Wednesday, January 22, 2014
New York Jets: Draft watch list 1.0
By Rich Cimini
With Senior Bowl practices underway in Mobile, Ala., it means draft season is upon us.
The New York Jets, picking 18th, are in good position to address their No. 1 need (wide receiver). They could have needs at tight end, right tackle, cornerback, outside linebacker and safety, depending on how things shake out in free agency.
Players that could be in play for the Jets at 18:
Marqise Lee, wide receiver, USC: He'd be a top-5 pick, based on his monster 2012 performance, but he was banged up last season and his numbers dropped dramatically. He's an underclassman whose combine performance and private workout will dictate how high he goes.
Eric Ebron, tight end, North Carolina: Pass-catching tight ends are trending up, so Ebron -- the best in the draft -- may not last until 18. He averaged 15.7 yards per catch last season. Underclassman.
Mike Evans, wide receiver, Texas A&M: Johnny Manziel's favorite target is a 6-foot-4 former basketball player with an impressive résumé. He averaged 20.2 yards per reception last season and scored 12 touchdowns. There are questions about his stopwatch speed. Underclassman.
Justin Gilbert, cornerback, Oklahoma State: Yes, it's hard to imagine them taking a first-round cornerback two years in a row, but the Jets will be hurting if they can't find a way to keep Antonio Cromartie and his bloated contract. Gilbert made seven interceptions last season.
Cyrus Kouandjio, tackle, Alabama: It's not a need position unless Austin Howard leaves via free agency. If he does, there are no sure-fire answers on the roster. Kouandjio is an underclassman.