Man oh man, the Jets have had a rough free agency. Instead of adding a few key under the radar pieces, they managed to lose 1 of 2 proven talents on their offense, Dustin Keller. Now, we can add TE to the many needs of the Jets. Let’s count them: OLB, S, QB, TE, WR, OL, RB. Those are just the glaring needs, the Jets also could use some padding at nose tackle after losing Pouha. The big question is, will the Jets be able to salvage a decent team by having a great draft? It’s time for new GM John Idzik to roll up his sleeves. At this point, I wouldn’t touch the unrecoverable situation at quarterback in the draft, since next year’s class will be about ten times better than the 2013 QB class. Plus with the right pieces, Sanchez, Garrard or whoever wins the starting role could win games as a game manager. If it were me stepping in right now, here’s what I’d do come April:
ROUND 1: (TRADE DOWN with the Rams – who may want to trade up for Tavon Austin) Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia – The Jets need to find a trade partner to gain an extra 2nd rounder to help rebuild this team. Jarvis Jones shows lots of promise on tape but a decent pro day and a combine no show will have him slip out of the top 10. It would be a HUGE win if the Jets can find a way to trade down in the 1st round for an extra 2nd rounder and still pick up one of the following: Ziggy Ansah, Jarvis Jones, or Kiki Mingo. I’d be very surprised if Ansah slipped out of the top 10 but stranger things have happened.
ROUND 2: Quinton Patton – WR, La Tech – A monster at receiver who probably is a first round value who will go in round 2. Against Texas A&M’s elite SEC defense, Patton racked in 244 yards and 4 TDs almost carrying his team to a big upset victory over the Aggies. That’s enough to impress this Aggie fan. Just ask Marques Colston, TY Hilton and Victor Cruz, don’t sleep on small school receivers!
ROUND 2: (from Rams in theoretical trade down)- Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia – A player who would be a first rounder but because of character issues got knocked down to a 2nd day grab. I think Rambo may be the Janoris Jenkins of this year’s draft and teams know that. Many will try to wait until the beginning of the 3rd, so if you want and need this dynamic playmaker at safety, you may have to spend a mid-late second on him
Round 3: – Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama – If the Jets don’t want to spend an early pick on a safe offensive lineman, they could use a utility blocker in Barrett Jones. He’s played G, T and C and could immediately step in and fill the glaring need the Jets have at guard. If Mangold has anymore injury issues this season, he can also fill in at center, the Jets need a player like this to at least add to their depth of their offensive line
Round 4: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina – This pick is like Rambo in that every team kinda wants to take a chance on Lattimore. But he still needs some more time to recover from his gruesome injury. The fact that it was his 2nd injury keeps him in the 3-4th round range. A team desperate for a running back like the Packers may throw a late 3rd rounder for him, but I think the majority of teams will look for him in the 4th and think of him as a potential 2014 starter. If he can come into the league and stay healthy, it’d be a HUGE splash because without injury issues, Lattimore is the best running back prospect in the 2013 class. Either way, he would have an underrated Mike Goodson and Bilal Powell to take the pressure off of him
Round 5: Chris Gragg, TE, Arkansas – The Jets all the sudden need help at tight end, Chris Gragg was one of the most athletic at the combine and can come in and be an effective pass catching tight end with the right opportunity
Round 6: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin – When in doubt grab a Wisconsin lineman off the board. Ricky started as a left tackle for the Badgers but can probably step in right away on the right side for teams. He could either be a great rotational player with Howard or if he surprises, can take on a full time role on the Jets’ offensive line.
Round 7: Philip Lutzenkirchen, TE, Auburn – He’s a big prototypical NFL sized tight end who holds the record for touchdown receptions for a tight end for the Tigers. He’s a big red zone target almost unblockable by a single defender for short yardage, also great in pass protection. The Jets can afford their 7th in exchange for getting Lutzenkirchen into their tight end competition.