The 2013 NFL Draft begins April 25th and it brings up a lot of issues that the New York Jets need to answer before they begin their 2013 season in September. One issue the Jets need to figure out is what to do with superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis who is coming off torn ACL surgery and is demanding to be paid the millions of dollars that he feels like he deserves.
Another question is what to do with backup quarterback Tim Tebow who was a lost cause last season for the Jet. He barely played in the regular season after he was brought in last off-season to “compete” with starting quarterback Mark Sanchez who himself wasn’t consistent last season. And what do the New York Jets do on the defensive side of the ball after losing both of their interior defensive tackles, Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito; along with LaRon Landry, Bart Scott, and Calvin Pace. All these questions must be addressed during this year’s draft if the Jets want to have any kind of success this coming season.
The first thing the Jets need to do is address concerns on the offensive side of the ball. The Jets don’t have a lot of reliable weapons at the wide receiver position. Santonio Holmes is recovering from knee surgery; and Jeremy Kerly who stepped up for the Jets last season but is not performing at a consistent superstar level like Holmes can. Stephen Hill was brought in to spark the Jets, but had a rocky campaign. This was likely to happen last year because he was not known as a great route runner and he also battled injuries. So what do the Jets need to do first?
Draft a wide receiver in the first round at their number 9 draft spot. One player in this year’s wideout draft class that could help the Jets is West Virgina Wideout Tavon Austin. Austin can work in the slot position but is a speedster capable of hitting a homerun every time he touches the ball. Another wide-out is Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee who can do a little bit of everything. Patterson can stretch the field, opening things underneath for the slot receivers, and he can work the underneath routes if needed.
I believe the Jets need to address the wideout position first. The Jets hired former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg who brings with him the West Coast offense which means Sanchez will be throwing the ball 30-40 times a game. Mornhinweg was hired back in March and isn’t afraid to state his opinion on what the Jets would do this year. “We’re gonna go after people,” Mornhinweg told Newyorkjets.com. “There’s different ways to go after people, but we’re going to go after ‘em and we’re going to play to our players’ strengths rather than concerning ourselves too much about their weaknesses.” This is the reason why the Jets need to draft a wide-out. Sanchez needs all his play-makers to be healthy along with one more weapon to become more confident in this new offense or he may fail once again.
How about the defensive side of the ball? It was not its usually dominant self last year. The Jets defense ranked 26th in rush defense but did have a bright spot by being ranked 2nd in pass defense with only 189.8 passing yards allowed a game. All the experts are saying that the Jets need a superior pass/edge rusher due to the loss of Calvin Pace and Bart Scott. Both are slowing down in this part of their career and I agree 100%. Two of the top edge rushers that the Jets could target in this year’s draft are Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan. Jordan is 6’6, 248 lbs possess a quick first step, great hand work which allows him to get by his man that is blocking him, and has a great closing speed which helps him finish the play. Another outside linebacker who can help the Jets is LSU’s Barkevious Mingo. Mingo who is 6’5, 240lbs possess an outstanding set of pass rushing skills, plays with a high intensity motor, and is one of the most durable players in the draft. He also played in all 40 games during his three years at LSU. Both of these outside linebackers could help the Jets tremendously this season if they are drafted to the team. With the remaining young core of Muhammed Wilkerson and Quinton Coples still there, the Jets defense could wreck havoc on the league once again and be in the top 3 rank in overall defense if everything falls into place.
Many questions need to be answered for the New York Jets in this year’s draft and over the summer before they can put a team out on the field who can perform at a consistent basis on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. In the words of former Jets linebacker Bart Scott, Jets nation, and myself “Can’t Wait”!
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