New York Jets: NFL draft

McShay Mock 3.0: Jets 

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
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Todd McShay's third NFL mock draft for 2014 is out on ESPN Insider today.

For a team picking 18th overall, the New York Jets sure have a lot of needs right now. That is a testament to the job coach Rex Ryan did with a limited talent base and an erratic rookie quarterback in Geno Smith.

This is another roster that will look much different on draft day than it does right now, but the only positions I can't see New York considering with this pick are quarterback, running back, center, left tackle and the defensive line. There is still much rebuilding to be done, but with the extreme strength of this draft, the Jets should find a very useful piece with the 18th pick.

Whom does McShay have the Jets drafting at No. 18? ? Let's take a look Insider:

Richardson can talk the talk

April, 26, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Sheldon Richardson will love the New York spotlight. But will the spotlight love him back?

It became abundantly clear in his introductory news conference Friday that Richardson likes to talk. In fact, he was asked to talk about the time he did too much talking in college. During the run-up to a big game against Georgia, he said the Bulldogs play "old-man football." It created a firestorm and he apologized to the Georgia coaches.

"Oh, man, the media takes stuff and runs with it," said Richardson, who sat alongside fellow first-round pick Dee Milliner in the Jets' press room. "It was a joke. [Instead of] old-school football, I said old-man football. I didn't want to say old-school. They hand off left and right, and they had an offensive playbook of about 14 plays. Toss left, toss right, a little play-action here and there. But they're a powerhouse team and I understand why."

Georgia won, 41-20, on Missouri's home field. At the end of the game, Georgia players held up a sign that said, "Grown man football."

It wasn't the last time that Richardson's mouth got him into trouble. Late in the season, he was suspended for a pivotal game against Syracuse for breaking an unspecified team rule. An NFL source said Richardson showed up late for an academic meeting and was required, as punishment, to run the stadium steps.

"He was reluctant, didn't want to do it because he claimed he was hurt," the source said. "He talked back to the coach and said he'd come back and do it another day."

The source described Richardson as "an immature knucklehead, but certainly not a bad kid." In the big picture, his suspension hardly qualifies as a major transgressions, considering the rap sheets that some players bring into the NFL. Richardson came off as affable, but confident. He expects to start as a rookie.

"I want to start," he said. "They didn't draft us to sit behind anybody."

The Jets chose Richardson with the 13th pick, Milliner with the ninth pick. Both will play significant roles as rookies, although Richardson's role is a bit of a mystery. He's an interior linemen, and they have two others in Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, both former No. 1 picks. Rex Ryan plays multiple fronts, and he acknowledged there could be more 4-3 looks than in the past. Richardson said he was surprised the Jets took him because they hadn't talked to him since the scouting combine in February.

Milliner, of course, will be compared to former Jets CB Darrelle Revis. When he heard they had traded Revis to the Bucs, Milliner figured they'd be in the market for another corner.

"When they traded Revis, I didn't know who they'd get or when they'd get it, but I figure they'd have to take one," he said.

Milliner said he may reach out to Revis for advice "because I know he's a great corner and I know he could help me out."

W2W4: Jets mull Geno, Nassib

April, 26, 2013
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The Jets have two picks Friday night -- seventh pick in the second round (39th overall) and the 10th pick in the third (72nd overall). The draft resumes at 6:30 p.m. Top storylines:

1. QB or not to QB?: On Thursday night, the Jets had their pick of any quarterback in the draft -- twice -- and they passed. But now the drama builds once again. They own the seventh pick in the second round and there are three high-profile passers still on the board -- Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley. John Idzik & Co. will discuss it, a source said, but I'd be surprised if they pull the trigger.

If you pick a quarterback at 39, you're basically anointing him a future starter. That would be a mistake for the Jets. Three reasons: They have too many other needs; they have an $8.25 million guarantee invested in Mark Sanchez; and it doesn't make sense because of Rex Ryan's tenuous situation as head coach. If Idzik decides not to extend Ryan's contract after the season, he'd be saddling the next coach with somebody else's quarterback.

That said, the Jets did a lot of homework on Smith and Nassib. In fact, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg dined with them as their respective pro days. Mornhinweg and two scouts return from Smith's pro day "raving" about him, a source said. The OC also believes Nassib would be a good fit in his West Coast offense. In fact, the Jets have been in touch with him as recently as this week. But consider this question: Why did the Bills' Doug Marrone, who coached Nassib at Syracuse and is running a West Coast-style offense, pass on Nassib in favor of EJ Manuel?

As for Smith, he received criticism for saying Thursday night that he wasn't planning to return Friday to Radio City Music Hall for the second round. There was word Friday morning that he had a change of heart (no doubt, on the advice of his agent), but his initial decision rubbed people the wrong way. Said one personnel director: "Geno Smith saying he's not coming back to the green room ... he doesn't handle adversity as well as you want."

2. Help the offense: After ignoring their moribund offense in the first round, the Jets need help on the dark side of the ball. Let's face it, they have pressing needs at tight end and guard. They also could use a wide receiver and, perhaps a running back. The top offensive players on the board: TE Zack Ertz (Stanford), WR Robert Woods (USC), WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee), WR Keenan Allen (Cal) and OT Menelik Watson (Florida State). In the third round, TE Travis Kelce (Cincinnati) and G Travis Warford (Kentucky) are possibilities.

3. Ivory tower: If the Jets want to pull the trigger on a trade for Saints RB Chris Ivory, now is the time to do it. They're looking for another back -- ideally, a bigger-type back -- and there could be some possibilities in the second round. From what I hear, they aren't too high on Montee Ball (Wisconsin). Eddie Lacy (Alabama) could be there at 39, which would present an interesting situation. I don't think the Jets are head over heels in love with him (some work-ethic questions), but they have a high regard for his raw talent. After losing Shonn Greene, they still don't have a clear-cut No. 1 back.

4. You da Manti: Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o could slip to the Jets at 39. Could they? Would they? Not a chance. It would be a bad pick on every level. They don't need an inside linebacker, he'd be a bad scheme fit and he'd be an unnecessary distraction.

Scouts' take on Milliner, Richardson

April, 26, 2013
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In recent weeks, and again after the first round, I talked to several personnel types on a number of players, including CB Dee Milliner and DT Sheldon Richardson. Here's a compilation of opinions:

On Milliner: "I wouldn't hesitate taking him in the top 10, even top five. He's a great kid. He works his (butt) off. ... He's not a shutdown corner, but he's real smart. He can make all the calls and adjustments. When [Nick] Saban says, 'I really like this guy,' you can take it to the bank. ... He'll have a delayed offseason (because of shoulder surgery), but I think he'll be ready to go for the preseason. There are some medical concerns, but I think he's been cleared by most teams. ... He's not [Darrelle] Revis. He's a good player, but I don't think he's a great player. I'd predict he starts over Kyle Wilson. He's a solid starter, but not a Pro-Bowl talent."

On Richardson: "Everybody in our organization liked him as a player. We had a first-round grade on him. ... There are some off-the-field issues, just attitude and maturity in his interviews. He didn't always get along with his coaches. ... He's really quick and strong. He has long arms and he plays from sideline to sideline. ... He's versatile. He can play in a couple different spots on the defensive line. ... We liked him, but he's kind of a goof ball. We had concerns about his work habits. ... So where does this guy play in that front? ... He's a junior-college kid [College of Sequoias, Calif.]. There are maturity, leadership and consistency concerns."

Draft preview: Linebacker

April, 23, 2013
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This is the eighth installment in a position-by-position analysis of the Jets as they prepare for the draft:

[+] EnlargeDion Jordan
Otto Greule Jr /Getty ImagesThe Jets would like to get Dion Jordan. Problem is, so would the teams that draft ahead of them.
Position: Linebacker

Depth chart: Inside -- David Harris, Demario Davis, Josh Mauga, Nick Bellore, Danny Lansanah, JoJo Dickson; Outside -- Antwan Barnes, Calvin Pace, Garrett McIntyre, Ricky Sapp.

Departures: Bart Scott (released), Bryan Thomas (unsigned).

Total salary-cap charge (positional rank): $18.83 million (3rd)

Scouting report: The Jets re-signed Pace, but they still need a pass-rushing outside 'backer. They haven't had a player register more than six sacks in a season since 2009. Since then, the team's sack total has dropped steadily. They averaged only one sack per every 17.8 dropbacks last season, ranked 23rd, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Jets signed Barnes, a pass-rushing specialist, but he's coming off a three-sack season with the Chargers -- a major dropoff from 11 in 2011.

The main objective is to improve the overall speed, outside and inside. Davis, who steps in for Scott, helps in that respect. But there's still plenty of work to be done. The linebacking corps, which stayed together four years, is in the middle of a transition period. Without Darrelle Revis as a security blanket on the back end, Rex Ryan needs someone who can get to the quarterback on a consistent basis.

The last time: Davis was selected last year in the third round. They haven't drafted an outside linebacker since Vernon Gholston, sixth overall in 2008. After Gholston, we can almost excuse them for being gun shy.

Potential targets: The best fit is pass rusher Dion Jordan (Oregon), but he's expected to go anywhere from second to seventh. It would be a gift from the draft gods if he slipped to the Jets at nine. They've been linked to OLB Barkevious Mingo (LSU), an undersized rusher with an explosive first step. In college, his production didn't match his talent, a concern for some teams. Jarvis Jones (Georgia) was a playmaking machine, but he ran poorly on his pro day and a spinal-stenosis condition could cause him to drop in the first round. Too much of a risk for the Jets, who could end up waiting until the second round. Cornelius Washington (Georgia), with a tremendous size-speed ratio, could be a second-round option.

Need rating (scale of 1 to 10): Outside -- 10; Inside -- 2.

The possibilities: Jets own 9th, 13th picks

April, 21, 2013
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By acquiring the Bucs' first-round draft pick for Darrelle Revis, the Jets own the ninth and 13th picks in Thursday night's draft. No team has had two picks in the top 13 since 2000. What will the Jets do with the choices? Here are players on their radar:

Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU: They desperately need a pass rusher. There's a chance he could last until 13.

Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina: Another big need for the Jets, but they'd probably have to grab him at nine. He could go to the Titans at 10.

Chance Warmack, G, Alabama: See Cooper.

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: He might have been a reach at nine, but the electrifying smurf receiver jumps into the picture at 13.

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: It might be a stretch at 13, but the Jets lost Dustin Keller and need a pass-catching tight end for their West Coast offense.

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Probably not at nine, but what about 13? Interesting. They really like Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib as well.

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia: He's the anti-Mingo; not a speed rusher, but highly productive. There's a medical concern with his neck.

Jets draft prospects: Inside the numbers

April, 20, 2013
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This is for all the stat geeks and draftniks out there. Here's an inside look at players on the Jets' radar with the ninth overall pick, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:

Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU: He only had 4.5 sacks in 2012, but he consistently pressured the quarterback. Mingo recorded 28 total pressures (hurries and knockdowns), tied for the second-most in the SEC.

Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia: He used finesse (speed, spin or twist) moves on 11 of his 14.5 sacks, the highest total among players rated 75 or higher by Scouts, Inc. Bjoern Werner (Florida State) had nine sacks using those moves, and no other player had more than 5.5 sacks on finesse moves.

Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, DE: He recorded 2.5 of his 4.5 sacks when double-teamed. To put that into perspective, only one of Jones’ 14.5 sacks came against a double team.

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: He gained 947 yards after the catch in 2012, most among players from AQ schools.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee: The Vols' quarterbacks completed 51.7 percent of their passes to Patterson, their lowest completion percentage to any receiver. Patterson struggled most on passes thrown 15 yards or more downfield, catching 9-of-31 passes that targeted him.

ESPN.com 2013 draft guide

April, 16, 2013
4/16/13
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ESPN draft experts and Insiders offer their take on the Jets -- draft needs, draft history, depth-chart analysis and possibilities with the ninth overall pick. Check it out.

Update: Pre-draft visits

April, 10, 2013
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Each team is allowed to host up to 30 non-local prospects at their facility for pre-draft visits. Here's a partial Jets list:

Quarterbacks -- Geno Smith (West Virginia), EJ Manuel (Florida State), Zac Dysert (Miami, Ohio).

Running backs -- Le'Veon Bell (Michigan State), Christine Michael (Texas A&M).

Wide receivers -- Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee), Tavon Austin (West Virginia).

Offensive linemen -- Oday Aboushi (Virginia).

Defensive linemen -- Star Lotulelei (Utah), William Campbell (Michigan).

Linebackers -- Dion Jordan (Oregon).

Defensive backs -- Kenny Vaccaro (Texas), Dee Milliner (Alabama), Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International), D.J. Swearinger (South Carolina), Matt Elam (Florida).

Draft profile: Jarvis Jones, Georgia

April, 5, 2013
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This is the fourth in a series highlighting players who could be selected by the Jets with the ninth overall pick in the April 25 draft:

[+] EnlargeJarvis Jones
David J. Griffin/Icon SMIJarvis Jones
Player: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

Height/weight: 6-foot-2½, 245 pounds

Scouts, Inc. rating: 14

Draft projection: Ninth to 17th

Scouting report: Jones is the opposite of LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo and Oregon OLB Dion Jordan, both featured previously in this space. By that, I mean Jones was a highly productive college player who tested poorly. He ran a 4.92 40 at his pro day, prompting one scout to tell me, "Athletically, he's as mediocre as you can get, but the guy is a producer." He was an elite playmaker as a 3-4 OLB, combining terrific instincts, strong hands and quick feet. He has a natural feel for rushing the passer, mastering the art of the strip sack. Against Alabama, he ran over all-America G Chance Warmack on one play, according to a scout. Jones is so-so against the run and he doesn't have much experience in pass coverage. He's on the light side for a 3-4 OLB, without much room to grow. That might be a concern for Rex Ryan, who likes his OLBs in the 6-foot-4, 260-pound neighborhood.

Key stats: Nobody did it better in the SEC over the last two seasons. Jones produced 28 sacks, including 14.5 and seven forced fumbles last season even though he missed two games.

Red flags: It's a big one -- reportedly a mild case of stenosis, meaning a narrowing of the spinal column. Jones hurt his neck while playing for USC in 2009 and he transferred because the school's doctors refused to clear him. The condition was confirmed at the scouting combine, with differing opinions on how it will affect his long-term ability to play in the NFL. Once considered a top-10 lock, Jones could slide to the middle of Round 1. In the end, it'll be up to the individual teams and their doctors to determine if they're comfortable with the risk. The Jets are hurting at OLB and could use a player with his skill set, but we're talking about roughly a $12 million guarantee for the No. 9 pick -- perhaps too big a gamble for new GM John Idzik.

In his own words: "I have a slight narrowing in my spine between the C4 and C5 [vertabraes]. Like pretty much everybody -- probably some of y'all have spinal stenosis and don't know it -- I have it. But most of the doctors checked me out and feel that I'm fine. I don't have any contusion or anything like that in it. I only had one incident -- a stinger at USC in '09, my freshman year. I never had any symptoms after that. I played two years of SEC football, red-shirted, practiced every day, never had any symptoms. So I feel that I'm healthy."

Rewind: A look back at the 215th pick

April, 4, 2013
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The Jets own seven selections in the upcoming draft. Here's a look back at the recent history with each slot, starting at the bottom.

The Picks:

Round 1 -- 9th overall

Round 2 -- 39th overall

Round 3 -- 72nd overall

Round 4 -- 106th overall

Round 5 -- 141st overall

Round 6 -- 178th overall

Round 7 -- 215th overall

The last three drafts, 215th overall:

2012: Keeston Randall, DT, Dolphins (Texas)

2011: D'Aundra Reed, DE, Vikings (Arizona)

2010: Jeremy Ware, DB, Raiders (Michigan State)

Analysis: The bottom of the draft is where the scouts really earn their money, trying to uncover hidden gems. There are no gems among this group, although Randall and Reed still have jobs with the teams that drafted them. Randall played in 12 games last season in a reserve role, recording eight tackles. Ware already is out of the league. The Jets had two seventh-round picks last year, S Antonio Allen and WR Jordan White, both of whom remain on the roster. But, hey, you never know what might happen in the seventh. The Rams found RB Daryl Richardson (475 rushing yards) with the next-to-last pick. With Steven Jackson gone, Richardson is a likely starter.

McShay's 4.0 mock draft: Mingo

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
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Say this for ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay: He's consistent.

In his latest mock draft, the 4.0 version, McShay predicts the Jets will select LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo with the ninth overall pick -- same as McShay's 3.0 mock.

In the second round, he has the Jets selecting SMU DE Margus Hunt, whom Rex Ryan worked out personally Wednesday during the SMU pro day.

Here's the McShay top nine:

1. Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

2. Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

3. Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

4. Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

5. Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

6. Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

7. Cards: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

8. Bills: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

9. Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

McShay's take: Mingo's ideal fit is at right end in a 4-3 system, where he can put his hand in the dirt and explode upfield after the quarterback. However, the Jets need an edge rusher more than anything, and that's what Mingo does best. He is also capable of dropping into coverage when asked, and I believe people will be pleasantly surprised by his pass-rush production in the NFL compared to what he did in 2012 at LSU.

Our mock draft, Version 1.0

March, 25, 2013
3/25/13
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With the NFL draft exactly one month away, it's time for our first mock draft. Things could change, of course, because of free agency, trades and late pro days, but here goes nothing. Because we're in a Jets-ccentric world, we're stopping at No. 9.

1. Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M

2. Jaguars: Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan

3. Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

4. Eagles: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

5. Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

6. Browns: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

7. Cards: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

8. Bills: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

9. Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

Explanation: Readers may recall that I questioned the Mingo pick in the most recent mock drafts of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, based mostly on the belief that Mingo (6-foot-4, 241 pounds) is undersized for an every-down linebacker in Rex Ryan's system. But I was talking to an opposing team's scout last week who reminded me the Jets were very high last year on Bruce Irvin, who was listed only 6-foot-3, 245 pounds at the time of the draft. Mingo has been compared to Irvin, who was picked by the Seahawks, John Idzik's previous team. So there you go.

McShay's new mock: Mingo to Jets

March, 6, 2013
3/06/13
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ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has revealed a new mock draft, the 3.0 version, and it has the Jets picking LSU DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo at No. 9. Here you go:

1. Chiefs: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

2. Jaguars: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

3. Raiders: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

4. Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

5. Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

6. Browns: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

7. Cards: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

8. Bills: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

9. Jets: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU

McShay's analysis: I have no problem with Mingo as a top-10 pick. His lack of sack production is being overemphasized as he often faced extra attention from double-teams. There also were multiple games I saw on tape where he was limited in a gap-discipline game plan to limit mobile QBs.

Yes, he needs to get bigger and stronger in order to hold up better against the run. He also needs to improve his speed-to-power rush, but he is an explosive pass-rusher already and his motor is always running. He is athletic enough to occasionally drop into coverage, but he will get paid to get after the QB. That's exactly what the Jets need on defense.

My analysis: Mingo is a tremendous athlete, no doubt, but is he a scheme fit for the Jets? That would be my question. At 241 pounds, he's light for an every-down linebacker in Rex Ryan's 3-4 scheme. Ryan prefers outside 'backers in the 255-265 range. Chances are, Mingo would be a pass-rushing specialist as a rookie, developing into a three-down player by Year 2, a la Aldon Smith with the 49ers.

Good news: Safety in numbers

February, 27, 2013
2/27/13
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The scouting combine wrapped up Tuesday with the cornerback and safety drills. The Jets have a keen interest in safeties, considering LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell are free agents and Eric Smith was released. Good news: Scouts say it's a deep safety class, headed by Kenny Vaccaro (Texas), who could crack the top 10.

The 40-yard dash results

SAFETY

Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse -- 4.42

Earl Wolff, North Carolina State -- 4.44

Shawn Williams, Georgia -- 4.46

Eric Reid, LSU -- 4.53

Matt Elam, Florida -- 4.54

Notables: T.J. McDonald, USC -- 4.59; Vaccaro -- 4.63

CORNERBACK

Darius Slay, Mississippi State -- 4.36

Dee Milliner, Alabama -- 4.37

Desmond Trufant, Washington -- 4.38

Robert Alford, Southeast Louisiana -- 4.39

Jamar Taylor, Boise State -- 4.39

Notables: Tyrann Mathieu, LSU -- 4.50; Logan Ryan, Rutgers -- 4.56

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