By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Now that we are just a week away from the 2013 NFL draft, it is time to start finalizing what the Jets plans are, starting with their own roster. By now, all of the significant free agent signings are wrapped up, giving us a much clearer picture of what the 2013 Jets roster will look like (minus the rookies, of course).
There still is the matter of the ongoing Revis trade situation, which would certainly throw a wrench into the Jets’ draft needs. For now, we’ll go under the assumption that Revis will be on the team and update the needs list accordingly.
Bringing back Calvin Pace for one more go-around doesn’t solve the problem, but in combination with Antwan Barnes, the Jets at least have a veteran pair of linebackers on their roster that they can enter the season with. Now, John Idzik does not have to go into the draft being forced to take a linebacker with their first or second-round pick. If the Jets do want to draft a linebacker, they would not have to force him into a starting role either.
Still, this position lacks a young, explosive pass-rusher that the Jets can build their front-seven around. Sooner or later, the Jets are going to have to find a stud linebacker for the future.
Jeff Cumberland has turned out to be a solid player since entering the league as a UDFA, but he is not capable of handling the full-time duties by himself. A decent receiving weapon and a below-average blocker, the Jets need to bring in a more dynamic presence at the position to at least split time with Cumberland.
Bringing in Dawan Landry gives the Jets more flexibility on draft day as they have an assumed starting duo of Landry and Josh Bush headed into the draft, but Landry is nothing more than a stop-gap option. They will also need to replace Eric Smith and will want to bring in competition for Josh Bush.
This draft does have plenty of options in the second and third rounds that should be heavily considered to solidify the secondary.
Neither Brandon Moore nor Matt Slauson were retained, but they were able to bring in the solid-yet-injury-prone Willie Colon from the Steelers. There is still an open spot at the other guard position, but the Jets have been grooming former second-round pick Vladimir Ducasse for some time and may be banking on Ducasse to finally sieze the starting job.
In any case, the Jets should be looking to add a later-round player for depth purposes.
Ideally, the Jets have their starting receiving corps set with Holmes, Kerley and Hill, but depth was a massive problem last year and played a huge part in their collapse. Stephen Hill, last year’s second-round rookie, is no longer on scholarship with a new man in charge that had no hand in trading up to bring him to New York.
There are a glut of second and third-day prospect the Jets should consider taking a swing on to build depth and bring in competition for younger player like Stephen Hill.
It is well-known that this quarterback class is not strong, but neither Mark Sanchez nor David Garrard are going to win a Super Bowl for the green and white. Perhaps Idzik decides to take a chance on a falling quarterback like Ryan Nassib, E.J Manuel or Tyler Wilson if the value is right.
The Jets did give themselves some insurance after adding Antonio Garay, but Kenrick Ellis has struggled stay healthy despite showing promise in his second season. In a draft that is very deep at the position, don’t be surprised if the Jets roll the dice on a late-round boom-or-bust prospect.
Despite being able to acquire Mike Goodson to have a two-back system with Bilal Powell, the coaching staff simply does not trust Joe McKnight enough to make him a significant part of the backfield. Given the fact that the Jets brought in Chris Ivory for a visit, adding another body to the mix appears to be a priority.