The New York Jets, with all the Tim Tebow press and fan reactions recently, still have a very important draft coming up that can really upgrade the team, especially the defensive front seven.
The Jets have the 16th overall pick on April 26th and many believe, myself included, that the Jets need a dominant pass rusher who can get to the quarterback. The Jets were lacking in that area last season, ranking 21st against the pass and 17th in sacks. They did bring in Aaron Maybin off waivers from Buffalo. He added a spark to the defense, but they need a dominant player who can play first down to third down and stay on the field.
The Jets are looking at DE-LB Melvin Ingram from South Carolina; however, he will likely be gone by the time the Jets pick at 16. A player whose name has come up many times in mock drafts has been Alabama standout LB-DE Courtney Upshaw. He was dominant in Coach Nick Saban’s defense.
Upshaw is big and powerful, but a little stiff in the hips where, if he had to drop off the line and cover, he could have some problems. He is very good at getting to the quarterback however, and right now that’s exactly what the Jets need to contend in the tough AFC East.
Another need for the Jets is safety. They are thin at this position, with incumbent starter Jim Leonhard a free agent and coming off a leg injury. Another possibility for the Jets in the first round is safety Mark Barron from Alabama, who is rated the number one safety in the draft. He has great range and speed. He is a very hard hitter who understands the game and could be an instant starter in Rex Ryan’s aggressive defense.
Other names the Jets have an interest in are wide receiver Michael Floyd from Notre Dame and linebacker Luke Kuechly from Boston College. However the Jets go in the first round, they should get a very good and hopefully an instant starter at pick 16, to help them this upcoming season.
The Grab Bag
The Jets have announced they will open the preseason against the Bengals, on the road. It will be either August 10 or 11, the schedule isn’t set yet. They will open the home portion of the preseason against the Giants. They have a primetime game against Cam Newton and the Panthers on national television on August 26th, and then they finish with the Eagles on the 30th.
If you’re in the New York area on the 26th of April, the Jets will be hosting a draft party free of charge at Met Life Stadium. Jets’ alum and prizes will be part of the festivities. You will be able to go down to the field and they will have food and beverages available. It should be a good time for Jets fans.
Many questions were asked about linebacker Bart Scott at the end of the season. Some thought he would be traded this off season, since he did not play as many snaps has he had in the past. He came out many times on third downs and he was not happy about it. In the past week, Scott had a one-on-one talk with coach Rex Ryan to clear some of the air about this past season. Scott played a little heavier this past season and it seemed to slow him down in pass coverage and even rushing the passer. Since the end of the season, Scott has dropped some weight and says “I feel great.” The Jets are happy to have him come back and Scott still has three years left on his contract. The Jets really didn’t want to trade him, so both parties feel good about this season coming up. Scott said “I am all in” as he looked ahead to this season. When asked about the Tebow trade, Scott did not hesitate, responding, “I know it will work, I am 100% confident.”
By Gabi Sankowski