New York Jets: Mel Kiper
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. posted his NFL all-rookie team , along with his picks for offensive and defensive rookies of the year. Most notably, he selected Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso over New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson as the top rookie on defense.
Alonso and Richardson are thought to be the top candidates for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, presented by the Associated Press.
Kiper's take: "If this were purely on per-play impact, I think Sheldon Richardson could back up his case as the best rookie overall, but I give Alonso a slight edge here based on his total impact. Alonso was third in the NFL in tackles and, perhaps just as impressive, was one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL, a significant bonus. Because of his ability to cover, Alonso never came off the field; he played nearly 1,200 snaps. Richardson might be a better player, but I give the season edge to Alonso."
Kiper placed two Jets on his all-rookie team -- Richardson and fullback Tommy Bohanon. Rex Ryan wouldn't agree with this list, as Kiper didn't include cornerback Dee Milliner. Obviously biased, Ryan believes Milliner was the top rookie cornerback. Kiper opted for Desmond Trufant of the Atlanta Falcons and Logan Ryan of the New England Patriots. For what it's worth, ProFootballFocus -- a stats-based web site -- ranked Trufant, Logan and Milliner as the No. 7-, No. 29- and No. 53-rated cornerbacks, respectively, based on at least 50-percent play time.
Kiper's top nine:
1. Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
2. Jaguars: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
3. Raiders: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
4. Eagles: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
5. Lions: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
6. Browns: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
7. Cards: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
8. Bills: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
9. Jets: Mingo
Kiper Analysis: Skill position questions are significant for the Jets, who need help at wide receiver, tight end and probably at running back. But the value might not be there at this spot, and for several years the Jets also have lacked a pass-rusher who scares opposing offenses. Mingo could be that player on the edge in Rex Ryan's scheme, strengthening a defensive line that is going to be very good on the interior as Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples develop into a couple of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the league. Mingo must add polish and play with better leverage, but his ceiling is extremely high and Ryan could do a lot with him.