By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
With the Jets currently en route to a top-10, possibly top-5 selection, there is the upside of being able to have first dibs on the top players in the draft, which is a luxury they have not had since they the eighth overall pick in 2008 on Verno…nevermind. Forget I mentioned it.
Most of the holes on the Jets come on the offensive side of the ball, especially at the skill positions, but there is at least some young talent in place. It can be argued that the position that is the oldest and needs upgrading the most is the outside linebacker position, especially from a pass-rushing standpoint.
LSU is loaded with defensive ends, but between Mingo and Sam Montgomery, Mingo translates best as an outside linebacker. He is comfortable playing in space and has the ideal size (6-5, 240 lbs) and explosiveness to do it all.
Mingo had potential to be a sure-fire top-5 selection, but his has been rather inconsistent this year. Mingo is an explosive player, but it does not show up on every play. He has strong hands and can play all aspects of the game, but he is not the athletic freak players like Mario Williams and Julius Peppers are. Where he gets drafted will hinge greatly on his combine workouts and all-star game performances.
Mingo may need some time to develop as an undersized player; do the Jets have the patience and time to wait?
If Mike Tannanbaum is able to survive until the 2013 draft, picking a player like Mingo, a developmental defensive prospect, is not going to make the immediate on-field difference that could save his job.
At the same time, Rex Ryan, who fell in love with “potential” guy in Quinton Coples, could certainly do a lot with a player as explosive and versatile as Mingo. So far, he has been able to get nothing but solid production from Quinton Coples (who was labeled to be a player with character issues), who is to say he cannot do the same with a cleaner off-field prospect in Mingo?
However, the Jets are hardly in a position to spend valuable resources on the defensive side of the ball while the offense reaches epic levels of ineptness. Which side of the ball they address in the first round should hinge solely on the talent of the players remaining on the board, but we all know that need does creep into the mind of decision makers too often. Plus, adding inexperienced starters on offense is not the most efficient way to give the unit a much-needed jolt.