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After finishing 30th in the NFL in passing in 2012, the Jets continue to catch their share only of abuse. How, their fans ask, could they not have invested one pick in seven rounds on a receiver?
Never mind that they took
Never mind that after the Rams traded up to No. 8 to take Tavon Austin, a talent the Jets loved, there wasn’t another wide receiver selected for another 19 picks, which should tell you that John Idzik and his inherited braintrust saw what a lot of other teams did: There was more value at other positions at that point of the draft.
The Jets did what the smart teams traditionally have done: Take the best player on the board, never mind if their fans temporarily are bored with what they have been watching. The frustration is understandable, but with all due respect, the paying customers won’t know
Full disclosure here. This column is being written by a Mizzou alum who has watched at least half of Richardson’s games for two seasons and who is here to report there is more to like about him than just his girth and quickness. Such as his ambition and loyalty.
Failing to qualify at Missouri academically after signing, he went to junior college, made his grades and, despite remaining one of the most coveted recruits in the country, didn’t waver on his initial commitment. After Richardson put his foot in his mouth before the Tigers’ hyped first-ever SEC game and said smashmouth Georgia played “old-man football” when he meant to say “old-school football,” he apologized to Mark Richt, the Bulldogs coach, on the field following Missouri’s loss.
Personality-wise, Richardson will be the Jets’ new Bart Scott, without the condescension, and will be more than just the new Sione Pouha along a defensive line that projects as a real strength of a rebuilding team as early as this season.
The Jets have used No. 1 picks on defensive linemen — Mo Wilkerson,
Anyone angry that too many of the Jets’ multiple other needs went unaddressed needs to address the history of what wins in the long run, not just during the next season. Why did the woebegone Steelers, who had taken a high-profile Notre Dame quarterback by the name of Terry Hanratty in the second round of 1969, use the very first pick the next year on a no-name thrower from Louisiana Tech named Terry Bradshaw? Because they believed he had a greater upside.
Now, having said we know more about Sheldon Richardson than you do, we’re not going to pretend that we are certain about how good he is going to turn out to be. Nobody knows for sure about any draftee, except for Mel Kiper Jr. apparently.
We would be shocked if Richardson doesn’t prove a whole lot better than Dewayne Robertson, a No. 4 overall who never made plays in college, and be really surprised if Richardson’s personality doesn’t charm New York and irritate New England. But we don’t have to quantify how many Pro Bowl selections he will earn to respect the rationale that went into the Jets’ 2013 selections.
The smartest teams draft the next playmaker available, regardless of position, sometimes regardless of round. A franchise that is going to recover quickly from the loss of a Darrelle Revis is not going to obsess with instantly replacing him with the next best corner on the free agent market or in a draft but is going to select a
The clubs that are going to win don’t fall in love with the next best guy to close their next open wound. Needs can change in a year, while the need for true gamechangers never ends.
Of course, philosophy gets you nowhere without sound judgment. Many NFL personnel evaluators saw the high upside in
Not nearly as much is being gambled on
The Jets, who blessedly ended the Tim Tebow distraction today by waiving him, have new quarterbacks (Smith and