- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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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.