Friday, January 18, 2008
It didn't take me very long to lose hope during the 2007 season but for 2008 I'm going to be doing a lot dedicated prep work. Holding the 6th pick in the draft and 26 million dollars in cap room the New York Jets must be aggressive in the free agent market to address some of the current holes on their roster.
The Jets roster has several weaknesses which as fans we are aware of, one of these is a lack of a true dynamic offensive playmaker. At running back Thomas Jones is a grinder but nothing extraordinary while Leon Washington is a speedster in the open field but is not overly adept at breaking tackles due to his small stature. At wideout Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles are solid starters and very tough however both for the most part lack the need to consistently double team. While I would assess the need for an additional offensive weapon as a lower priority than stabilizing the offensive and defensive lines, I believe the Jets would be well suited to draft a wideout in the 2nd round. Why? Value.
In addition to the running back position with every single Junior exiting early, the wideout position is amongst the deepest in this years NFL draft. Scout.com has a total of 38 '5-star' players in this years NFL draft. Seven of whom are at the wideout position. 7 wideouts are not going to go in before the Jets draft with the 37th pick. Thus the Jets will have the opportunity to go after a play maker with this pick and one that is highly thought of.
There are a few molds of wideouts the Jets could be looking to consider. Cotchery and Coles are tough go over the middle and take a hit wideout. Neither has blazing speed and neither is anything other than average size. Thus there's two ways to look at whom the Jets should target for a wideout. They could either target a burner or a big wideout who will create advantageous matchups in one on one coverage. So let's give some options for both.
James Hardy - To me James Hardy would be the best fit for the Jets. He's a big target with decent speed that put up huge numbers at Indiana. Yes Indiana. Getting him on the field alongside Cotchery in the slot and Coles on the opposite side of the field would give the Jets one of the most feared receiver cores in the league. However, he'll almost certainly be gone by 37.
Malcolm Kelly - Coming out a year early having lead the Sooners in back to back seasons in basically all receiving stats. Most likely will not be around at 37.
Limas Sweed - Missed most of this season with an wrist injury. Solid speed for a 6-5 frame, there's a chance he'll be around at 37 thanks to the injury.
Adarius Bowman - I'd be lying if I told you I watched much Okie State this year, but Adarius is amongst the 5-star wideouts ranked by scout.
DeSean Jackson - I dynamic option in both the wide receiver role as well as a returner. Most likely the fastest wideout in the entire draft. Probably gone by 37.
Donnie Avery - You probably haven't seen to many Houston Cougar games in the past two years but just know the man runs in the low 4.3s. There's a decent chance he'll still be around at 37.
Harry Douglas - Another burner in the mid to low 4.3 range. Should definitely be around at #37 but would probably be more of a 3rd round fit if selected.
Eddie Royal - Another small burner in the 4.3s. Royal should definitely not be drafted with the 37th pick however.
Mario Manningham - Not the burner like the previous two but his time at Michigan showed his ability to be a dynamic deep threat. Many are proclaiming him the #1 wideout in the draft meaning the chances are slim he will be around at 37.
Early Doucet - A solid wideout with a solid frame but neither a burner or very tall. I don't think he fits the Jets needs and hope that he is taken off the board prior to some of the previous wideouts mentioned.
Personally I think the Jets could use a big wideout slightly more than they could use a burner. I obviously would be pleased if they got Manningham cause of the Michigan connection, but in Nirvana I would want James Hardy. To me he has Plaxico Burress written all over him. He doesn't have the wheels of a Randy Moss but in the end zone he could be utilized instead of Coles for the dumb fade route they always like to run. To me there's no chance he's around at that point so getting Kelly, Sweed or Bowman might be a solid consolation prize.