The New York Jets 2013 draft class could potentially have a huge impact on the 2016 season. Let’s take a closer look…
Dee Milliner – 9th Overall – As referenced in a past roundtable, this is Milliner’s last chance to get on the field and be an effective player for this defense. With his option already declined for next season, there is little faith from the Jets camp of what he can bring. Yet, the Jets have never needed Milliner more than this upcoming season. The starting CB spot opposite of Darrelle Revis is wide open but the front runner looks to be Marcus Williams. If he develops it would be fantastic. If he doesn’t, Milliner would be next in line. Milliner needs to stay healthy and play like he did at Alabama. If he could start playing up to his expectations, two lock down corners would make the Jets have arguably the best defense in the AFC.
It would allow Todd Bowles to be more creative with pass rushes and blitzes and would also take stress off the offense. He was selected 9th overall because of his play making ability and overall ball skills. Ultimately, Milliner could take away the search for a DB next off season, saving Mike Maccagnan and Bowles time and money
Sheldon Richardson – 13th Overall – With Muhammad Wilkerson not being the happiest of campers on the defensive side of the ball, Richardson has to make a statement this season. He has been an all-around stud on the field, despite missing some time last year because of his off the field situation. He had 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 35 tackles. He did end with 31 less tackles then the previous year but you can blame that on the missed games. There is a decent chance that Wilkerson’s last year will be this season. Sheldon is going to have to prove this season that the Jets can comfortably move on without Wilkerson and he can be the dominant man on the line.
Geno Smith – 39th Overall – If Ryan Fitzpatrick is not back, we are most likely going to see Geno Smith leading the Jets offense into week 1. Just like Milliner, there is a high chance this could be his last chance to salvage his career here. Initial reports from OTAs have been positive. He has been looking great throwing the ball around with velocity and accuracy. Geno has to be a leader and make the Jets offense his own. The early schedule isn’t the easiest but it is manageable.
There is a lot of talent on the team this year but they are in a win now mode. Geno will most likely be on a short leash but as long as he plays consistently, the Jets will be competitive. Above average play, he could salvage his career but with Christian Hackenberg next in line, mediocre play from Geno will give him the starter role either at the tail end of the season or the start of next year. In reality, this is a QB friendly playbook. The offense is easy enough for him to operate and he has weapons at his disposal. His arm strength will allow for a greater deep threat than what the Jets had with Fitz last season.
Brian Winters – 72nd Overall – Winters can be effective at times but needs to play with more consistency. A solid performance from him will go a long way to stabilizing the Jets questionable line situation, which is a necessity especially if Geno is under center.
FB Tommy Bohanon – 215th Overall – He a solid, blue-collar fullback. He will continue to be a part of this offense with the addition of Matt Forte and the current insecurity at QB.
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