TOJ Question – Who Will Jets Take With 30th Pick?

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TOJ at SB Nation NY begins his position by position preview of the NFL Draft for the New York Jets, starting with summarizing their top needs.

I also took a little informal Twitter poll of who a few other fellow Jets writers/bloggers have the team taking with the 30th overall pick, with the first round only three weeks away —

Manish Mehta (@TheJetsStream) “I think they trade up for OLB…. I’m going with [Akeem] Ayers.”

Brian Bassett (@Brian_Bassett) “I’ll go Baylor NT Phil Taylor.”

Deb B (@LilMissNYJet) – “Pending Taylor off the boards by #30…….I’m picking Brooks Reed. I want him over Akeem Ayers for OLB need.”

Jeff Capellini (@GreenLanternJet) “I still think Phil Taylor should be the pick if he’s available. If not, [Marvin] Austin or [Justin] Houston.”

Chris Celletti (@ChrisCelletti) “They have to go best DE available…likely Phil Taylor.”

Kiera Massette (@KieraMassette) “…I really like the idea of Marvin Austin.”

For the record, TOJ is taking Phil Taylor as of right now.

I also asked Jason La Canfora of NFL.com about the chances of the Jets getting Temple DT/DE Muhammad Wilkerson and he respondedlooking doubtful. Things could change but low 20s could be lowest he falls.”

Prospect Watch: Stephen Paea

Fear not, back from the dead, but most definitely back is TOJ’s Prospect Watch.  This time around we will dissect Oregon State defensive lineman Stephen Paea, yes, the guy who benched 225lbs 49 times at the combine.  Paea, originally from the Kingdom of Tonga, an archipelago of 176 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, moved to the United States at age 16.  He played only one year of high school football, his senior year, before he attended Snow Junior College; so for those you have been keeping track at home, he only completed 3 years of organized football before he enrolled at Oregon State.

Some cite Paea’s lack of experience as a knock on him, while others can’t imagine his potential once he gets a full feeling for the game. One place his lack of experience has hurt him is his pass rush, where he has not been able to develop a full repertoire of moves.  This confines him to pretty much being a one-trick pony as far as getting in the backfield, however his one-trick, an overpowering bull rush, is one hell of a weapon and he has been disrupting Pac-10 Offensive Linemen since he put on a Beaver jersey in 2008. 

Like most late first round interior lineman prospects, Paea’s statistics don’t jump off the page. He is the two time defending Morris Trophy Award winner, which is an award for the best defensive lineman in the Pac-10 voted on by the offensive lineman in the conference, which shows a lot more than a stat line could.  He fires low off the ball and uses leverage from his, “bowling ball” frame to plug gaps and blow up plays in the backfield. 

As his combine numbers would indicate, he is considered one of the strongest players in the country, again, because of his leverage, he is able to translate weight room strength to on-the-field strength easier than other players who put up gaudy combine numbers.  His well above-average strength becomes blatant when watching him take down ball carriers, a stat that should raise the ears of the Jets front office is his forced fumbles, a career total of nine, which is an Oregon State record.

Paea’s run defense is absolutely where he will earn his playing time wherever he goes in the NFL.  He is a heady player who will engage and lock on a defender, but also knows when he is beat and will cause a pile before he gets blown up by a double team.  His pass rushing, however, is a different story.  As I said earlier, he lacks any real pass rushing moves other than a straight bull rush, and also will have a hard time tracking the QB down if the QB has any sort of athleticism. 

Paea plays a pure power game and is not very effective sideline to sideline.  However his biggest concern, unfortunately, is his durability.  He had a bursa sac in his knee during his junior year, and although he played through it, it is still a concern for NFL teams; especially when considering he suffered another knee injury at the Senior Bowl this year, which has limited his draft-season preparation and has hurt his stock a little as well.

It will be interesting to see what happens if Paea is still on the board when the Jets are picking.  If the Jets want to go the defensive lineman route in this draft it might make more sense to address the end position.  But Paeacould be the best lineman available at this time, in which case I would have all the confidence in the world in Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to find a place for Paea to succeed.

Should the Jets Trade Down in the Draft?

There is no shortage of needs for the Jets this offseason.  In an ideal world, the Jets could improve at DE, DT, OLB, FS, WR, and depth at the ILB, OLB, and QB positions.  However, come April 28 the Jets are going to have to work with 6 picks:

NYJ 1st round,

NYJ 3rd round

NYJ 4th round

NYJ 5th round

NYJ 6th round

Ari 7th round

So the question is, with an excess of needs and only the draft to fill these needs because of the lockout, should the Jets think about trading out of the 1st round and getting more picks?  It sure would go against the Jets drafting tendencies of the last couple of years; but this is a different year .

If the Jets are not guaranteed to land their top guy, they might want to get as many picks as possible and play trial and error with this year’s draft class.  Especially since Defensive End, Defensive Tackle, Free Safety, and a 3rd WR can be found in rounds 2-4 fairly easily.

By looking at the trade value chart, the Jets could trade:

Their 1st round pick (30th overall), 6th round pick (190th overall), and 7th round pick (222nd overall)

For the…

Jaguars 2nd round pick (48th overall; 16th in the 2nd round) and 3rd round pick (80th overall; 16th in the 3rd round).

This is just a random scenario I cam up with but it begs a couple of questions.  Is having a mid 2nd rounder and two 3rd rounders better than a 1st and two late selections? Do you think we would lose “our guy” by trading back?  Is this draft too deep to give up late round picks like that?  Give your opinion in the comment section.  You also can create your own concoction here, and see what dream scenario you can come up with.