Class of '12: Assessing the Jets' draft

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
6:28
PM ET
A bye-week evaluation of the Jets' draft class, including an update on the five players chosen after the Jets' pick for all you second-guessers out there:

FIRST ROUND

16. DE Quinton Coples -- He got off to a slow start, but his playing time has increased in recent weeks. He has received more action than any other Jets rookie. He has two sacks and five tackles-for-loss.

What might have been: 17. CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Bengals; 18. OLB Melvin Ingram, Chargers; 19. DE Shea McClellin, Bears; 20. WR Kendall Wright, Titans; 21. DE Chandler Jones, Patriots.

Skinny: The Jets needed an edge rusher in the worst way, and they passed on a good one. Jones has six sacks, three forced fumbles and could win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

SECOND ROUND

11. WR Stephen Hill -- He has experienced extreme highs and lows. Hill has four drops and he's as raw as sushi, still learning how to run pass routes. He has 14 catches, a 14.0 yard-per-catch average and 3 TDs.

What might have been: 12. OL Jeff Allen, Chiefs; 13. WR Alshon Jeffery, Bears; 14. LB Mychal Kendricks, Eagles; 15. LB Bobby Wagner, Seahawks; 16. S Tavon Wilson, Patriots.

Skinny: The only player that matters here, for the purpose of comparison, is Jeffery, whose stats are almost identical to those of Hill -- 14 catches, 13.1 average, 2 TDs.

THIRD ROUND

14. LB DeMario Davis -- He has played the last two games for the injured Bart Scott. Davis brings a different dimension to the linebacking corps. He's more of a sideline-to-sideline player, as opposed to a downhill linebacker. He has 15 tackles.

What might have been: 15. TE Michael Egnew, Dolphins; 16. S Brandon Hardin, Bears; 17. DB Jamell Fleming, Cards; 18. DE Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys; 19. DT Mike Martin, Titans.

Skinny: No one jumps off the page here. Martin has two sacks in a reserve role; Fleming has started two games.

SIXTH ROUND

17. S Josh Bush -- He has been a solid contributor on special teams, but Bush -- a sleeper pick -- has yet to make any mark on defense. He has only two tackles in very limited action.

What might have been: 18. LB Danny Trevathan, Broncos; 19. DT Chris Bilukidi, Raiders; 20. S Markelle Martin, Titans; 21. RB Dan Herron, Bengals; 22. S Charles Mitchell, Falcons.

Skinny: No one has distinguished himself. Trevathan and Martin have small roles.

SIXTH ROUND

32., 33. RB Terrance Ganaway, OT Robert Griffin -- The Jets went 0-for-2 here, as neither player made the team. That's a surprise, because GM Mike Tannenbaum hates to cut draft picks.

What might have been: 34. LB Emmanuel Acho, Browns; 35. DT Billy Winn, Browns; 36. WR LaVon Brazill, Colts; 37. P Brad Nortman, Panthers; 1. (Seventh round) G Justin Anderson, Colts.

Skinny: The Browns found a nice player in Winn, who has started eight games and has one sack. You're doing well anytime you can find an immediate contributor this late in the draft.

SEVENTH ROUND

35. S Antonio Allen, 37. WR Jordan White -- Allen was the Jets' best late-round pick in this draft. He was a key contributor on defense in the win over the Colts, covering the tight end. He has one sack and has the potential to be productive on special teams. White is on the practice squad.

What might have been: 36. QB B.J. Coleman, Packers; 38. DB Trevin Wade, Browns; 39. DB Terrence Frederick, Steelers; 40. TE Brad Smelley, Browns; 41. G Kelvin Beachum, Steelers.

Skinny: Any second-guessing this late in the draft would be irresponsible. The Jets are happy with Allen, and none of these other players have contributed.

Summary: The Jets found three starting-type players with Coples, Hill and Davis. By next year, all three should be regulars. Any draft that produces three starters has to be considered solid. But all three still need a lot of development, especially Hill, so it's hard to predict the upside of the draft. The Jets will hear years of criticism if Jones continues to shine and Coples turns out to be just a regular guy.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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