By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer
The Jets clearly have needs on the offensive side of the ball both in terms of targets for Sanchez or whomever as well as the return of a once solid run game. Adding a youthful and versatile running back to the mix would provide help on both those fronts. The Jets could also improve their blocking and receiving depth with a tight end. Here are some options that would provide serious talent as well as being good values.
4. Joseph Randle OK ST 6’1 200
Running back rankings for the 2013 draft are extremely fluid and vary from one source to the next. If you take the average of Randle’s overall stock it’s around the 4th or 5th best running back prospect and if that’s the case the Jets could scoop up a smooth strider who seems to glide across the field and is an adroit receiver with nice vision and a decent enough blocker. Then again if he is rated closer to the top, his value could take a hit and better value picks may be out there like…
5. Silas Redd USC 5’10 200
An impressive combination of speed and power, Redd is a very physical between the tackles runner who has really grown on me. From a running standpoint he is very solid, both utilizing his speed and change of direction skills as well as packing a punch on inside runs. As a mid to late round option Redd is not only a great value but a terrific fit for what the Jets need in a back.
6. Mike Gillislee FLORIDA 5’11 202
Gillislee was a fast riser on my Stock Update back in September that I felt justified the hype. He is arguably the best back on this list and is only this far down on the list if he continues to impress and therefore commands a hefty price. A virtual unknown to start the year he shows top notch speed and surprising power for his frame. He looks like a great prospect who could become a nice starter in the NFL.
7. Kenjon Barner OREGON 5’11 196
Even if you don’t love his lack of power as a runner (which I could argue is very underrated) he compensates with his all-purpose skills that allow him to make an impact in the return game and as a receiver/scat back. Put Barner on the field with Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill and you have some serious speed going on.
1. Tyler Eifert NOTRE DAME 6’6 250
The Golden Domer is far and away the best tight end prospect for 2013, but the premium price is worth it for the Jets. Adding the 6’6 Eifert who excels as a receiver will seriously upgrade the passing attack and provide a big target for the often erratic Sanchez.
2. Zach Ertz STANFORD 6’6 249
The next best option is also the next best prospect in Zach Ertz. He won’t do much in the blocking department, but could easily become Sanchez’s favorite target with his consistent route running, solid catching technique and the ability to get open on a regular basis.
3. Dion Sims MICHIGAN ST 6’6 280
Sims is a great fit for the “Ground and Pound” style Rex claims he wants to re-establish. A massive physical specimen, Sim’s 6’6 280 frame is ideal for opening up holes in the ground game and boxing out corners in the red zone. A deceptive athlete for his stature he offers some receiving ability and is simply a physical mismatch even against big interior linebackers in the all-important red area.