Round 1: Brandin Cooks WR Oregon St.
Even after signing wide receiver Eric Decker earlier this offseason the Jets still desperately need play makers at the receiver position. To complement the big bodied possession receiver in Decker, Cooks would be an excellent yin to Decker’s yang. What he may lack in size at 5’10, Cooks makes up for with blistering speed and great hands. With the Jets probably missing out on Desean Jackson, Cooks could be a game breaker from game one. With his 4.33 40 yard dash and pro day still ahead, Cooks keeps shooting up draft boards. He may not be a physical receiver, but his speed and ability to make plays in space could give Gang Green a great offensive playmaker.
Round 2: Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
Even with Jeff Cumberland returning to New York, the Jets still need an upgrade at tight end. While he may not be the most explosive tight end in this draft, Niklas is a well rounded tight end. True, he doesn’t have game breaking speed, but he has soft hands and at 6’6 is a big target in the red zone or on third down. Plus, he’s a very good blocker which is important for a team that runs the ball as much as the Jets. Niklas has all the tools to be an opening day starter for the Jets in 2014.
Round 3: Cyril Richardson OG Baylor
I can already here the complaints about this one. Why do the Jets need an offensive guard in round 3? Didn’t they just sign Willie Colon? Colon did resign, but only for one year and there are still questions about the offensive line. What was once a great strength is now a huge question mark for the Jets. Ferguson and Mangold did not look like their former pro bowl selves last season. To help sure up the offensive line the Jets should bring in Richardson who is a run blocking road grater at 329 pounds. Not only can he pave the way in the running game, but Richardson has great feet and is a solid pass protector. Richardson could be the Jets guard for the next 10 seasons and help bring stability back to a depleted offensive line.
Round 4: Terrance Brooks FS Florida St.
With three forth round picks the Jets can take advantage of this extremely deep draft class. First, Brooks would be a welcomed addition to the depleted secondary. A well balanced safety who was plagued by inconsistency, Brooks has the talent to be an effective safety in the NFL. While he may not be a playmaker in the back end, he does have a good nose for the ball and has great athleticism. Considered a hybrid safety, his flexibility will play well in Rex Ryan’s defense where players must be flexible and are asked to lineup in different positions. A possible starter in the making, Brooks represents great value here in the early fourth round.
Round 4: Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
If the Jets mishandled anything this offseason, there is no question that it was the cornerback position. After losing Cromartie and failing to sign top free agents, what was once a strength of the defense is now a liability. However, if the “Seattle Method” has taught us anything is that good corners can be found in the late rounds. At 6’3, Jean-Baptiste has the ideal size and strength to play man coverage in Ryan’s physical defense. While he maybe raw and require some development, Jean-Baptiste could develop into a very good corner for Gang Green.
Round 4: Dri Archer RB Kent St.
Don’t let the size fool you. At 5’8 what Archer lacks in size he makes up for in blistering speed. With a sensational 4.26 40 at the combine, Archer is the faster player in the upcoming draft. Despite not being an every down back in the NFL, Archer could be a dangerous weapon as a slot receiver or with limited snaps in the backfield. Even in the passing game, Archer could be a great weapon on screen plays. Even if he isn’t an impact on offense right away, Archer would be a dangerous return man and give the Jets a great returner with the absence of Josh Cribbs.
Round 5: Ronald Powell OLB Florida
A tweener linebacker and defensive end, Powell could be a good project for Rex Ryan. With Calvin Pace getting long in the tooth Powell could become a great backup or role player in 2014. With and ACL injury in 2012, there are red flags in terms of health, but in round five Powell would be a good value pick to at least add depth at the outside linebacking position.
Round 6: Cody Latimer WR Indiana
After a great college career, Latimer’s size and leaping ability are a lethal combination. May not be a contributor every down, but would provide great depth a receiver and become a reliable red zone target. Could excel in a limited role.
Round 6: Reggie Jordan TE Missouri Western
Jordan has all the physical tools to play the position but not the refinement. Despite running poor routes and trouble with his weight, Jordan has an ability to make plays and could develop well. As the third tight end or practice squad could become an effective role player down the road.
Round 6: Larry Webster DE Bloomsburg
At 6’6 252 pounds, Webster is an athletic specimen. Despite playing at a small school his rare athleticism could translate into a very effective speed edge rusher. If the Jets can develop him he could be a very good answer for the lacking pass rush they have had. If that doesn’t work out, he has all the tools to be an effective tight end and the Jets could mold him into a tight end. Either way he could be a vital backup or practice squad player that could develop into a great future Jet.
Round 7: Walk Aikens CB Liberty
Aikens is another big physical corner who thrives in man to man press coverage. He fits the Jets man cornerback prototype and has good size at 6’1. Seattle loves big corners, its time for the Jets to follow a similar model. Aikens would be competing for a backup role and would be perfect for the depleted cornerback depth. What do you think? Do you guys agree? Who should the Jets draft in 2014? Comment below!