By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)
On the eve of the draft, the Jets find themselves as having an extra 1st round pick at 13 from the Darrelle Revis trade giving them 8 picks total.
Sadly, it's not enough for the rebuilding Jets.
With needs almost at every position, it'll be hard for the Jets to land value for every spot.
Quarterback - Currently, the starting quarterback position is up for grabs among the guys still on the roster. That means it's between ex-Jaguars QB David Garrard, Greg McElroy, Mark Sanchez, and Tim Tebow(Yes, he hasn't been cut yet). So to sum things up, the Jets don't have a starting quarterback on the roster.
Sadly, the 2013 draft is not the draft for quarterbacks, that was last years. Geno Smith(West Virginia), the speculated #1 quarterback draft would most likely find himself as the 6th quarterback in the 2012 draft. That being said, Smith is still projected to go in the top 10 with need being used as an evaluator. Even he does fall to 9, I just can't see the Jets taking him with more talented players at other needed areas.
If the Jets do select a quarterback, it'll most likely be in the 2nd round, and that QB I speculate would be Ryan Nassib(Syracuse). Nassib doesn't physically impress you or make you get out of your seat, but he plays the position intelligently. Think of him like a Chad Pennington with better arm strength, and at least he's 6'3", two inches taller than Sanchez. It'll be lucky if Nassib falls to them at 41, but if he does, I do think the Jets should take him.
It's also hard to think why the Jets were so hard pressed to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2013 1st round pick instead of the 2014 1st round pick they originally offered for Revis. The quarterbacks in 2014 are projected to be better than 2013.
Running back - The Jets lost Shonn Greene who was last year's starting running back. The load currently will fall on Bilal Powell who did show some promise in the 2012 season. However, Rex Ryan always shouts "ground n pound" and with Powell and newcomer Mike Goodson, it'll be hard to win games using that philosophy without improvement.
Like quarterback, this draft just isn't that great at the running back position. The top RB is Alabama's Eddie Lacy which is a solid pick but Lacy is projected to go in the 20s. The need for RB doesn't outweigh some needs in other positions such as Safety and OLB, so it's doubtful they would use the 13 pick on Lacy.
After Lacy, the talent at the RB position drops off significantly. Le'Veon Bell(Mich. St.), Montee Ball(Wisconsin), are two other options the Jets could look at with 74 and 105. It's probable that both will still be on the board by at least 74. Neither player would make an impact that Lacy could though.
Wide Receiver - With Santonio Holmes coming back slowly from injury, it'll be a rough few games with this current receiving core. The now sophmore Stephen Hill dropped way too many catches in 2012. He cannot be counted on in 3rd down situations and doesn't seemed to have grasp the game at the NFL level. Jeremy Kerley is a good slot receiver but the problem is he needs to stay in the slot.
Tavon Austin(West Virginia) is one option the Jets could look at with one of their 1st round picks. Austin can also return punts and kickoffs as well as make plays in the passing game. More of a big play guy, and only 5'-8" in height, Austin is not a vertical threat in the passing game. In the NFL, he'd most likely be used as Reggie Bush was in New Orleans. Unfortunately, he's not as athletic as Bush coming out. The other option is Cordarrelle Patterson(Tennessee). At 6'-3", Patterson is the more typical receiver. He also has the potential to return kicks, but isn't as versatile as Austin.
If the Jets pass on both, they most likely will not select a receiver in the draft.
Tight End - With the Dolphins signing Dustin Keller, the Jets starting TE right now is Jeff Cumberland. Cumberland is in no way the passing threat Keller was and downgrades the passing game significantly.
The two top tight ends in this draft are Tyler Eifert(Notre Dame) and Zach Ertz(Stanford). Eifert was a great tight end in college and give the Jets a nice blocker and pass catcher. Eifert is projected to go in the 18-28 in numerous mock drafts. Selecting Eifert at 13 would be a slight stretch but it could happen. If the Jets decide not to select him, Ertz is 6'-5" with good hands. Ertz doesn't have great speed like Keller but he can move the chains and is a big target.
Pass Rusher - With numerous cuts on the defensive side such as Bart Scott, a pass rusher is what the Jets have lacked for years. The Jets have had a history of failure in selecting pass rushers such as Vernon Gholston in the 2008 draft. The defensive line is young with tons of potential in Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, so look for the Jets to address this need at the outside linebacker position. Luckily, this draft is rich in this exact area, especially in the first round.
Dion Jordan(Oregon) is scouted to be the best pass rusher in the draft. The problem with this is that he is a projecte top 5 pick. It's doubtful the Jets will trade up. The next two players are both first rounders with good talent. Jarvis Jones(Georgia) and Barkevious Mingo(LSU), it makes sense that if you want good defensive players you take from the SEC. Both players are a great fit with the Jets at the outside linebacker position and both might be available at the 9-13 area.
The draft is also deep with defensive linemen but some prospects do not fit the Jets 3-4 system. One potential pick here in the 1st round is Star Lotulelei(Utah). However, it's doubtful the Jets take another lineman in the 1st round.
Safety - LaRon Landry who played well with the Jets in 2012 left for the Colts. The Jets decided to sign Landry's less productive bother Dawan, formerly of the Jaguars. Dawan struggled with the Jaguars and isn't as hard a hitter as his brother. The safety position is in need of a major upgrade.
A player that the Jets seem to have their eye on is LSU's Eric Reid. The Jets would most likely trade down to take Reid in the 1st round. It's unlikely they go for this though, and look at other options such as Matt Elam(Florida) in the later rounds. Elam's 5'-10" in height but has good play recognition skills. Elam was also a leader on one of the best defenses in college football in 2012. Elam could be a very productive player and good value with pick 74.
Despite the trading of Revis, cornerback isn't as big of need as the areas mentioned above. Cromartie filled in quite nicely last year and the Jets are content with hoping that he can continue that productivity.
As for the 1st round on Thursday. The Jets will most likely take Dion Jordan/Barkevious Mingo at 9, filling their need for a pass rusher. At 13, the options are wide open. Could be Tavon Austin, could be Eifert or they could trade down.
Regardless, the Jets will not be able to fill all their needs with just this one draft.