By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer
Before we head full force into OTAs and ramping up for the 2014 draft, let’s look back on what happened in relation to the Jets. The draft success or failure of their peers and competition (the AFC East) in April is an important factor to consider when looking at the overall outlook for the Jets in 2013 and beyond.
Here’s a recap of how the divisional foes made out (a full Jets review is coming soon):
Buffalo Bills: B-
Summary: New coach, new look. While their QB of the future might have been there in round two at a better value he is still the most physically gifted in the class and its hard to knock them for going all in. Other needs were addressed at WR and the secondary.
Positives: I love the second round and think Woods can be a plug and play type who should deliver consistent production. Kiko Alonso is very fast, athletic and plays with so much energy but there are serious off the field issues. Chris Gragg in the 7th was a great pickup and brings superior speed as a TE/WR hybrid Marrone’s offense utilizes heavily.
Negatives: The four picks from rounds 3 to 6 all guys I think are vastly overrated. Goodwin can fly, but showed very little football ability at Texas and is a shot in the dark. Safety Duke Williams is fast, but I was under whelmed with his tackling and overall physicality.
Best Pick: WR Robert Woods USC(#46 overall) 2nd Round
Worst Pick: K Dustin Hopkins FSU (#143) 3rd Round
New England Patriots: A-
Summary: Another possible early round miss at wide out, but overall a great job by the Hoodie. I know most people hate the guy, especially from a Jets centric point of view, but I have no problem acknowledging that I like what they did. Adding an athletic freak in Collins and two overlooked defenders late should help sure up that side of the ball.
Positives: The pass rushing freak Jamie Collins is a boom or bust type pick but I think the upside is well worth the risk. At 6’4 250 (33 3/4 arms) he ran a 4.64 and posted a 41.5 vertical. He was even productive at one of the nation’s worst teams. Josh Boyce was drafted within his value range but has the 4.38 speed to help at the slot position. Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan is closer to the first rounder he was projected to be in the summer than a round 7 filler. He played with several nagging injuries and should prove to be a major steal that late. Beauharnais is a Belichik guy who plays hard and finds the ball consistently.
Negatives: I know Belichick’s son went to Rutgers but come on, three out of seven! The first two Scarlet Knights taken by the Pats were not players I particularly liked. Corner Logan Ryan has decent size and is no stiff but is average in pretty much every category. Admittedly I never got a chance to really analyze Harmon but Bacarri Rambo, Philip Thomas, Josh Evans, John Boyett and Earl Wolff were all still available. Dobson could either be an elite possession receiver and red zone beast or never really pan out like recent early Pats selections at wide receiver.
Best Pick: DE/OLB Michael Buchanan Illinois (#226) 7th Round
Worst Pick: S Duron Harmon Rutgers (#91) 3rd Round
Miami Dolphins: B-
Summary: The main headline is the trade with Oakland to move up and take Lane Johnson…I mean Dion Jordan. That decision will have to be judged in a year or two but the rest of Miami’s draft was average. The Fish picked up a solid corner, versatile offensive lineman and giant tight end which were all needs.
Positives: The move to grab Jordan, a potential stud pass rusher, was pretty solid giving the fact it only took a second rounder to make it happen. He could turn out to be special but there is some serious risk there. Mike Gillislee was a workhorse back for the Gators so even though the production was limited to one year, it was in the SEC. Don Jones (a safety from Arkansas St. likely to convert to corner) is a work in progress but has elite speed. Jelani Jenkins is also an underdeveloped or maybe just over hyped recruit (linebacker) who is gifted athletically.
Negatives: I get the same feeling about offensive lineman Dallas Thomas and corner Jamar Taylor. Both are not freaks but above average athletes, yet they lack any considerable upset. I really thought corner Jamar Taylor had the talent and aggressive style to rise early on in the process (a potential riser here) but when it was all said and done I don’t love the guy as a second rounder. Size is an issue and some of the tackles he managed to make at Boise won’t work in the pros. For a kicker to be worth a 5th round choice he better be a perennial Pro Bowl type so Caleb Sturgis better be as good as advertised.
Best Pick: RB Mike Gillislee Florida (#164) 5th Round
Worst Pick: K Caleb Sturgis Florida (#166) 5th Round