By Peter Schwartz
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This off-season for the Jets has been kind of like a homeowner going crazy at The Home Depot.
Fix some holes.
Plug a few leaks.
Make the foundation stronger.
The Jets were able to touch up a couple of things during free agency with the signings of safety LaRon Landry and wide receiver Chaz Schilens. They will probably add a few names before the start of training camp (perhaps Braylon Edwards), but their immediate focus now is the NFL Draft which begins tonight with round 1.
For the moment, the Jets have the 16th pick in the draft. Based on prior history, there’s a pretty good chance they will trade out of that selection, most likely up. The Jets have ten picks in this draft but can only trade six of them. Their four compensatory picks cannot be dealt.
With six picks that can be traded, the Jets have some chips to move up if they can find a trade partner. In the event that they don’t make a trade, let’s examine some possibilities at 16.
The Jets have multiple holes so General Manager Mike Tannenbaum will likely follow his philosophy of drafting the best player available. The Jets have needs at wide receiver, safety, linebacker, and running back.
What do they do?
I think they have to find that guy that opposing offenses have to worry about.
They need a pass rusher.
My pick would be Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw. He’s explosive and would give the Jets the dimension on defense that they haven’t had since they traded John Abraham.
Other possibilities on the defensive side of the ball are North Carolina DE Quinton Coples, South Carolina OLB/DE Melvin Ingram, and Alabama SS Mark Barron. The Jets will likely have to move up to grab Ingram or Barron.
There’s always the possibility that the Jets could use the pick on offense. There’s already some buzz of a blockbuster to move up and grab Alabama running back Trent Richardson who would be a great pickup for Gang Green. Could they pull off a second big deal with the Cleveland Browns in four years?
In 2009, the Jets swung a trade with the Browns to move up to #5 to take Mark Sanchez. The Browns have the #4 pick tonight so it would take a pretty penny for the Jets to find a landing spot with Cleveland.
A more likely scenario for the Jets is to go after Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech or Baylor’s Kendall Wright.
It’s a deep draft for WR’s so the Jets can likely find somebody on days two or three. Remember, they found a gem in Jeremy Kerley in round 5 last year.
A GOOD CAUSE
Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will be co-hosting a charity event called “Match For Michael” this coming Tuesday May 1st. Avid Jets fan Michael Manganiello, loving husband and father, was recently diagnosed with Acute Myelofibrosis, a rare condition where progressive scarring or fibrosis of the bone marrow impairs its ability to make blood cells. Michael needs a bone marrow transplant and this event will help him find a donor.
At the event, people can register for the National Marrow Donor Program via a simple cheek swab. There will also bed a silent auction, autograph session, and photo opportunity with Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan, DT Sione Pouha, QB Mark Sanchez, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, and members of the Flight Crew cheerleaders.
DO YOU HAVE A JET-SIZED APPETITE?
The annual Jets’ annual “Taste of the NFL” will take place on Thursday May 31st, 2012 at Cipriani in Manhattan. It’s an event that helps raise money to tackle hunger. The hosts of the event will be Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold. You will be able to meet current players, taste food from New York and New Jersey’s finest restaurants, sip wine, and take part in an auction for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
That’s all for now!
Enjoy the draft and check back on Friday for more!