Whether it makes sense to or not, we have a tendency to separate prospects by the “half” of the draft round that they are slated to go in.
For example, we can universally agree that Boston College’s Luke Kuechly will go in the top half of the first round. What we don’t know is how high he will climb come draft day, as many project him in the range of 8-12 (a relatively wide one at that spot in the draft).
That makes the Jets’ pick, the 16th overall, an intriguing one, as the team puts a cap on the top half of the first round of the draft.
As far as needs go, New York has plenty, minus mediocre starting quarterbacks (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
Offensively, the Jets are in desperate need of a right tackle, another guard, and a stable wide receiver.
Defensively, despite consistent results, the Jets could stand for a major safety upgrade and depth along the defensive line.
So, without further ado let’s analyze the pick, and figure out what the Jets will do come April 26th.
Who they will take: Michael Floyd, wide receiver, Notre Dame. Santonio Holmes is a bad apple with a boatload of talent. Striking a balance between those two hasn’t been easy for New York, but adding Floyd could help get it done. The Jets need to develop less of a dependence on both Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller, and Floyd could come in and wreak havoc on the perimeter. Mark Sanchez – or Tim Tebow for that matter – needs a safety valve guy who he can launch it deep to in order to keep a defense off balance. He had it with Braylon Edwards for his first two seasons in the league and it helped tremendously. Floyd can be that same guy and more.
Who they should take: Floyd. You may as well cut and past the justification above for why they will take Floyd – he’d be that critical to a New York offense in need of some punch. He’s risen up the draft boards of late as teams further realize he has a track record of both production and physical abilities. He conducted a lights-out pro day and crushed opponents throughout his Notre Dame career. The Jets are hopeful he’ll do the same in the NFL.
Who they could take: Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle, Mississippi State. No one, and I mean no one, is more creative than Rex Ryan when it comes to utilizing defensive linemen. The Jets snagged Muhammad Wilkerson a year ago in the first round and he made an immediate impact, lining up all over the defensive line and living up to the hype. I know the Jets have enough pieces on the defensive line already in place for 2012, but Cox and Ryan would be a tremendous fit of an innovative coach with a linemen blessed with a diverse skill set.
Who they shouldn’t take: Mike Adams, offensive tackle, Ohio State. Wayne Hunter was arguably the worst offensive tackle in football last season, so it’s apparent the Jets must work hard to address replacing him. That being said, it’s never wise to draft a right tackle this high, and Adams could surely be had 5-10 slots lower. If he indeed proves to be their target, GM Mike Tannenbaum should aim to trade back, accumulate an extra draft pick or two, and retarget Adams later. Reaching to fill a need isn’t sound draft strategy.