*Newyorkjets.com's coverage of the 2014 draft includes breakdowns of each position group, focusing both on the Jets' current situation and the top players expected to be selected at the position from May 8-10. All player rankings have been compiled from 15 different "big boards" around the Internet, updated as recently as today and as far back as March 31. Today's eighth and last in the series: Defensive Backs.
Perhaps more than any other position group on the roster, the Jets seem to have more questions than answers in the secondary.
What can we expect from last year's ninth overall pick Dee Milliner?
The cornerback showed flashes of brilliance en route to winning Defensive Rookie of the Month honors in December after struggling for the first three-quarters of his rookie campaign.
Who's going to replace Antonio Cromartie?
Kyle Wilson has started 28 games at corner since arriving as our first-round selection in 2010. We also acquired ninth-year veteran Dimitri Patterson through free agency in addition to re-signing Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster.
Will Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen be our Week 1 starting safeties?
Landry's the QB of the defense, but he's also 31 years old. Allen, a seventh-round pick in 2012, started nine games last season but saw decreased playing time upon the midseason arrival of future Hall of Famer Ed Reed. Reed's currently an unrestricted free agent. Josh Bush, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Rontez Miles also will return.
If for no other reason than the fact that we have a whopping 12 picks, it seems inevitable that the Green & White will add at least a couple of players into the defensive backs mix from May 8-10.
Safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama) and Calvin Pryor (Louisville) appear destined for Round 1, as do cornerbacks Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State) and Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State).
Both safeties began their collegiate careers playing as true freshmen in 2011, and both recorded seven interceptions throughout their three years, although Pryor's 175 tackles nearly doubled Clinton-Dix's 88 over the past two seasons.
"Pryor was overshadowed a bit by [Teddy] Bridgewater while with the Cardinals," writes CBSSports.com's Rob Rang, "but he could easily wind up being selected ahead of his more well-known former teammate. Pryor didn't run as well in workouts as I would have liked [4.58 40] but he plays fast because of terrific instincts, has good hands for the interception and is an intimidating hitter."
"Clinton-Dix has really good range, instincts and ball skills," ESPN.com's Todd McShay has said. "I think he could wind up as a better pro than he was a college player."
Will Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor, Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard be on the board at No. 18?
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If you're looking for a cornerback who can run with the best of them, Gilbert's your guy. His 4.37 40 led all DBs at this year's combine, and he showed off his strength, too, with 20 benchpress reps, third-best among cornerbacks. The 6'0", 202-pounder came within one score of tying the NCAA career record for most non-offensive touchdowns (two interception returns, six kick returns).
Meanwhile, it was Dennard, not Gilbert, who took home the Jim Thorpe Award hardware as the nation's best defensive back. Dennard (5'11", 199) received unanimous All-America first-team honors as a senior and picked off the opposing QB 10 times in 44 career games.