Making the Grade: NY Jets Draft grades

The 2013 NFL Draft was a monumental one for the New York Jets as they looked to rebuild their depleted roster. Many questions surrounded the Jets before the draft. How much power did Rex Ryan still have? Would they trade down? Find an heir apparent to Mark Sanchez or quarterbacks that don’t butt fumble? Well the draft has come and gone but let’s see how and John Idzik and the Jets did in the 2013 draft.

First Round Dee Milliner CB Alabama 9th overall

Milliner says he can be as good as Revis let's find out

Milliner says he can be as good as Revis let’s find out

This was a mixed bag for me. Did the Jets pick the best player on the board yes. Did they improve a secondary that lost Darrelle Revis yes. But still there are many problems I have with this pick. First I would have tried to trade down to pick up more picks, I think the Jets may have tried but their were no takers. Second I feel bad for Milliner because despite the potential to be a top 5 corner in this league he’s got awfully big shoes to fill. While the surgeries don’t concern me, I was slightly concerned with this pick because one of the few strengths of this team was its corners. Also with so many talented corners in later rounds I thought the Jets would’ve picked up their corner later. However, with the top three pass rushers and Tavon Austin off the board there weren’t too many other options for the Jets. Overall I think the Milliner and Cromartie combo next year could be one of the best in the game and will help to keep the Jets defense as one of the top units in the NFL Grade B

First Round Sheldon Richardson DE/DT Missouri 13th overall

This wasn't what Jet fans were expecting

This wasn’t what Jet fans were expecting

So this is what we got for Revis? GGGRRREEAATTT…. One again I thought the Jets would’ve traded back to get more backs but once again that didn’t happen. When the pick was made I thought ok Tyler Eiffert the TE or Star Lotulelei or Shariff Floyd. I think all Jet fans can agree that when this make was made the reaction was either WHO? or NNOOOO. Looks like Rex Ryan does have some pull left with the Jets. Ok this is why this doesn’t make sense. Richardson projects to be a 3-4 end or 4-3 DT. However, the Jets already have two Defensive ends and needed a run stopping defensive tackle. While Richardson is a very good pass rusher, the Jets in their 3-4 defense need pressure from the outside and a run stopper in the middle. The Jets were 25th in the NFL in run defense last year and it was an area that needed vast improvement. The only reason this may make sense is if the Jets switch to a 4-3 defense next year. However, Ryan has made no indication of this and until I hear of anything different I just have to assume that the 3-4 will remain and that Richardson will be a rotational pass rusher. Despite the Jets improving their pass rush they still left many other needs unfulfilled.  With the best Tight end and the two best defensive tackles still on the board  this pick didn’t make sense, and was a reach. Grade C

Second Round Geno Smith QB West Virginia 39th overall

This could be the steal of the draft

This could be the steal of the draft

Quick call the cops! The Jets just stole the best QB in the draft in the second round. Didn’t this work out nicely. Instead of picking Geno with the 13th pick the Jets waited patently till the second round where they may have just found their franchise quarterback. Looks like Tebow and Sanchez may be packing their bags. Despite all the knocks on Smith he was considered to be the best QB in this class and a top 10 pick. With his value, coupled with where the Jets got him, this could be the steal of the draft. I believe Geno will have added motivation for multiple reasons. He has a chip on his shoulder for not going in the first round, E.J. Manuel plays him twice a year, he was embarrassed by being left in the green room on national TV, and he has the chance to win the starting job. Geno has to work for the starting job and knows that he won’t be handed the job, isn’t that right Mr. Sanchez? Smith will have to work to get the keys to the Jets car, unlike Sanchez who just was just handed the keys like some spoiled 16-year-old. Even if he doesn’t work out, there’s no question that taking a gamble here was worth it Grade A+

Third Round Brian Winters OG Kent State

While I like the pick, I think the Jets could have done better

While I like the pick, I think the Jets could have done better

Looks like the Jets are bringing back the ground and pound. Brian Winters and his 320 pound frame can defiantly move defenders. Winters gives the Jets many options and while it looks like he will be pencilled in as a starting guard, he can also play tackle should the Jets need him to move outside. A likely starter, Winters features great athleticism which helps him get to the second level and open up holes for the running back. One problem with this pick was that the Jets passed on Kenan Allen, who was once considered a first round pick at receiver. However, it looks like a Rex Ryan Draft , and as we all know he wants to run the ball, and  Winters could help gang green do just that  Grade B

Fourth Round trade Chris Ivory

The Jets get their feature back from the big easy

The Jets get their feature back from the big easy

OK this technically was a trade but Idzik made a great move here. With most of the running back talent off the board Idzik decided it was better to go out and trade for this 222 pound bruiser and sign him to a long-term contract. Despite some past injuries the 25-year-old has a 5.1 yard per carry average with the Saints and could excel now being in a starter role. Almost reminds me of Michael Turner, who when finally given a starting job finally proved how good he really was. With Ivory the Jets have four running backs on the roster including free agent signing Mike Woodson, Bilal Powell, and Joe Mcknight. With this stable full of running backs it seems Ryan will get back to what made the Jets successful, running the football. Reminds me of earth, wind, and fire with the Giants just a few years ago. While a minor deal, this could be a major steal in the making. Grade A

 

Round 5 Oday Aboushi OT Virginia

The Jets continue to load up on the buffet busters

The Jets continue to load up on the buffet busters

I’m sensing a pattern here. Another 300 pounder, Aboushi was a left tackle at Virgina and figures to compete for the starting job at either one of the guard positions or right tackle. Another value pick for the Jets, Aboushi was considered a top 75 prospect coming into the draft and a top left tackle prospect. Even with D’Brickashaw Ferguson on the roster, Aboushi figures to compete for a starting position once training camp opens in Cortland and could be a dark horse to start. Even if he doesn’t start ,he’ll provide much-needed depth to an offensive line whose depth has been exposed too many time over the past two seasons.  However, with Winters already on board the Jets still have many other holes to fill and passed on a couple of quality safeties in order to get one of the higher ranked guys on the board.  Grade B

Round 6 William Campbell G  (DT) Michigan

A Defensive tackle at Ann Arbor the Jets will try to convert Campbell into a guard

A Defensive tackle at Ann Arbor the Jets will try to convert Campbell into a guard

Another pick, another 3o0 pounder. Looks like the chefs at Cortland will be busy during training camp. Despite being listed as a defensive tackle the Jets have already said that they will have Campbell play guard. While some scouts felt this would be his best avenue to success, other scouts felt that he could be a solid defensive tackle with the right coaches. I guess this is a good pick for two reasons. One if they can get him to play guard he could be an athletic run blocker. Two if that doesn’t work out they can always move him back to defensive tackle  where he can add  much needed depth. With this abundance of offensive linemen, the Jets will defiantly have depth. However, once again the Jets are ignoring other areas of need such as safety, DT, and TE. Despite the versatility of this pick, the other areas of need should have been addressed. Grade C

Round 7 Tommy Bohanon FB Wake Forest

The Jets snagged the highest rated fullback in the seventh round

The Jets snagged the highest rated fullback in the seventh round

So much for Rex not calling the shots. Remember when he drafted John Conner in the fourth round, well at least this time around they get the highest ranked fullback in round seven. Well if this pick shows us anything it’s that the Jets are planning on running the ball a lot next season. With over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career Bohanon is a versatile fullback that can make plays when the ball is in his hands. While he may not be the best catcher out of the backfield or the biggest he loves to hit linebackers. Rex should love this kid, a fullback that can do a little bit of everything, but most importantly can knock the snot out of opposing defensive players. For a team that runs the ball like the Jets, and that hasn’t had a great FB since Tony Richardson retired Bohanon could be the Jets next great fullback. Once again though the Jets ignored other major areas of need for a player they probably could have gotten un drafted. However, this could be a sleeper pick and a starter out of round seven is another added bonus. Grade B+

Summary 

Dee Millner, Sheldon Richardson

This draft has made a few things very clear about the offense and defense for the 2013 Jets. On offense they are going to run the ball a lot. Don’t believe me? Why else trade for a power back, draft three offensive linemen and a fullback in the same draft? This also points to the fact that they maybe looking for Geno Smith to start early and will provide him with a similar game plan Sanchez had his rookie season. Run the ball, use play action to your advantage, and manage the game. Look for the Jets to also run the ball like the 49ers with an offset offensive line. With all of their new linemen I won’t be surprised if the Jets come out with 6 offensive linemen in running situations. On Defense Rex got two major playmakers in round one.. With the decision to draft Richardson and not add any linebackers, points to the fact that this team maybe switching to a 4-3 defense. Have Coples play end, while moving Richardson and Wilkerson along the defensive line. This also makes sense since Harris would be the middle, move Davis to outside linebacker and the rotate Pace, Mcyintre, and Barnes, at the other linebacker position. Despite the great draft two major areas of concern are left, I say two because I assume the 4-3 change would explain not adding linebackers. They still don’t have a tight end as Cumberland will be the starter as of now, and despite improving their corners the Jets safeties could be one of the worst groupings in the NFL. Unfortunately the Jets did not fill all of the needs that the team had when it began the draft. Overall I think Idzik did a very good job in his first draft, especially in later rounds when he went with the more talented players instead of drafting based on need.

Final Grade B+ 

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