jason McCourty, while Akeem Ayers still has potential to develop into a good OLB. Now they just need someone to be the foundation in the middle. Hightower’s value is amazing here, as I said I think he is worthy of a top 15 pick. Tennessee would be adding to a quality, up and coming defense.

21 – Cincinnati Bengals – Kendall Wright, WR Baylor – The Bengals overhauled their offense last year, and for the better. Andy Dalton and AJ Green have the makings of a deadly combo for years to come. Now it is time to add some speed opposite Green to really open the offense up. Cincinnati was smart in adding Benjarvus Green-Ellis this offseason to sure up the run game, and Wright will add another dynamic to the passing attack.

22 – Cleveland Browns – Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M – As I said earlier, I like Tannehill, just not as a top 10 pick. Here, his value is so much higher, and the Browns are reportedly in love with him. Odds are Tannehill’s inflated stock will have him picked well before here, but if he is available at 22, you can bet everything that the Browns will take him, as they should. Let’s face it, Colt McCoy is not the answer, and Tannehill’s ceiling is through the roof.

23 – Detroit Lions – Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina – Detroit has one of the most, if not THE most, dominant Defensive Lines in all of football. Adding a true number one corner to their secondary could put them among the NFL’s best defenses. Chris Houston is decent, but he needs help opposite him. Gilmore would start immediately, and has the potential to make a significant impact as a rookie.

24 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Cordy Glenn, G Georgia – Pittsburgh needs help up front, and pairing Glenn next to Center Maurkice Pouncey would give them a dominant interior in front of Roethlisberger and Co. Running Back could be another option, with Mendenhall hampered by the ACL injury, however, that can be filled in one of the later rounds.

25 – Denver Broncos – Coby Fleener, TE Stanford – Peyton Manning loves a good, athletic Tight End and Fleener is the best of this year’s class. If you haven’t already, check out this kid’s “Sports Science.” Strong, fast, explosive, and huge. His physical tools are scary, and having come from Stanford, he shouldn’t have a problem adjusting to Peyton Manning mentally.

26 – Houston Texans – Nick Perry, DE/OLB USC – Houston lost both DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams this offseason, so they are a little light at the linebacker position. Their defensive line is extremely young and talented. JJ Watt proved he will be a force for years to come with an impressive rookie campaign last year. Putting Perry next to fellow USC LB Brian Cushing will give Wade Phillips one of the youngest, most athletic front sevens in the NFL.

27 – New England Patriots – Harrison Smith, S Notre Dame – Is it just me or is the safety play in the AFC East among the worst in the NFL? Like the Jets, New England struggled immensely at safety last year, even to the point where Ross Ventrone began to see time. Smith provides immediate upgrade, and is the big, physical, athletic safety that this defense has been missing since Rodney Harrison.

28 – Green Bay Packers – Shea McClellin, OLB Boise State – Other than Clay Matthews, there is no one on the Packers defense capable of rushing the passer. Putting McClellin (7 sacks in 2011) opposite Matthews could give Green Bay one of the best edge rushing defenses in all of football. McClellin is still somewhat raw, but will benefit from teams constantly game planning around Matthews.

29 – Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz, C Wisconsin – Baltimore just resigned Matt Birk to a 3-year deal, but they need to plan for his retirement. Grooming a young center will provide a seamless transition when Birk finally decides to hang them up. Konz is the best available, and has good value at this point.

30 – San Francisco 49ers – Janoris Jenkins, CB North Alabama – San Francisco is returning 11 starters on defense, which is unheard of in the NFL. There is a need at WR, but the team just spent a lot of money at that position in Free Agency, so they should improve the only shallow spot on their defense. Jenkins has the potential to be an absolute steal here, and could learn a lot under the veteran leadership of Carlos Rogers.

31 – New England Patriots – Kendall Reyes, DT/DE UConn – Reyes reportedly has a great relationship with Bill Belichick, who frequents visits to UConn, and for good reason. Reyes is a perfect fit in a Belichick type system. He is a very smart, very versatile player, with tremendous upside that can play multiple positions along the defensive front. New England lost DE Mark Anderson to Buffalo this offseason, so this is a position of need as well.

32 – New York Giants – Jonathon Martin, OT Stanford – Although the Giants are the defending Super Bowl Champs, they struggled to protect Eli Manning at times last year. Kareem McKenzie is gone, and I do not think the Giants are too fond of the idea of Will Beatty (AKA Wayne Hunter 2.0) entering the season as the starting RT. Martin should play immediately and will learn a ton from New York’s veteran offensive line.

Turn On The Jets 2012 NFL Draft Hub

Your one stop for everything you need to know about the New York Jets and the 2012 NFL Draft

Here at Turn On The Jets we have taken the time to break down every position the New York Jets could target in the upcoming NFL Draft, from the areas they could focus on with the 16th overall pick to what they will do with their compensatory picks in the 6th and 7th round. We have also argued the merits and faults of numerous prospects frequently associated with them, talked about trading up to as high as number three along with trading out of the first round altogether. Basically, yes…we have it all covered…and we won’t be stopping anytime soon. Make sure you are following both myself and staff writer Chris Gross on Twitter and of course here on the site.

Positional Analysis

Mock Drafts

Specific Prospects

In the coming days, I will publish our Mock Draft 4.0, rounding up all the updated mock drafts and giving my final projection on what the Jets will do in the first round. Chris Gross has a mock draft for the entire first round. We will both offer finals thoughts/updates/observations, along with have one last debate on Courtney Upshaw versus Melvin Ingram. Finally, I will be live blogging the first round of the draft here on the site along with giving instant analysis of the Jets selection and then Friday Chris and myself will prepare you for round two and three.

Stay tuned…