- Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
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The Jets own the 16th pick in the draft and they have a lot of areas to address -- namely, outside linebacker, safety, right tackle and wide receiver.
On Wednesday, the next step in the evaluation process begins -- the scouting combine in Indianapolis, where 300-plus prospects will gather to be timed, tested, measured, examined and interviewed. Here are 10 players on the Jets' first-round watch list:
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama -- It'll be an upset if he lasts until 16, but he's the best runner in the draft and could be worth a trade-up. The Jets could use a guy who averaged 5.9 yards per carry.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State -- The Jets need a No. 2 WR to replace Plaxico Burress, and Blackmon (6-1, 208) has star potential. Like Richardson, he's probably a top-10 pick.
Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina -- He's an outstanding pass rusher as a 4-3 DE, but the question is whether he can transition to a 3-4 OLB. He's a shade under 6-foot-2 and, at 276, might be too heavy for the position. The Jets will be curious to see his agility and ability to drop into coverage.
Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama -- He's probably the best 3-4 OLB in the draft, and that has to excite the Jets, who need one in the worst way to replace Bryan Thomas. The Jets are linked to Upshaw in many mock drafts.
David DeCastro, G, Stanford -- It's unusual for a guard to get picked as high as 16th, but DeCastro (6-5, 310) has special talent and the Jets may have a need, depending on Matt Slauson's recovery from shoulder surgery.
Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia -- He's intriguing because of his size (6-5, 348) and versatility. The Jets want to upgrade at right tackle, but they could always kick him inside if it doesn't work out.
Michael Brockers, DT, LSU -- At 6-6, 306, he's a Muhammad Wilkerson clone in terms of size. Why would they draft another defensive end? DE Mike DeVito is entering the final year of his contract.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame -- He has an off-the-field issue that needs to be checked out, so the interview process will be vital for him. At 6-3, he's just what the Jets need to pair with Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley.
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State -- At 6-foot-7, 323 pounds, he has "right tackle" written all over him.
Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College -- The Jets could be looking for someone to replace Bart Scott, who has slowed down and could be released.
Note: Alabama S Mark Barron is recovering from double hernia surgery and will skip the combine. He reportedly will need two months to recover, which means he probably won't be ready for his March 7 pro day. When healthy, he's the best safety in the draft, seemingly an ideal fit for the Jets.
The Jets own the 16th pick in the draft and they have a lot of areas to address -- namely, outside linebacker, safety, right tackle and wide receiver.On Wednesday, the next step in the evaluation process begins -- the scouting combine in Indianapolis, where 300-plus prospects will gather to be timed, tested, measured, examined and interviewed.