To me, one of the fascinating subplots to the draft is general manager John Idzik and how he handles 12 picks. For the history buffs out there, the Jets haven't had a 12-player draft since 1998. Idzik has eight tradeable picks and four compensatory choices, giving him plenty of ammunition to wheel and deal.
Idzik didn't trade up or down last year in his first draft with the New York Jets, but one year isn't a big enough sample size to define a trend or a tendency. Nevertheless, you'd like to see him be aggressive, perhaps coming away with four players instead of three over the first three rounds. Some GMs are brilliant when it comes to this sort of maneuvering; some just sit on their hands and take the top guy on their board.
A lot of fans are wondering if the Jets would make a bold move by jumping into the top 10. The logical follow-up question is, which player would prompt them to make such a move? There are seven elite players in the draft, according to the general consensus -- Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, Jake Matthews, Mike Evans and Taylor Lewan. The most appealing players to the Jets are Clowney, Mack, Watkins and Evans, but there's a good chance they will be gone in the first eight or nine picks.
For argument's sake, let's say Evans dropped to the Buffalo Bills at nine. What would it cost to trade up? According to the draft value chart, the Jets would have to trade their first-round pick (18), their second-rounder (49) and a fifth rounder (154). That's a fairly steep price, but not outrageous. Nevertheless, I'd be surprised if Idzik pulled the trigger because he knows he can get a good player with the 49th pick. He's hoping to use this draft to restock his depth, which had eroded over the years.
One team that bears watching is the Pittsburgh Steelers at 15. Their primary needs are similar to those of the Jets -- cornerback and wide receiver -- so it's possible Idzik could try to leap-frog the Steelers to make sure he gets the one he wants. To swap with the Chicago Bears at 14, the Jets would have to give up their first-round pick and their third-rounder (80), according to the value chart. That's something I could see them doing to take wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. or one of the top corners, Darqueze Dennard or Justin Gilbert. From what I'm hearing, though, Beckham may not even make it to the Steelers.
What about trading for a veteran player? Two players who might be available are Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore. If the Raiders get Watkins with the fifth pick, it wouldn't be a surprise if they try to deal Moore, who is heading into a contract year. The Jets' receivers coach, Sanjay Lal, coached Moore as a rookie. Claiborne, the sixth overall pick in 2012, is the Cowboys' No. 3 corner and a bad scheme fit in their zone defense. The only problem is, Dallas would take a huge cap hit by dealing him and may decide to hold on to him for another year.