This is the 10th and last in this season's articles on newyorkjets.com about the draft and free agency from the independent personnel analysts at Real Football Services.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on newyorkjets.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the New York Jets organization, front office staff, coaches and executives.
We all know it’s going to take several years to determine the true value of the players in this year’s draft. Still, Jets fans have to be generally pleased with the reaction and “grades” new GM John Idzik and his personnel team are receiving from prognosticators and draft experts over the last few days.
If our opinion matters, we basically agree. The Jets hit on several needs, but seemingly missed out on others. With that being said, only Idzik knows the FULL plan, and our guess is that this team is not quite done rebuilding and retooling for the 2013 season.
Here are a few thoughts we have on each of the Jets' selections:
Round 1 (No. 9) —
It’s tough to argue this pick. The Jets lose Darrelle Revis and then have the best corner in the draft fall to them. He’ll be fine as long as Jets fans don’t get crazy and expect him to be Revis. He’s not. He’s big, he’s physical, he can cover, he can tackle, and he can contribute against the run, which is a huge part of the job in the NFL.
Ideally, though, we would have liked the team to look at CB a round or two later, where there were some players with better ball skills and big-play ability, and use one of the early picks on that 3-4 impact pass rusher — the Terrell Suggs, James Harrison or LaMarr Woodley of this draft — who could set the tone for the defense.
Round 1 (No. 13) —
Richardson is a very good player and was 15th on our board. He’s got a rare combination of size and athleticism, and a quick burst that allows him to shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield. But in Rex Ryan’s traditional 3-4 sets, he doesn’t seem to fit. With that being said, this could be an indication of Ryan’s plans for the defense, and we could see multiple fronts and a lot of different looks on Sundays when Richardson may work in a rotation.
Round 2 (No. 39) —
Smith is another good player, and he may end up being the Jets' starting QB, maybe even sooner than later. Honestly, we don’t see it happening that way, but we’ve been wrong before.
Our biggest problem with this pick is that it feels like the Jets forced the issue on the QB. When players like Andrew Luck, RGIII and Russell Wilson step into starting roles and go to the playoffs, fans expect it to be the norm. But last year was the exception, not the rule. No matter who the Jets end up playing at QB in 2013, they should be giving that player every opportunity to succeed, and that means putting the pieces around him in place.
Round 3 (No. 72) —
We love this pick. Not only is Winters tough, physical, durable and smart, he’s a versatile player who has played guard and tackle. He’s best-suited inside at the NFL level, but he’s a huge 320-pound man who plays with good quickness, burst and leverage, which he probably got from competing as a wrestler in his younger days.
Round 5 (No. 141) —
We actually mentioned Aboushi as a potential prospect for the Jets in an earlier article in this series. He’s a physical, aggressive blocker, and though he played LT for the Cavaliers, he will move to the right side as a strong run blocker who can play either guard or tackle.
Round 6 (No. 178) — William Campbell, G (DT), Michigan
While we understand the need for added depth on the O-line, using a third draft pick on a project player seems a little curious. Campbell has size and athleticism and could be a long-term fit at guard. Remember,
But with so many needs on the roster, and given Campbell’s less-than-stellar career at Michigan, our guess is the Jets could have gotten him without using a draft pick and could have addressed any number of other needs with this selection. We hope Campbell pans out. It’s just a question of acquiring maximum value out of seven picks at this point.
Round 7 (No. 215) —
Every West Coast offense needs a good fullback. Blocking is a strength, and he has the size to run with power. He’s also a capable receiver who had 23 catches and five receiving TDs. He also ran for a score. If you can run, block and catch as a back, there’s a spot for you in the West Coast offense. Don’t be surprised to see him in an H-Back type of role at times.