AFC East: Todd McShay

One of the lingering questions involving the New York Jets is whether they adequately addressed their wide-receiver need in the draft.

Amid the endless pre-draft hype, they were linked to big-name prospects such as Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks and Marqise Lee. They went hard after receivers on the third day, selecting three wideouts, but it's never a sure thing when you're relying on middle- and late-round picks. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay agrees, claiming the Jets' draft strategy underscores their belief that Eric Decker -- the No. 2 receiver with the Denver Broncos -- will be their top dog for the foreseeable future.

"Outside of (the three picks), I don’t think they were really able to solve their problem at wide receiver," McShay said Monday on a media conference call. "You have to believe Eric Decker is your No. 1 if you’re going to spend that money" -- meaning the five-year, $36.25 million contract.

Amaro
The Jets drafted Jalen Saunders (fourth round), Shaq Evans (fourth) and Quincy Enunwa (sixth), but their key draft pick is tight end Jace Amaro (second). McShay described Amaro as a "big wide receiver" who needs to make an immediate impact. To me, he's the key to the draft.

"Ultimately, you need Amaro to come in and contribute, and you need more from Stephen Hill and you need Eric Decker to play the way he was paid," McShay said. "Hopefully, between Saunders, Evans and Enunwa, if you hit on one of those guys, you'll fill out the depth a little bit."

McShay believes the Jets got good value with their first two picks, safety Calvin Pryor and Amaro, but he wonders if they reached for need in the third round, taking cornerback Dex McDougle. No matter how team officials try to spin it, this was a "need" draft for the Jets. It's the kind of strategy that results in reaches, which end up being bad picks.

"Could they have gone wide receiver there? Yeah, sure, there were some better players at wide receiver available (in the third round), but they’re still trying to fill in that secondary and get the right guys there," McShay said.

Pryor
McShay offered a few other takeaways on the Jets' draft. He sees Pryor as a great fit in Rex Ryan's defense, but he wonders if he'll have to dial back his aggressive ways to conform to the new safety rules.

"I know some Jets fans were frustrated they went with (him) at 18, but he was just a really good value and he fits what they want," McShay said. "They want a guy who’s going to set a tone physically, who’s tough. He's got enough range to cover the deep third and the deep middle of the field. He’s never going to be a matchup safety, but he can cover in zone, he’s capable of playing in the box and he’s going to fill the alley hard. I mean, he knocked some guys out. He’s probably going to wind up with some fines in the league, and he may have to adjust his mentality a little bit, but he’s a perfect Rex Ryan-type football player."

The criticism of Amaro is he's a below average blocker. Doesn't matter, according to McShay.

"He can block a little bit, but ultimately all they did was draft a big wide receiver they can flex out and put in the slot, even split out wide at times and try to create some mismatches," he said. "I really like that pick for the Jets."

McShay's take on the next three picks:

McDougle: "I like his tape. He has durability issues, but I thought he was one of the under-rated players in this draft. When you studied what he did in 2012 and his first couple of games this season, he’s got a lot of potential. They obviously love drafting defensive backs."

Saunders: "He’s quick. He’s a good slot receiver, he makes plays and he create after the catch."

Evans: "We had him in that fourth/fifth-round range. He doesn’t have explosive burst. He’s not going to stretch the field much vertically, but he has good hands and I thought he had a really good performance at the Senior Bowl. He’s got a chance to stick maybe as the No. 4 or No. 5."
The draft still is four weeks away, but the most compelling storyline already is starting to come into focus for the New York Jets: wide receiver or cornerback?

For weeks -- no, months -- the first-round speculation centered on the receiver position. Now, after a few weeks of free agency, it can be argued the Jets have a bigger need at cornerback. When it's their turn to pick (18th overall), there should be a handful of similarly rated corners and receivers, which should make for interesting debate in the draft room.

The 2014 NFL combine is in the books. That means we are one step closer to the NFL draft.

ESPN NFL draft guru Todd McShay offered up his third mock draft on Thursday. The Miami Dolphins hold the No. 19 overall pick and have some well-defined needs.

Here are some thoughts on McShay’s projection for Miami:

No. 19: Zack Martin

Position/school: Offensive tackle, Notre Dame

Analysis: Martin has been the popular pick for Miami since January. He fits many of the things the Dolphins are looking for. Martin is versatile and capable of playing offensive tackle and guard. Martin also is an effort player who brings leadership, which is something the Dolphins desperately need on their offensive line. He fits both the player and character profile for Miami. A good plan for the Dolphins would be to sign a starting left tackle in free agency (Eugene Monroe? Branden Albert?) and draft a starting right tackle or guard in the first round. Martin could handle either position.

McShay's Mock 3.0 reax: Jets

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In his latest mock draft , ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay predicts USC wide receiver Marqise Lee for the New York Jets, who own the 18th pick.

Lee was off the board for the Jets in McShay's previous mock draft (he had them taking Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks), but this time there's a run on defensive players from the 13th pick to the 17th, allowing Lee to fall. In this scenario, he'd be the third receiver selected, behind Clemson's Sammy Watkins (Oakland Raiders, No. 5) and Texas A&M's Mike Evans (Detroit Lions, No. 10). Interestingly, North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron still is there for the Jets, which would make for an interesting choice. Obviously, the decision could be based on how they address those needs in free agency.

If the Jets take Lee, they'd be looking past his disappointing 2013 season, betting that his 2012 performance (he won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver) is a better gauge of his talent. A similar situation unfolded in 2012. Defensive lineman Quinton Coples was a beast at North Carolina in 2010, but slipped the following year for a variety of reasons. He became a human pinata before the draft, with critics taking shots at him. The Jets chose him 16th overall. How's it working out? Too soon to say. Coples' physical talent is undeniable, but he has given credence to some of the pre-draft concerns by displaying a lukewarm motor at times. Lee's work ethic is said to be outstanding.
With the 2013 season officially in the books, it’s time to shift our focus to 2014. ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both produced their post-Super Bowl mock drafts on Thursday.

Here is how they view the Miami Dolphins with the No. 19 overall pick:
Interestingly, both Kiper and McShay projected the same position and player for Miami in May’s draft. It’s no secret that offensive line is a huge need for the Dolphins after allowing a franchise-record 58 sacks last season. Miami's running game also was rated 26th in the league. Starting offensive linemen Bryant McKinnie, Tyson Clabo, John Jerry and Richie Incognito will all become free agents in March and most -- if not all -- are expected to leave.

Martin would be a solid addition with the 19th pick. He was a very productive player at Notre Dame and is coming off a productive Senior Bowl. He is a three-year starter and team captain, which shows leadership.

The only question I have about Martin is his physical tools. He's not as naturally gifted as other left tackle prospects in the draft. But Martin is a high-motor player who gets the most out of what he has.

Martin would be a safe pick for the Dolphins, albeit not a spectacular one.

Kiper/McShay mock draft reax: Jets

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ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay revealed their latest mock drafts Thursday, with the following selections for the New York Jets (No. 18 overall):

Kiper: Marqise Lee, wide receiver, USC

McShay: Brandin Cooks, wide receiver, Oregon State

My take: McShay deals a curveball with the Cooks pick. As far as I can tell, this is the first mock draft in which Cooks has been linked to the Jets. In McShay's 2.0, the top three wideouts -- Lee, Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Mike Evans (Texas A&M) are off the board by the time the Jets pick -- a scenario that could play out on draft day. Cooks put up monster numbers last season as a junior (128 receptions, 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns), but be careful: He played on a pass-happy team in a pass-happy conference. Cooks is closer to being a possession receiver than a game-breaker (averaged only 13.5 yards per catch), and the Jets -- in a perfect world -- need a home run threat. Nevertheless, McShay raises a potential dilemma for the Jets: If the top three are gone, do they pick for need (wide receiver) or take another position?

Kiper has been consistent with Lee going to the Jets; it was the pick in his 1.0 mock. I've said it before about Lee: He looked like a top-five pick in 2012, but his production dropped in half last season when he was nicked up. Like Cooks, Lee is an underclassman, adding importance to the upcoming scouting combine. Teams don't have exact measureables on the underclassmen, so the spotlight will be intense at the combine.

Thoughts on mock-draft pick for Dolphins

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The Miami Dolphins are in the middle of a playoff push. However, it’s never too early to talk about the NFL draft.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay presented his first 2014 mock draft Insider this week with some interesting selections. Let’s take a look at what McShay has in store for Miami.

McShay’s pick: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Analysis: McShay has Miami picking at No. 22, which should make some Dolphins fans happy. That means Miami made its first postseason since 2008. However, I disagree with this early projection. The Dolphins need big men, but on the other side of the football. I would much rather see the Dolphins search for a top offensive lineman in the first round to better protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins are due for a major makeover on the offensive line. Starters John Jerry and Tyson Clabo are both free agents, and former starters Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin are not expected to return following this year’s bullying scandal. That’s four of Miami’s five Week 1 starters out. The Dolphins will need to replace those losses, and the draft is a good place to do it.
Robert Woods, EJ Manuel, Marquise GoodwinGetty ImagesThe Bills are hoping the future is bright for rookies Robert Woods, EJ Manuel and Marquise Goodwin.
Longtime readers of the AFC East blog know I detest grading drafts before rookies play their first NFL game. But there is nothing wrong with examining potential.

The “P” word is exactly what I see when I look at the Buffalo Bills‘ 2013 draft. I see a potential franchise quarterback in first-round pick EJ Manuel. I see potentially two or three good NFL receivers in second-round pick Robert Woods, third-round pick Marquise Goodwin and talented rookie free agent Da’Rick Rogers. I also see an aggressive, potential starting linebacker in Kiko Alonso.

The Bills haven’t tasted the playoffs since the Music City Miracle in the 1999 season. For the past 13 years, the Bills and their fans have been sent home packing after Week 17. They’ve had just one winning season since 2000.

Potentially, Buffalo’s rookie class could lay the foundation for ending the NFL’s longest playoff drought.

“Down the road I think the strength of this draft is going to be in the second round,” ESPN NFL draft analyst Kevin Weidl said. “I really like the Woods pick. I liked him on tape a lot. I think Robert Woods is really one of the more underrated players in this draft. ... Alonso is a guy who is an intense football player and a guy who makes a lot of plays. He flies around the field with sideline-to-sideline range, I thought.”

However, Manuel is the centerpiece of this group. The Bills shocked a lot of people by making him the first quarterback off the board with the No. 16 overall pick. ESPN draft expert Todd McShay was among the biggest critics, calling it a mistake and a wasted pick. Most agreed Buffalo took Manuel earlier than it needed to.

But the Bills fell in love with Manuel’s size, accuracy and athleticism. The rookie has a lot of tools to work with and will compete with veterans Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job in training camp. Manuel can silence his critics by winning the job this year and playing well.

I caught up with Manuel and Goodwin at this week's NFLPA Rookie Premiere event in Los Angeles, which taught first-year players on the business of football and promoted giving back to the community. Count Goodwin among those who believe Manuel will develop into a franchise quarterback with the Bills.

“If I can describe him in one word, he’s A1,” Goodwin said. “He’s one of the best quarterbacks I’ve been surrounded by, and he’s an even better person. He’s my roommate right now, and I’ve definitely got to know him on a personal level. It’s been great. I text him every day. I talk to him every day. So it’s been great.”

Weidl says Manuel has a lot of physical tools to succeed but still plenty to learn.

“The wild card in this mix is EJ Manuel, and the focus of this draft class will always be EJ Manuel,” Weidl said. “Manuel, when you look at him, he’s everything you want in a quarterback in terms of physically. He’s got size, above average arm strength, he’s got mobility, and when you see how he carries himself, he’s a true professional.

“But the questions I had is on the field off his tape. He wasn’t always naturally accurate and he forces his receivers to adjust at times. And when the bullets are flying, especially under pressure, he didn’t always show the poise I’d like to see at quarterback. He didn’t always get deep in his progressions.”

The Bills have struggled in recent years making big plays in the passing game. Former starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick did not have the arm strength to successfully throw deep, and Buffalo lacked big-play receivers.

Enter rookies Woods, Goodwin and Rogers, who all have big-play capability to go with Manuel’s size and arm strength. If Manuel can grow over the next couple of years with his athletic and talented rookie receivers, the Bills could have a dangerous passing offense to go with dynamic running back C.J. Spiller.

“They are great receivers who run great routes,” Manuel said. “The best thing about Robert is he always wins [one-on-one battles]. Marquise, a lot of people talk about his speed, but he runs good routes too.”

New Bills general manager Doug Whaley told the AFC East blog this week that he’s excited about his rookie class — and for good reason. But the team also took on some character risks.

Alonso, Rogers and safety Duke Williams, who will compete for a starting role, all had off-field issues in college. Alonso had multiple alcohol-related incidents while at Oregon and also was arrested for burglary and criminal mischief in 2011. Rogers’ long list of issues include an arrest, a suspension and a failed drug test that resulted in him being kicked out of the University of Tennessee. Williams was suspended three times at the University of Nevada for various incidents. He reportedly got into a fight with a teammate in 2010, which led to one suspension. He also was arrested for theft in 2009.

The Bills said they examined those players’ backgrounds and believe their issues are behind them. That remains to be seen. Buffalo was willing to add good talent in exchange for character concerns.

The Bills also could have their kicker of the future in sixth-round pick Dustin Hopkins, who was a teammate of Manuel at Florida State and set the NCAA record for points scored. Hopkins will compete with longtime kicker Rian Lindell, who is 36 and entering his 15th season. According to Weidl, Hopkins is a good kicking prospect who has a chance to unseat the veteran.

If everything falls into place, the Bills could have a franchise quarterback, a starting linebacker, at least two contributing receivers and a kicker from one draft class. Rarely does everything go according to plan in the NFL, but the Bills appear to have more hits than misses in this draft, which was not always the case for this struggling franchise.

The Bills will not erase 13 years of losing overnight. But in the near future, we may look back at this 2013 draft class as the tipping point for when Buffalo finally started changing its losing ways.
The 2013 NFL draft is in the books, and this week provides a chance for reflection and instant analysis.

ESPN draft expert Todd McShay provided his best and worst picks Insider in the draft. Here were his selections for the AFC East:

Buffalo Bills

Best pick: WR Robert Woods (second round)

Worst pick: QB EJ Manuel (first round)

Thoughts: McShay has been bashing the Manuel pick all week. He called it "a waste" and "a mistake" to take the former Florida State quarterback in the first round. Manuel brings a lot of physical tools to the table but will have to compete with veterans Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson. Woods was one of my favorite receivers in this draft. I think he has a good chance to start in Week 1 with the Bills.

Miami Dolphins

Best pick: LB Jelani Jenkins (fourth round)

Worst pick: CB Will Davis (third round)

Thoughts: McShay was really high on Jenkins. He missed most of 2012 with injuries but could provide some immediate value on defense and special teams. Davis was the second cornerback taken in addition to Jamar Taylor. Corner was a need position for Miami.

New England Patriots

Best pick: WR Aaron Dobson (second round)

Worst pick: S Duron Harmon (third round)

Thoughts: Dobson has a chance to make an immediate impact in New England. He has a knack for big plays. The worst pick of Harmon was predictable. Most believe he was a seventh-round pick. But this is a typical Bill Belichick move to take a player early that no one expected.

New York Jets

Best pick: CB Dee Milliner (first round)

Worst pick: DT Sheldon Richardson (first round)

Thoughts: Neither player filled huge positions of need. But McShay liked the Milliner pick better than Richardson. Milliner has upside and could be a player who eventually replaces Darrelle Revis, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McShay isn’t sure how Richardson fits in Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme.
The Miami Dolphins could go in several directions with the No. 12 overall pick. Miami also has 11 selections total, which affords the team the flexibility to move up if necessary. That makes the Dolphins one of the most unpredictable teams in this month's NFL draft.

Miami has needs at cornerback, offensive tackle and defensive end. That is why ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay pegged Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes for the Dolphins at No. 12.Insider

But on a conference call with ESPN.com's Blog Network on Friday, I asked McShay about the prospects of Miami moving up to get a higher-rated player. McShay felt strongly about one position for the Dolphins.

Here was McShay's response:
"If I’m moving up, I’m moving up for a left tackle. That’s just me. Cornerbacks are one of the four key positions. But left tackle is one of the two or three in terms of positional value, in my opinion. If I just invested the No. 8 pick last year in [Ryan] Tannehill and saw the promise I saw from him this past year and lose a Jake Long. ... I don't know. I would be sick to my stomach going into a season with Jonathan Martin as my left tackle if I'm trying to build around [Tannehill]. How many years have we've been looking for a quarterback for Miami? How many years? I feel like it's Groundhogs Day every single year in the draft, saying 'Well, they haven't had a quarterback since Dan Marino.' Now you've got one, so don't screw it up. To me, this is a no-brainer if you're the Dolphins. Give up the pick, move up and go get Lane Johnson, if not Eric Fisher, and lock down that spot."

I agree with McShay. Offensive tackle is the second-most important position on the field. Barring significant improvement from Martin, the Dolphins currently do not have one. This is a draft deep with quality offensive tackles, and Miami would do itself and Tannehill a huge favor by securing his blind side.
Here is a quick offseason warning: This is officially "silly season" in the NFL. You will hear various opinions and analysis that range all over the place on draft prospects and free agents. So take that for what it's worth.

But something that really caught my eye was ESPN NFL draft guru Todd McShay's take on Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib from this week's Senior Bowl practices. McShay is really down on Nassib, who is a strong target of the Buffalo Bills.

"Nassib's arm vastly overrated," McShay tweeted Wednesday. "Short/intermediate throws MPHs but struggles driving ball vertically on tape and see same at Senior Bowl."

Nassib struggling to throw vertically? That sounds a lot like Buffalo's last quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Arm strength isn't everything. But the Bills do need a quarterback who can make all the throws, particularly in the swirling winds and inclement winter weather in Buffalo. The team has gone through several years of Fitzpatrick, who was very limited in what he can do.

Again, keep in mind this is just one analysis of many that will surface on Nassib over the next few months. But it is a red flag nonetheless.

Bills rookie head coach Doug Marrone obviously is high on Nassib and thinks the quarterback has an NFL future. That makes Buffalo a potential landing spot for Nassib.
There are no sure-fire quarterback prospects in this year's draft, much like last year's Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. There wasn't a team in the league last year who doubted these two players were capable of leading NFL franchises. To no surprise, both rookie quarterbacks are making their postseason debuts this weekend.

But when it comes to this year's quarterback draft class, opinions are all over the place. That includes ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. Both have different quarterbacks at the top of their early rankings.

Kiper likes Insider N.C. State's Mike Glennon as the No. 1 college quarterback. McShay still Insider likes Geno Smith of West Virginia. Neither are top-20 prospects at this stage, according to Kiper and McShay. But these are their picks to be the first quarterback off the board.

This is bad news for the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Both will be looking for franchise quarterbacks in the offseason and have top-10 picks. But this is a very difficult draft to find one, especially early in the first round. Glennon and Smith both struggled mightily in their bowl games and showed a lot of flaws that can be exposed by NFL defenses.

Free agency may be the best route to find an immediate starter this year. The Bills have some cap room to work with and can get rid of Ryan Fitzpatrick and his non-guaranteed $7.45 million in 2013. The Jets are very tight on the cap, partly due to Mark Sanchez’s guaranteed $8.25 million salary next season.
I usually don't like to look beyond this season in the NFL because so much can change in a year. But ESPN's resident scout Todd McShay has an interesting mock draft up for 2013.

It's a very early projection. But let's take a look at what McShay has in store for the AFC East:

Miami Dolphins

Pick: No. 8

McShay's pick: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Thoughts: McShay projects Miami to take one of the best pass-rushers next year. Jones recorded 13.5 sacks as a junior, and expectations are high for Jones in 2012. Pass-rushers are always needed. For example, Dolphins outside linebacker Cameron Wake is entering the final year of his contract and is in the middle of a dispute with the team.

New York Jets

Pick: No. 9

McShay's pick: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

Thoughts: I'm surprised McShay and Scouts Inc. project New York to have a top-10 pick next year. Are the Jets on their way to another implosion, as the No. 9 overall pick suggests? If that's the case, McShay sees the Jets drafting another pass-rusher in Mingo. This is the norm for Jets coach Rex Ryan. But I think running back and offensive tackle could be more pressing needs by the end of next season.

Buffalo Bills

Pick: No. 17

McShay's pick: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech

Thoughts: The Bills didn't draft a developmental quarterback this year. So I understand why McShay sees Buffalo taking one in the first round in 2013. Buffalo will need to have someone ready to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick in the next few seasons. But I was surprised that it was Thomas over Oklahoma's Landry Jones, who has more buzz entering this year. But both players will settle it on the field to determine who is the second-best quarterback prospect behind Matt Barkley of USC.

New England Patriots

Pick: No. 32

McShay's pick: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

Thoughts: Once again, it's interesting that McShay and Scouts Inc. are vaguely predicting a Super Bowl title for New England. The Patriots have so many receivers already that I'm finding it hard to see New England drafting that position in the first round. The Patriots have few holes. But maybe cornerback or running back could be early targets, depending on how things play out this season.
The time for mock drafts is coming to an end, as the actual NFL draft will be Thursday night. But ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay provided their final mock drafts of 2012.

Here is how Kiper Insider and McShay Insider envision the first round going this week for the AFC East:

Miami Dolphins (No. 8 overall)

Kiper’s pick: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill

McShay’s pick: Tannehill

Analysis: I haven’t seen a mock draft in a while that doesn’t have Tannehill going to Miami. The need for a quarterback of the future and Miami's interest in Tannehill are obvious. If he’s there at No. 8, I agree that Tennehill is the pick. There’s been some speculation that Tannehill could go as high as No. 3 or No. 4, but that rumor appears to be losing steam the week of the draft. Miami likes Tannehill, but certainly not enough to trade the farm. The Dolphins can sit tight and take their chances.

Buffalo Bills (No. 10)

Kiper’s pick: Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd

McShay’s pick: Floyd

Analysis: Both Kiper and McShay also agree on Buffalo's pick. As we mentioned several times in the AFC East blog, the Bills are in somewhat of an odd spot. I like Floyd as a prospect and he does fit a need. But I’m not a big proponent of taking wide receivers in the top 10, especially if they're not the top player at the position. I think the safest pick for Buffalo at No. 10 would be linebacker Luke Kuechly, but McShay and Kiper both have Kuechly off the board when Buffalo comes up. Floyd is a decent pick, but I would rather Buffalo trade back and get additional draft picks, if possible. Other receiver prospects such as Stephen Hill or Alshon Jeffery might be available to Buffalo at No. 41 near the top of the second round, and that would provide more value.

New York Jets (No. 16)

Kiper’s pick: North Carolina DE Quinton Coples

McShay’s pick: South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram

Analysis: These are both interesting selections for the Jets. New York would be jumping for joy if Ingram is available at No. 16. It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in the draft that the Jets are high on Ingram. He can add a pass-rush to Rex Ryan's defense. However, I'm skeptical that arguably the best pass-rusher in the draft will make it this far. Coples is a player whose stock is taking a dip. There are questions about his motor. I also think Coples is a better fit as a traditional 4-3 defensive end, as oppose to playing in a 3-4. Coples would be a decent value at No. 16, but he doesn't fit New York's scheme as well as Ingram.

New England Patriots (No. 27 and No. 31)

Kiper’s picks: Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw and Notre Dame S Harrison Smith

McShay’s picks: Boise State OLB Shea McClellin and Smith

Analysis: Smith is being linked to New England a lot, and he is a prospect who is rising up the draft boards. The Patriots need help for their 31st-ranked pass defense. Smith has a good mix of intelligence and athleticism New England could use in its secondary. Both Kiper and McShay see the Patriots going outside linebacker with the No. 27 pick. I don't think New England could go wrong with Upshaw or McClellin. Both bring a good pass-rush.
Wide receiver is one of the deepest areas of this year's NFL draft, and the New York Jets need a starting receiver. Sounds like we have a match.

On Monday ESPN.com's blogger mock draft pegged Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd to New York at No. 16. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay talked about the possibility of Floyd to New York earlier this week.
"I mean, if you're going to run the football and be successful, you've got to have the threat of the pass. If Michael Floyd was there [at No. 16], I think he would fit very well in terms of a compliment, and what, I believe, they need on this roster. You start to look at what they have. Chaz Schilens opposite Santonio Holmes, and Jeremy Kerley, doesn't strike a lot of fear. I get it. You're in the lineup and run the football, but you've got to back defenses off, unless this becomes the Tebow show and they turn into the Denver Broncos from a year ago which is a whole other story."

McShay went on to elaborate by saying there could be other great options available in the second and third rounds. The Jets have other needs, such as right tackle and safety. But is Floyd the best fit for New York?

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