>\n\nWorst to First: 29. New York Jets \n\n\n\n

Worst to First: 29. New York Jets

Written by Ben Morgan on 04/21/2010

Last year I have to admit to thinking the New York Jets had gone nuts to trade up into the top  for Mark Sanchez. Then as if they hadn't given enough away they gave up more to get Shonn Greene when they already had 2 good RBs. Crazy. Yeah well, I was wrong. For me the jury's still out on Mark Sanchez but he has something about him and what can you say about Greene down the stretch? It might be a tiny draft class but they got 2 first year starters out of it. Many drafts with 10-12 picks can't boast that many. OK, so the Jets were the recipient of a give away playoff spot courtesy of playing reserves 2 weeks in a row at the end of the year but they made the most of their luck. Right up until Peyton Manning picked them apart. So there's major hope for 2010 with Sanchez having some starting experience under his belt. But it's not all roses and light, there's some issues to look at and some cracks to paper over let's take a look at some of them
2010 Free Agent Losses 2010 Free Agent Additions
Jay Feely K (Cardinals,UFA), Thomas Jones RB (Chiefs,UFA-cut), Marques Murrell LB (Patriots,RFA), Donald Strickland CB (Chargers,UFA-cut), Wallace Wright WR (Panthers,RFA), Kerry Rhodes S (Cardinals,trade)

Lance Laury LB (Seattle,RFA), Brodney Pool FS (Browns,RFA), LaDainian Tomlinson RB (Chargers,UFA-cut), Santonio Holmes WR (Steelers,trade)

2010 Unsigned Free Agents 2011 Potential Free Agents
James Dearth LS (UFA), Marques Douglas DE (UFA), Ryan Fowler LB (UFA), Larry Izzo LB (UFA), Lito Sheppard CB (UFA-cut)

Aundrae Allison WR (RFA), Kellen Clemons QB (UFA), David Clowney WR (RFA), Drew Coleman DB (UFA), Antonio Cromartie CB (UFA), Braylon Edwards WR (UFA), David Harris LB (RFA), Santonio Holmes WR (UFA), Wayne Hunter OT (FA), James Ihedigbo DB (RFA), Nick Mangold C (UFA), Brodney Pool DB (UFA), Tony Richardson RB (UFA), Brad Smith WR (UFA), Eric Smith DB (UFA), Leon Washington RB (UFA)

Quarterbacks No Need
Looks like the Jets might try and trade Kellen Clemens. It's going to have to be a pretty desperate team to give up anything for him. More likely they just end up cutting him. That'll leave Kevin O'Connell as the oldest QB on the roster. At age 24. Go figure. They're obviously tied into Mark Sanchez as their franchise QB but you don't want to look too closely at his rookie stats. Being dropped straight in as a starting NFL QB is never going to be easy but Sanchez was always going to have growing pains and the Jets did a great job of not asking him to win too many games with his arm. Still the low completion percentage and yards per attempt, plus the 20 Interceptions has to cause some concerns. The only consideration the Jets might have for QBs this season is some veteran backup though.

Runningbacks No Need
Shonn Greene is a talented young runner. But he can't catch and he didn't get to put the rock in the endzone much last year. Losing Thomas Jones was a blow but it's tempered by Greene's emergence and the signing of LaDainian Tomlinson. I'm not sure how much Tomlinson has got left in the tank but his game would seem to suit Greene's deficiencies well. They should compliment each other quite well. LT's not throwing out many compliments to his former team mates. He's been bitching about his former OL in San Diego... if there's any truth to his sob story he won't have a leg to stand on in New York. The Jets are a run first, run second, run third team with an offensive line set up to do just that. Leon Washington's still around as well as a change of pace/3rd down/returner type So the Jets are good to go with their RBs.

Wide Receivers Minor Need

The Jets trade for Braylon Edwards didn't work out so well for them last year. He remained as wildly inconsistent for the Jets as he was for Cleveland. Putting up some circus catches, and some clown like drops. So a 5th round pick gets you Santonio Holmes. Not bad business for the Jets and Holmes is a much better NFL WR than Edwards. He's got great hands is a genuine deep threat and runs good routes. He also has a 4 game suspension though so Edwards is going to get an advantage over him. I think there's the general assumption that Holmes and Edwards will be the starting WRs but to me, they're a bit too similar, and I'm not sure Sanchez can get either of them the ball with great regularity. Consequently I think you're still going to see a lot of Jericho Cotchery. Checking out the entire WR corps they've got David Clowney and Brad Smith who can fulfill roles (though for Smith that's really just Wildcat QB duties) but only Cotchery is under contract in 2011. I doubt both Holmes and Edwards would be offered extensions and it's conceivable neither of them will. So it's a bit of a quandary. They have 5 WRs already and may not want to keep more than that on the roster. But with an eye to the future they could really use another Receiver. There's been lots of talk in this draft about how far Dez Bryant may fall. If he fell to #29 could the Jets possibly say no??

Tight Ends Minimal Need
Dustin Keller's a really nice receiver out of the Tight End slot. But he's not a good blocker and that keeps him off the field a lot because the Jets are a run dominated team. Ben Hartsock's a good blocker though. I can't see the Jets being interested in another Tight End, at least not in the early rounds. But seeing as they don't have a huge amount of needs they could just go for the best player available in round 1. If that's Jermaine Gresham so be it. Keller would hold trade value and Gresham is more likely to be able to play more than just passing downs. But it's not a likely scenario.

Offensive Line Major Need
Well Alan Faneca made the pro bowl again. Just goes to show how much reputation counts for the Pro bowl at Offensive Line really. Definitely the weak link on an otherwise superb Jets Line Faneca could be cut or traded and at 34 one way or another it doesn't sound like Faneca will be back. They did pick up Matt Slauson as one of their 3 total draft picks last year but with Damien Woody also well into his 30s a real smart pick in this draft would be an early one on a guy who could play Guard as a rookie and move to Right Tackle when Woody's time is up. In this draft that could mean Anthony Davis who is unlikely to fall that far (but you never know). In round 2 perhaps Rodger Saffold? Don't be overly surprised if this risk taking Jets front office give up multiple picks to get into the teens and draft Maurkice Pouncey or Mike Iupati either.

Defensive Tackles No Need
Losing Kris Jenkins for 10 games would kill most teams. Instead it allowed the Jets to discover they've got great depth at the position. Sione Pouha actually helped improve the run defense. The only question mark here is that it's taken Pouha til age 31 to find a niche.

Defensive Ends Minor Need
Whilst the Jets get good work out of the End position there are a few questions. Firstly there's the issue of what happens to Shaun Ellis. He's still a good player but he is 32 and in the final year of his deal. There's also a report the in the National Football Post that the Jets could trade him on draft day. With a few 3-4DE starved teams around there'd probably be a market for him. If he's gone that leaves the Jets one injury away from being in serious trouble. Basically, the Jets need to get younger on the DL. With Mike DeVito giving them the ability to not have to throw a rookie into the fray this is probably a good time to walk away from Ellis and go younger. Which brings Jared Odrick squarely into play with their first round pick. At present this is only a Minor Need because of age and impending free agency but if Ellis really is on the trading block or on the verge of being cut, it's Major Need.
Linebackers Minor Need
The signing of Jason Taylor will temporarily at least, offset the need for a better pass rusher than Bryan Thomas. Calvin Pace probably would have had double digit sacks if he'd played all 16 games and the Jets, even though they're not near the top of the lists in sacks, they do hurry QBs a lot. And that can often be more dangerous giving your DBs chances at turnovers that you may not get with a QB rolling up and taking the sack. Oh yeah while we're up here, Vernon Gholston. Bust much? This is almost certainly his last chance and if, as rumours suggest Bryan Thomas is going to get traded or cut Gholston may get his chance in the first and second down defense. Taylor figures to be not much more than a situational pass rusher at this stage of his career. Putting that trust in Gholston is asking a lot and they may opt to pick someone in the draft to coach up as well. Inside David Harris and Bart Scott provide a great 1-2 but there's not much depth there and Harris could be a free agent next year too. They could use a depth pick or kick the tyres on a bunch of undrafted guys to try and find a hidden gem.

Cornerbacks Minor Need
With Revis Island on one side the Jets should have a great secondary right? Well Peyton Manning made them look pretty ordinary in the playoffs. Mostly because the Jets didn't have anyone else. Lito Shepherd has been jettisoned and the Jets traded for Antonio Cromartie from San Diego. Cromartie has his problems, mostly child support payments, but paired up with Revis he's not going to be tracking the oppositions best receiver anymore. He's scarily talented and he could be poised for a big year covering lesser receivers. There's still the issue of depth underneath them of course and finding a good nickelback is still a need. But with just 5 picks in this draft (at present), doing that could be a problem. Perhaps there's some more to come in free agency once the draft is over or maybe they just hope Dwight Lowery can pick up his game in his 3rd year. 

Safeties Minimal Need
Trading Kerry Rhodes to the Cardinals leaves a big hole. He may have had issues with his coaches but he's still a good player and good players are tough to replace. Jim Leonhard will hold down one of the safety spots and Brodney Pool should be the other one, for this year at least. They could still look for a safety and again picking near the end of the round it's going to be a position where, if a highly rated prospect falls, they could well go for them. Or they could trust in Rex Ryan...

Specialists No Need
With Nick Folk now fully recovered from a hip injury he should make for a good addition. Before his dodgy 2009 season he was one of the most accurate kickers in the league. Punting is a little more questionable, Steve Weatherford has bounced around a few teams now and never really stood out anywhere but the Jets have also signed T.J. Conley to compete.

Return Game No Need
It sounds like Leon Washington should be back returning kicks and punts...he's pretty good at it so there should be no need to upgrade here. Certainly not in the draft.

Dream Day One
1.29 Jared Odrick DE Penn State
2.61 Rodger Saffold OT Indiana
Player Visits
Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State
Jahvid Best RB California
Montario Hardesty RB Tennessee
Toby Gerhart RB Stanford
Maurkice Pouncey C Florida
Terrence Cody DT Alabama
Corey Peters DT Kentucky
Jared Odrick DE/DT Penn State
Corey Wootton DE Northwestern
Brandon Graham DE/LB Michigan
Kareem Jackson CB Alabama
Daryl Washington LB TCU
Ricky Sapp LB Clemson
Major Wright FS Florida
Mickey Shuler TE Penn State
Anthony Davis OT Rutgers
Devin McCourty CB Rutgers
Jason Worilds DE/LB Virginia Tech
Marcus Easley WR Connecticut
Steve Maneri TE Temple
Kevin Haslam OT Rutgers


Last Edited: 04/14/2010

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