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EA Q&A: The Richardson Fit, Sanchez’s Future

Posted Apr 30, 2013

On Thursday, we will have a couple of newcomers visit our “Jets Talk LIVE” studios.  Safety Dawan Landry and RB Mike Goodson are scheduled to appear on JTL, which will commence at 3:00 p.m.  We will get to a couple of your questions, so feel free to drop me a line on Twitter: @eallenjets.

And now for our first postdraft Q&A.

Gregers
Copenhagen, Denmark
Q:
Hi EA, thanks for keeping us all up to date with news from Jetland. Is it fair to interpret the bypass of safety, TE and pass rush in the draft as an indication that the Jets are expecting vast improvements from last year’s additions?

EA: Yes and no. 

The Jets are a multiple-front team and Rex Ryan loves versatility in his linemen.  But you certainly can expect the Jets to play more 4-3 considering their personnel.  There are no depth charts at this point, but the picture is staring to get clearer.  David Harris and Demario Davis will be the inside ‘backers, Calvin Pace is back on the outside and then you would seem to have a logjam up front with Antonio Garay, Kenrick Ellis, Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples.   But Q has the athletic gifts to play at the Jets’ rush backer spot.  That is a nice youthful looking front folks and remember the Jets added Antwan Barnes in free agency, so he can help come off the edge in sub packages. 

You can pencil in free agent S Dawan Landry in the starting lineup.  Antonio Allen, a seventh-rounder last April who appeared in six games in 2012, is a physical presence with decent range.  Josh Bush, a sixth rounder from Wake Forest in 2012, has solid man coverage ability and will be an asset when teams try to spread the Jets out.  John Idzik and the personnel department are going to explore all avenues to improve their roster, so I think adding another tight end to the equation is likely.  But Jeff Cumberland, who hauled in 29 balls last season with three TDs, has to make a big jump.  The big Aussie Hayden Smith is an interesting project who will benefit from his first true NFL offseason. 

Henry
Valley Stream, New York

Q: With Richardson, seems like a 4-3 is a natural.  You see us doing that?

EA: Yes while continuing to be multiple.  The Rex Ryan/Dennis Thurman 3-4 front isn't all two-gapping.   The tackle position, the rush ‘backer and will ‘backer are all 4-3 type positions.   The tackle in this 3-4 is a gap penetrator, so Richardson fits in well.

The Jets will continue to get their best personnel on the field.  Many fans didn’t know who Sheldon Richardson was before Thursday night, but he can play at a high level.  The Jets were ecstatic that he was on the board with their 13th overall selection.

“He just jumps off the tape,” said director of college scouting Jeff Bauer.  “This is a defensive tackle (who) made plays 20 yards down the field, sideline-to-sideline, and his motor is non-stop. He’s going to make an impact here quickly.”

Gary E. Vazquez
East Stroudsburg, PA

Q: Granted this draft is unique, but the selection of Richardson is a bit confusing.   With (Alabama G Chance) Warmack and elite OL still on the board, what was the thinking behind selecting Richardson?  Is he being looked at as a standup pass rusher?

EA: I have no issue with the Richardson selection.  Both of the top guards — Jonathan Cooper (ARZ, No. 7) and Chance Warmack (TEN, No. 10) — were off the board and the Bills prevented any Tavon Austin consideration when they traded the eighth overall pick to the Rams.  Austin was the most electrifying playmaker in this draft, but it sure appears like there was a significant drop-off after that.  Lots of people wonder why the Jets didn’t go with TE Tyler Eifert with that second first-round pick, but the Jets obviously had Richardson ranked higher on the board.  John Idzik has said free agency is need-based while the draft is talent-based.  Maybe on a rare occasion Richardson will stand-up, but this is a DL who is going to have his hand in the dirt.

Thomas C.
Brooklyn, NY
Q: T
he drafting of Geno Smith changes the entire dynamic at quarterback for the Jets.   How does this affect Mark Sanchez’s future with the team?

Rich Perna
New Hartford, NY
Q:
Is there a possibility of getting rid of Sanchez?

EA: The Jets have an open competition at the quarterback position. 

When GM John Idzik was asked if Sanchez will be in the Jets training camp, he said, “I look at it one day at a time… It’s whatever measures we can take to bring quality players in, increase competition in every single position and we’re just going to let things play out. We’re not going to try to forecast anything or predetermine anything.”

On Monday, Idzik had planned to meet with the quarterbacks to brief them on what occurred over the weekend.  Sanchez is reportedly guaranteed $8.25 million in 2013 and they would also reportedly take a cap hit of $12.4 million this year and $4.8 million in 2014 if they designated Sanchez a June 1 release.

New York’s AFC representative has dramatically improved its quarterback situation with the free agent acquisition of David Garrard and the draft selection of Smith. 

Irving Nadler
Boca Raton, FL
Q:
The Jets made a lot of changes that have impressed me. However, they do not have an adequate group of receivers to catch the ball. Who can they get to help out?

EA: If Santonio Holmes (Lisfranc injury) can return to form, that would be a huge boost on the outside.  The Jets need Stephen Hill to make a jump in his sophomore campaign and Jeremy Kerley is an upper echelon slot receiver. 

There are a number of young players on the roster and here are a couple of UDFAs I have my eyes on.  Brooklyn native KJ Stroud, a 6’3”, 205-pounder who transferred from Rutgers to Bethune-Cookman, has 36.5 inch arms.  Ryan Spadola was extremely productive at Lehigh, hauling in 232 receptions and 24 TDs.

As far as veteran free agent wideouts still searching for homes, that list includes Braylon Edwards, Mike Sims-Walker, Greg Camarillo, Patrick Crayton, Mike Williams, Chansi Stuckey, Bernard Berrian and Mark Clayton.

Noah
Toronto, CA

Q: I like what the Jets did in the draft, but they still have many spots they need to address.  Where and who will they be? Who are the top remaining free agents in WR, TE, OLB, etc…?

EA: You can’t address everything in the draft.  John Holt, our intern who is on his way to Colorado Springs, CO to serve as USA Basketball’s communication intern, wrote an excellent piece on the Jets 15 undrafted free agents.  While I do think envision a scenario where the Jets add another tight end, I don’t know if a move at OLB is on the immediate horizon.  You have Calvin Pace, Antwan Barnes, Garrett McIntyre, Ricky Sapp and Coples has the ability to play rush ‘backer.

Gary C.
Greenwood, IN
Q:
If teams go by best available when selecting, how does Campbell become best available as a guard when he hasn't played the position in a while?

EA: A member of the Michigan coaching staff told Jeff Bauer that Will Campbell is best suited to play guard at the next level.  So the Jets had O-line coach Mike Devlin work the prospect out and Campbell flourished in his drills.  This transition worked well before for the Green & White when they took Illinois defensive lineman Brandon Moore and converted him to the offensive line under former Jets O-line coach/current Bills head coach Doug Marrone.

Markus
Munich, Germany
Q:
Do you have any suggestions who could fill the gap Dustin Keller left in this team at tight end position? I read at NFL.com that Jets also agreed to a contract with WR Ryan Spadola. Could you give a brief description on Spadola in terms of what type of WR he is? Do the Jets plan to upgrade their WR depth chart with further quality at the free agent market?

EA: It would be huge for this offense if Jeff Cumberland makes a leap forward at the tight end position.  Spadola also was sought after by the Colts, but the Howell, NJ native wanted to stay close to home.

“They offered a little more money than the Jets did but I felt more comfortable staying around here,” said Spadola in an Express-Times article. “I already met the front office people and coaches at the Jets. I felt it was the best option for me based on their depth chart at receiver.”

Highly productive at Lehigh, Spadola caught 57 balls for 851 yards and 4 TDs his senior season despite battling mononucleosis.  As a junior, Spadola set the Patriot League record with 1,614 receiving yards on 96 catches and scored 11 TDs.  He possesses good speed, having posted a 4.4 time in the 40-yard dash.

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