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Jets Draft Grades Are In

Posted May 1, 2013

“Jets Talk LIVE” returns Thursday at 3:00 p.m. as we are scheduled to have both RB Mike Goodson and S Dawan Landry in studio.  Phase 2 of the NFL’s offseason program is underway and that means Jets coaches are permitted on the field with the players for the first time in 2013.  So we will get an update on the progress of this pair of Jets’ newcomers tomorrow.

The 2013 Jets Draft Class won’t see the field until rookie minicamp commences next weekend.  But with last weekend still fresh on our minds, we took a trip around the web to see what others thought of GM John Idzik’s first Jets’ draft.

Mel Kiper
ESPN Draft Guru
Overall Grade: B, Need Grade: B, Value Grade: B
Once you can divorce yourself from the reality of what Geno Smith is headed into, you take a step back and realize the Jets just took the guy I think is the best quarterback in the draft, and they did it at No. 39 overall. We're grading a draft, not the QB situation they have. The Jets really needed a corner now that Darrelle Revis is in Tampa, and they got the best one in the draft at No. 9. I wanted them to get a pass-rusher, but they might have done it in another way. With Sheldon Richardson, I expect them to do some new things up front, potentially shifting Quinton Coples to the edge. This is the makings of an extremely good defense up front, and Rex Ryan is a master at creating pressure with whatever he has. Brian Winters is a starter at guard, and Oday Aboushi could play either right tackle or guard. Tommy Bohanon (T-Bo!) should stick. I wanted the Jets to get a safety, but I still think they deserve a pretty good grade for hitting a few big needs. Now, they need to be patient with Smith.

Bucky Brooks
Analyst, NFL.com & NFL Network

Grade: B-
Idzik certainly has made his mark on the Jets, trading away the team's best player in Darrelle Revis, then essentially replacing him with the top cornerback in the draft (Dee Milliner). Though DT Sheldon Richardson doesn't appear to fit the 3-4, sources tell me the Jets' hybrid scheme will allow him to play 3-technique (outside shade of the offensive guard) in a four-man front that will feature Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples on the edges. Regardless, Richardson's motor and interior rush skills will help the Jets get after the passer. Finally, Smith could become the face of the franchise as the new starting quarterback. Though he slid down the draft board last week, Smith is a notch above Sanchez in terms of talent, making the pick a worthwhile gamble.


Biggest AFC East Steal: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
New York Jets, Round 2, No. 39 Overall
The Jets were expected to make a play for a quarterback at some point in this draft, but few would've guessed that the top quarterback in the 2013 class would be available for them to take with the 39th overall pick. Not only is Smith a viable alternative to veteran Mark Sanchez, he's a deft, quick-rhythm passer with the potential to develop into a star under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (see: Michael Vick and Jeff Garcia). If Smith can earn the starting job and give the Jets much-needed stability at the quarterback position, this pick could go down as the most important of the John Idzik era.

Nate Davis
USA Today
Grade: B
If you purely judge this draft off the selection of QB Geno Smith in Round 2, alarm bells sound — though given Smith's talent, at least they didn't overreach. Still, his presence creates yet more distractions, and his arrival came at the cost of patching other holes on offense. But he wasn't the only player new GM John Idzik picked. Two potential impact defenders came via Round 1 (CB Dee Milliner, DT Sheldon Richardson), and needed O-line depth was selected in Smith's wake. Idzik also acquired 25-year-old RB Chris Ivory for a fourth rounder then signed him to a very reasonable three-year, $10 million deal — all things considered, a fairly deft stroke.

Rob Rang
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Grade: B
If the Jets had just drafted quarterback Geno Smith at No. 9 overall rather than waiting until No. 39, a lot of people might be celebrating their haul. Instead, the perception is that they reached to fill needs, which I don't believe is fair. Ultimately, the Jets filled the hole left by the trade of Darrelle Revis to the Bucs with the best and most physical cornerback in the draft with Dee Milliner and added to an already stout defensive line with Sheldon Richardson four picks later. Smith, of course, is the key to this draft and has the talent to be successful. It will be up to him to prove his critics wrong. I love the physicality and toughness of the two offensive linemen added later, Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi.

Chris Burke
CNNSI.com

Grade: C
The first round was disappointing. DT Sheldon Richardson is kind of miscast in the Jets’ current defense, and CB Dee Milliner broke the rule that you don’t try to replace a player you just traded away by drafting someone at the same position. G Brian Winters has a nasty streak and Rex Ryan will like that. But, of course, the spotlight will shine brightest on QB Geno Smith. Is he the answer New York needs at that position? Or are there ample reasons to justify his drop into Round 2?

Vinnie Iyer
Sporting News
Grade: D
Their entire draft will ride on just how good West Virginia's Geno Smith will be as their starting quarterback, and there's reason to believe the pairing will be quite bumpy. In essence, they swapped out Darrelle Revis for Alabama's Dee Milliner at cornerback, but wasted the No. 13 they got for Revis by taking Sheldon Richardson, a tackle better suited for the 4-3, not Rex Ryan's 3-4. It was a shaky start for John Idzik.

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