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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Draft preview: Secondary

By Rich Cimini

This is the ninth installment in a position-by-position analysis of the Jets as they prepare for the draft:

Position: Secondary

Depth chart: CB -- Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Ellis Lankster, Darrin Walls, Isaiah Trufant, Aaron Berry, Donnie Fletcher, Eric Crocker, Cliff Harris; S -- Dawan Landry, Josh Bush, Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Bret Lockett.

Departures -- CB Darrelle Revis (Bucs), LaRon Landry (Colts), Yeremiah Bell (Cards).

Total salary-cap charge (positional rank): $26.0 million, including a $12 million "dead" charge for Revis (1st)*.

Scouting report: The strength of the team has turned into a potential weakness due to the loss of three starters. Basically, the Jets have Cromartie and a lot of question marks. It's hard to describe the loss of Revis in a couple of sentences; let's just say it changes the entire dynamic on defense. The Jets will try to sell people on how they finished No. 2 in pass defense even though they didn't have Revis for 13 games, but don't buy that. The stat is skewed because teams didn't throw a lot against the Jets; they didn't have to.

Wilson will be a marked man. He was rated 50th out of 71 corners last season by ProFootballFocus.com. The cornerback depth is highly suspect. Landry, a free-agent addition, is serviceable, but he won't be as good as his little brother, LaRon. There's a "Help Wanted" sign posted on the other safety spot.

The last time: They drafted two defensive backs last year, taking Bush and Allen in the sixth and seventh rounds, respectively.

Potential targets: The biggest need is safety, and the top prospect -- Kenny Vaccaro (Texas) -- could receive some consideration with the 13th pick. It's too early to take Eric Reid (LSU), but he could be an option in a trade-down scenario. The Jets must come out of this draft with a potential starter at safety. They brought in no fewer than six safeties for pre-draft visits, including Vaccaro, Matt Elam (Florida), Josh Evans (Florida) and Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International). There's good depth in Rounds 2 to 4.

They could pick a corner if Dee Milliner (Alabama) slips to nine, a possibility. "He's not Revis, but he'd probably start over Wilson," one scout told me. "He'll be a solid starter, but I don't consider him a Pro-Bowl talent." CB D.J. Hayden (Houston) is on the radar. Rex Ryan traveled to Houston Monday to attend a workout. When a head coach goes to an 11th-hour workout, it's usually significant. Hayden is regarded as a late 1/early 2.

Need factor (scale of 1 to 10): CB -- 6; S -- 10.

* The cap hit from the Revis trade, coupled with the recent Landry signing, pushed the secondary into the No. 1 spot, overtaking the offensive line.