Matt will be reviewing each team's pre-draft analysis by talking about the draft range of targeted players.
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New York Jets (Last Year: 4-12)
Let me just start out by saying (and most Jets fans are going to be mad about this) that I think Eric Mangini is an idiot for not throwing that Week 17 game. Why do I say this? If they lose in Week 17 to the Chiefs, they're picking No. 3 overall and they have a much better shot at drafting Jake Long if that were an option. Pretty amazing to see how a worthless win at the end of the season can affect the draft in such a big way.
Obviously, that's water under the bridge. Let's explore the Jets' draft range with the sixth overall pick:
With the Chiefs picking fifth, no chance he makes it past them. It's certainly not worth it to trade ahead of the Chiefs with the Falcons which would cost them approximately a third round draft pick, which they don't have. Even if they had that selection, it would not happen.
Kellen Clemens had some great moments last year, and he had some bad ones. They invested a second-round draft pick in him in 2006, so I think they want to see him develop before labeling him a bust. No chance the Jets take Ryan at six.
I think Ellis is an overrated fit as a zero technique in the 3-4, and the Jets just traded for Kris Jenkins to play that position. Since Ellis loses value in 3-4 defenses, it isn't worth it for New York to take him.
If the Rams take Vernon Gholston No. 2 overall, I could very well see this happening. I think Rivers can play inside or outside in the 3-4, and while he would be a bit of a reach at No. 6, it isn't that huge. Rivers is a 30-1 longshot in my opinion, but I still consider him to be in the Jets' range here.
Sure the Jets need a play-maker at running back, but I do like Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. I don't see the need here to draft McFadden. Yeah, the Vikings drafted Peterson last year when they had Chester Taylor, but that was an entirely different situation. Most people said Peterson was an elite runningback prospect; I don't think McFadden is elite. Too many flaws in his game, such as fumbling, overrated receiving threat, chicken legs, and character concerns.
Darrelle Revis was a great pick last season, but Justin Miller is not a capable starter. Leodis McKelvin is a perfect fit for what Mangini wants to do, emphasizing lock-down press man coverage.
Gholston is far and away the favorite here to be a Jet, despite the signing of Calvin Pace in the offseason. I think he provides way too much value to 3-4 defenses as a pass rusher in the Adalius Thomas or Shawne Merriman mold.
So what's the Jets' range with their second-round pick? I think they could be looking at positional needs, such as inside linebacker, corner, free safety, right guard, and possession receiver. Who will they be targeting here?
As an ILB I like 3-4 fits such as Curtis Lofton and Dan Connor. I think Jonathan Goff is a long shot.
Chilo Rachal, Carl Nicks, and Sam Baker are all possibilities as far as the right tackle position goes. Rachal and Nicks are mauler types and Baker is more of an athletic/finesse type, but he plays with a little mean streak.
Cornerback is a position that looks like it must be addressed if they pass up on McKelvin at No. 6. Who fits the Jets scheme here? Tracy Porter, Antoine Cason, and Reggie Smith all are good fits to be on that island in the 3-4. A darkhorse is the highly athletic Justin King out of Penn State who didn't play up to his measurables for the Nittany Lions last season. I pegged him as having top 10 potential last summer, but he lacked physicality and mental toughness as the season wore on.
I think Reggie Smith would also be a solid fit as a free safety, as well as corner. Kenny Phillips and DaJuan Morgan are also possibilities at No. 36.
Possession receiver types are easy to come by this high in the second round. If Malcolm Kelly or James Hardy falls, this team won't hesitate. Earl Bennett, Jordy Nelson, and Early Doucet are all solid fits. Watch out for darkhorses, such as Harry Douglas and Keenan Burton because they were both huge leaders and have great work ethics; this is what Mangini looks for in prospects.
Now that we have gone in depth as to the Jets' range with their first two picks, who could they be targeting late?
Eric Young from Tennessee would be a smart player to add to the offensive line because he can start immediately at right guard, but also provides some versatility to play right tackle.
Kendall Langford would be a solid addition because he is the prototypical five-technique from a physical standpoint (6-5 290, 4.97 40). I think this is a natural fit for him going one on one with the offensive tackle on every play and he could be a long-term starter for 3-4 defenses.
If the Jets are looking for an inside linebacker late in the draft, I like fits such as Jeremy Leman, Beau Bell, Jameel McClain, Spencer Larsen, and Marc Magro.
This draft is a big key for AFC East darkhorses Buffalo and NY Jets. I'm not a fan of the additions the Jets have made in free agency (other than Alan Faneca), and I feel like they need to have a great draft so they just aren't only good in the short term, but three years down the road as well.
New York Jets 2008 Offseason Needs
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