New York Jets 2014 NFL Draft Wrap-up

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Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

What Was Predicted Before the Draft
Here’s what I had to say about the Jets’ 2013 season and what their draft prospects looked not a mere 20 days ago.

“In 2013, the New York Jets received a record of 8-8, 2nd place in the AFC East. Although they did go .500 last season, the Jets season was probably mediocre at best for the lone reason of their continued inconsistent play on offense and on defense. This season the Jets through the first 10 games went on a streak of win-loss-win, never winning nor losing two straight games. As well, this season the Jets’ former first round pick Geno Smith was inconsistent as well, helping the Jets to the 2nd least passing yards in the NFL (183.3 passing yards per game). This season the Jets were solid with their running attack and running defense, averaging 134.9 yards per game on offense and allowing only 88.3 yards to opposing offenses (ranked 6th and 3rd in the league, respectively). The problem with the Jets was definitely not their running game on offense. Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Geno Smith were able to average 632 yards, 4.56 yards per carry and 3.3 touchdowns this season (a healthy amount for any rushing trio). However where the Jets definitely could have done better was in their offensive passing game and their defensive passing game. This year the Jets allowed opposing QBs to pass for 246.7 yards per game along with 26 touchdowns while Geno Smith and their struggling passing offense was able to muster only 183.3 yards per game (ranked 22nd and 31st in the league). Where the Jets really need to beef up this draft is not only at the wide receiver and offensive tackle position, but also at the safety position.

Now don’t get my wrong, there are times when I thoroughly believe that taking Geno 39th overall was a mistake, however I believe that if Smith had a better offense surrounding him then he would have done much better than he did during the season. This season Smith’s offensive line allowed him to be sacked a whopping 47 times, 6th most in the NFL this season. As well, Smith and the Jets had only one receiver catch for over 500 yards and that was Jeremy Kerley who caught 43 passes for 523 yards in 2013. One of the main reasons why Smith ended up throwing 21 interceptions and 10 touchdowns and fumbling the ball 7 times in 2013 can be blamed on himself, but at the same time on his offensive line and receivers. If a QB isn’t protected all the time, it is no wonder that Smith was forced to throw the ball. At the same time it doesn’t give Smith an excuse to play poorly at the QB position and throw 21 interceptions. If the Jets are ever going to make it to the playoffs again, they are going to need to get some A-Class receiving talent and some good blocking offensive tackles. Look for the Jets (if they end up going with a WR in the first round) to go for either Marqise Lee out of USC or even National Title Hero Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State. Regardless though after the Jets get their offensive talent, they need to concentrate at the Safety position. This season the Jets corners played well with Antonio Cromartie defending 9 passes as rookie Dee Miliner defended 17 and intercepted three. Their safeties however were a different story. If the Jets can perhaps go WR first round and then FS the second round, I think they can set themselves up for success in 2014.”

With that stated, the Jets’ went almost in the same direction I predicted, however the avenues they took to get to that point were a tad bit different.

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