Sunday, April 28, 2013
Draft analysis: Putting it into perspective
By Rich Cimini
Some day-after thoughts on the Jets' draft:
DELAY OF GAME: You'd like to think GM John Idzik has a plan for his six-pack of quarterbacks and, for the sake of those involved, he should execute it quickly -- or at least clarify it. It does no good to leave them hanging in limbo, and it perpetuates the "circus" perception that irks so many in the organization. Ironically, the one with the most security is rookie Geno Smith. The other five are in the dark, wondering about their role -- or if they'll have a role. Idzik should clean up the mess ASAP, because the last you want to do is expose the newbie -- Smith -- to the dysfunction.
TOUCHDOWN: Look at it this way: The Jets landed the best cornerback (Dee Milliner), the best defensive tackle (Sheldon Richardson) and the best quarterback. It's a productive draft whenever you can grab three "bests." You can question the idea of picking Smith, but you can't argue he was a good value in the second round.
FIRST DOWN: Idzik's first draft was right out of the Seahawks' playbook. In other words, there was a lot of meat and potatoes -- four linemen and a fullback, no first-round quarterback and no running backs. While Idzik was a member of their front office, the Seahawks used four of six first-round picks on linemen, never took a running back before the fourth round and grabbed QB Russell Wilson in the third. Pretty similar.
FORWARD PROGRESS: The Jets may have drafted three-fifths of their 2014 offensive line -- G Brian Winters (third round), T Oday Aboushi (fifth) and G Will Campbell (sixth). Winters and Campbell will learn a year behind stop-gap veterans Willie Colon and Stephen Peterman, and Aboushi could replace RT Austin Howard if he leaves via free agency. If not, Aboushi could be thrown into the guard mix.
ILLEGAL PROCEDURE: One of the problems with drafting so many big bodies is that it limits the pool of candidates for special teams. The Jets need linebacker/safety/tight end types that can run and hit on return and coverage units. They needed those type of players to bolster a unit that showed significant signs of decay last season.
FALSE START: The Rams really messed up the Jets' plans. If they hadn't traded up to No. 8 to take WR Tavon Austin, it would've left Austin for the Jets at No. 9. Then, with the 13th pick, they probably would've gotten Milliner. The Raiders picked CB D.J. Hayden, whom they reportedly favored over Milliner. The Jets would've been giddy with Austin and Milliner, the top two players on their draftboard.
HOLDING: The Jets failed to address a few glaring needs, namely safety, tight end and wide receiver. People can rationalize it by saying he didn't reach to fill needs, but let's see if those same people are complaining about the lack of offensive explosiveness in the fall.