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EA Q&A: Jets Have Draft Options Galore

Posted Apr 23, 2013

The 2013 NFL Draft is literally hours away and it won’t be long now before former Jets PR intern Roger Goodell says the Jets are on the clock.  Our “Jets Talk Live” Predraft Special will commence at 6:30 p.m. from MetLife Stadium and Jets Nation will be able to view our 90-minute spectacular on newyorkjets.com.

Our guest list is scheduled to include Jets players: Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples & Willie Colon, Jets play-by-play man Bob Wischusen, College Football News’ Rich Cirminiello, and you will also hear from GM John Idzik and senior personnel executive Terry Bradway.  Both ESPN NFL Reporter Sal Paolantonio and NYJets.com Editor-in-Chief Randy Lange will check in live from the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and Radio City respectively.   We will also take a look back at some draft memories of alums Joe Namath, Marty Lyons and Joe Klecko. And make sure you hit us up on Twitter: @eallenjets as we take fan questions and comments — from season ticket holders at the Met — and Jets Nation across the world.

If you have downloaded the Jets App, you’ll be able to watch the show when we are live. Fans can download the New York Jets Official App to their smartphones by texting the word JETS to 51288 or by searching “Official New York Jets” on iTunes, Android Market or Blackberry App World. Download it from your mobile device here.

Now let’s get to our last predraft Q&A…

Aaron S.
Huntsville, AL

Q: What is the likelihood the Jets go after Tavon Austin with the newly acquired 13th pick?  I see Austin as a weapon defenses have to account for every time he is on the field and frankly something the Jets do not currently have or have had since Leon Washington left.

Dylan

Q:
Do you see Tavon Austin becoming a Jet?

EA:
Austin is a dynamic, multipurpose performer.  You are talking about a sub 4.4 player who can line up as a slot receiver, as a running back and as a returner.  There is a lot of chatter now that Austin — not Geno Smith — will be the first West Virginia product selected this weekend.   He totaled 572 yards in one game against Oklahoma including a ridiculous 344 yards on the ground.  In addition to running for 598 yards in 2012, Austin caught 110 passes from the slot.

Sure Austin is only 5’9”, 174 pounds, but he is a football player blessed with scintillating speed and excellent vision.  Rest assured the Jets — and every other NFL club — have done their homework on this stud.  ESPN analyst/former Jets head coach Eric Mangini said the challenge with Austin will be designing plays to get him the space he needs because the NFL is a different game.

But these two selections in the first round give the Green & White some flexibility and it would not surprise me in the least if another club was interested in moving up to target a player like Austin on Thursday.  That 13th selection is a big-time asset.  As I said after the Revis trade, the Jets will be power players on draft weekend. 

Jaye-C Banks
Hampton

Q:
Do you think it make senses to use the pick we obtained from the Bucs to trade back, let’s say to the 20-25th pick in the first round and use an early pick in the second round to get the best available WR or QB?

EA: If it makes sense to trade down, the Jets certainly won’t be afraid to do so.  This team has plenty of needs and stockpiling picks in a deep draft is not a bad idea.   John Idzik told me that free agency is more talent based while the draft is more need based, and the hope is you actually get both in the draft.

As of Tuesday, the Jets have eight selections.   Rich Cirminiello, our resident draft expert from College Football News who will join me on our Jets Predraft Special Thursday night, thinks the Green & White could take a long look at both Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib in Round 2 or Tennessee QB Tyler Bray in Round 3.  Cirminiello throws out Austin as someone to consider in the first round and both Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins and Tennessee WR Justin Hunter as possible targets in the second round (No. 39 Overall).

Louis Chiappone
Moriches, NY

Q: I think there is a possibility of Jets trading down one of the first-round picks for more latter-round picks.   What do you think?

EA: As John Idzik has continually stated, the Jets will look at any trade possibilities and see if they benefit his ballclub.   It will be interesting to see if teams like the Atlanta Falcons, the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers ultimately make moves to climb up in Round 1.  Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, who went up in 2011 to get Julio Jones, was recently quoted in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution as saying, “If you feel that you want to package picks to go up and get the player that you feel can help the team, well, then you use your draft picks as fodder to go after that player.”  While the Jets have two early first-round selections, the Vikes have a pair late with No. 23 and No. 25.  The 49ers have seven draft selections between Rounds 2 and 5 and they might have the deepest roster in all of football.

Pat D’
Howard Beach, NY

Q:
Will the Jets take Dion Jordan or Barkevious Mingo with 9th pick?   Will they trade 13th pick and take WR (Tennessee) Justin Hunter, and QB either E.J. Manuel or Tyler Bray?

EA: The re-signing of Calvin Pace gives the Jets some flexibility at the outside linebacker position.  Antwan Barnes possesses excellent speed and Garrett McIntyre has a non-stop motor.  Also will Ricky Sapp make a move this summer?

If Jordan or Mingo is available at No. 9, you obviously take a long look.  The 6’6”, 248-pound Jordan is a freakish athlete with 4.5 speed who was asked to both rush the passer and drop in coverage at Oregon.  But he registered five sacks a year ago and he is recovering from a shoulder surgery. 

If you have studied the mock drafts lately, Mingo is a popular name for the Jet at No. 9.  Mingo has the speed you want off the edge, but his numbers were less than staggering (4.5 sacks & 8.5 tackles for loss) in 2012.

Bray has a monster arm and some pundits think the raw Tennessee product is a sleeper.  People are all over the board on this QB class and it is impossible to know what the Jets are thinking at this point.  Manuel had an impressive offseason, turning in an MVP performance at the Senior Bowl and following up with a solid Pro Day workout.  This dude has the package — 6’5”, 240 pounds with a big arm, good feet and outstanding intangibles.  When I was at the Combine in February, I wrote about Manuel.

But will the Jets make a move early on a QB?

“We can’t say where our quarterbacks are ranked. That wouldn’t be prudent of us,” said first-year college scouting director Jeff Bauer.  “There are some quarterbacks in this draft that are going to play in this league and are going to start.”

J. Lombardo
Wyckoff, NJ
Q: Why are the Jets not re-signing Brandon Moore and why are they not paying more attention to their very poor offensive line?

EA: The offensive line is not “very poor.”  If newcomer Willie Colon can stay healthy, I think you are solid with a top four of C Nick Mangold, LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson, RT Austin Howard and Colon.  This is a good draft for linemen and it starts right there at the top with the guard pair of Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper.  One or both of those studs could be on the board at No. 9 or No. 13.

Matthew M.
Old Bridge, NY

Q: If Geno Smith does in fact fall to the No. 9 pick, will the Jets pick him up? Is there even a chance the Jets are looking for a QB in the 2013 draft?

EA: With eight draft selections, I believe there is a legitimate chance the Jets add a QB.  After months of dissecting and looking for warts on prospects, it appears many pundits have cooled on Geno Smith.  It would be fascinating to see him still on the board at No. 9 or No. 13.  The 6’3”, 218-pound Smith has an NFL-caliber arm, but there are questions as far as his footwork and pocket awareness.  How difficult will it be for Smith to transition from a shotgun spread to a pro-style offense?

Cliff
New City, NY

Q:
Hey Eric .  A few weeks ago I predicted over/under Jets wins this year at 2 and you scoffed at the notion. Do you still think the Jets will win more than 2 games this year? Not happening.

EA: Thanks for following up Cliff.  Drop me a line next week after the Jets do some damage over the weekend.  I guarantee the Jets will win more than two games in 2013.  If they don’t, let’s figure out something I can do for a charity or our first responders or those serving in the military.  Come to think of it, I would like for all of us to come up with an idea here.

Bob
North Attleboro, MA

Q:
When was the last time a team with a shutdown corner won the Super Bowl? It doesn't happen. QBs win in this league (i.e. look at the last 5 Super Bowls).   Until the Jets get the "next coming" of Tom Brady, they are going nowhere, so might as well save money to build full team around a new QB in 2014.

EA: I know the question is rhetorical, but Packers Charles Woodson and Patriots CB Ty Law were prime-time performers.  But they did play with Aaron Rodgers and Brady, so yes I understand your point.  Finding the “next coming” won’t be easy since Brady is arguably one of the Top 5 QBs of all-time.  Finally, Revis is scheduled to earn $16 million annually in Tampa and that is big-time coin.

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