New York Jets: Todd McShay

Did Jets drop ball at wide receiver?

May, 12, 2014
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One of the lingering questions involving the New York Jets is whether they adequately addressed their wide-receiver need in the draft.

Amid the endless pre-draft hype, they were linked to big-name prospects such as Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks and Marqise Lee. They went hard after receivers on the third day, selecting three wideouts, but it's never a sure thing when you're relying on middle- and late-round picks. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay agrees, claiming the Jets' draft strategy underscores their belief that Eric Decker -- the No. 2 receiver with the Denver Broncos -- will be their top dog for the foreseeable future.

"Outside of (the three picks), I don’t think they were really able to solve their problem at wide receiver," McShay said Monday on a media conference call. "You have to believe Eric Decker is your No. 1 if you’re going to spend that money" -- meaning the five-year, $36.25 million contract.

Amaro
The Jets drafted Jalen Saunders (fourth round), Shaq Evans (fourth) and Quincy Enunwa (sixth), but their key draft pick is tight end Jace Amaro (second). McShay described Amaro as a "big wide receiver" who needs to make an immediate impact. To me, he's the key to the draft.

"Ultimately, you need Amaro to come in and contribute, and you need more from Stephen Hill and you need Eric Decker to play the way he was paid," McShay said. "Hopefully, between Saunders, Evans and Enunwa, if you hit on one of those guys, you'll fill out the depth a little bit."

McShay believes the Jets got good value with their first two picks, safety Calvin Pryor and Amaro, but he wonders if they reached for need in the third round, taking cornerback Dex McDougle. No matter how team officials try to spin it, this was a "need" draft for the Jets. It's the kind of strategy that results in reaches, which end up being bad picks.

"Could they have gone wide receiver there? Yeah, sure, there were some better players at wide receiver available (in the third round), but they’re still trying to fill in that secondary and get the right guys there," McShay said.

Pryor
McShay offered a few other takeaways on the Jets' draft. He sees Pryor as a great fit in Rex Ryan's defense, but he wonders if he'll have to dial back his aggressive ways to conform to the new safety rules.

"I know some Jets fans were frustrated they went with (him) at 18, but he was just a really good value and he fits what they want," McShay said. "They want a guy who’s going to set a tone physically, who’s tough. He's got enough range to cover the deep third and the deep middle of the field. He’s never going to be a matchup safety, but he can cover in zone, he’s capable of playing in the box and he’s going to fill the alley hard. I mean, he knocked some guys out. He’s probably going to wind up with some fines in the league, and he may have to adjust his mentality a little bit, but he’s a perfect Rex Ryan-type football player."

The criticism of Amaro is he's a below average blocker. Doesn't matter, according to McShay.

"He can block a little bit, but ultimately all they did was draft a big wide receiver they can flex out and put in the slot, even split out wide at times and try to create some mismatches," he said. "I really like that pick for the Jets."

McShay's take on the next three picks:

McDougle: "I like his tape. He has durability issues, but I thought he was one of the under-rated players in this draft. When you studied what he did in 2012 and his first couple of games this season, he’s got a lot of potential. They obviously love drafting defensive backs."

Saunders: "He’s quick. He’s a good slot receiver, he makes plays and he create after the catch."

Evans: "We had him in that fourth/fifth-round range. He doesn’t have explosive burst. He’s not going to stretch the field much vertically, but he has good hands and I thought he had a really good performance at the Senior Bowl. He’s got a chance to stick maybe as the No. 4 or No. 5."

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Jets 

April, 10, 2014
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The draft still is four weeks away, but the most compelling storyline already is starting to come into focus for the New York Jets: wide receiver or cornerback?

For weeks -- no, months -- the first-round speculation centered on the receiver position. Now, after a few weeks of free agency, it can be argued the Jets have a bigger need at cornerback. When it's their turn to pick (18th overall), there should be a handful of similarly rated corners and receivers, which should make for interesting debate in the draft room.

McShay's Mock 3.0 reax: Jets

March, 6, 2014
3/06/14
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In his latest mock draft , ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay predicts USC wide receiver Marqise Lee for the New York Jets, who own the 18th pick.

Lee was off the board for the Jets in McShay's previous mock draft (he had them taking Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks), but this time there's a run on defensive players from the 13th pick to the 17th, allowing Lee to fall. In this scenario, he'd be the third receiver selected, behind Clemson's Sammy Watkins (Oakland Raiders, No. 5) and Texas A&M's Mike Evans (Detroit Lions, No. 10). Interestingly, North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron still is there for the Jets, which would make for an interesting choice. Obviously, the decision could be based on how they address those needs in free agency.

If the Jets take Lee, they'd be looking past his disappointing 2013 season, betting that his 2012 performance (he won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver) is a better gauge of his talent. A similar situation unfolded in 2012. Defensive lineman Quinton Coples was a beast at North Carolina in 2010, but slipped the following year for a variety of reasons. He became a human pinata before the draft, with critics taking shots at him. The Jets chose him 16th overall. How's it working out? Too soon to say. Coples' physical talent is undeniable, but he has given credence to some of the pre-draft concerns by displaying a lukewarm motor at times. Lee's work ethic is said to be outstanding.

Kiper/McShay mock draft reax: Jets

February, 6, 2014
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ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay revealed their latest mock drafts Thursday, with the following selections for the New York Jets (No. 18 overall):

Kiper: Marqise Lee, wide receiver, USC

McShay: Brandin Cooks, wide receiver, Oregon State

My take: McShay deals a curveball with the Cooks pick. As far as I can tell, this is the first mock draft in which Cooks has been linked to the Jets. In McShay's 2.0, the top three wideouts -- Lee, Sammy Watkins (Clemson) and Mike Evans (Texas A&M) are off the board by the time the Jets pick -- a scenario that could play out on draft day. Cooks put up monster numbers last season as a junior (128 receptions, 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns), but be careful: He played on a pass-happy team in a pass-happy conference. Cooks is closer to being a possession receiver than a game-breaker (averaged only 13.5 yards per catch), and the Jets -- in a perfect world -- need a home run threat. Nevertheless, McShay raises a potential dilemma for the Jets: If the top three are gone, do they pick for need (wide receiver) or take another position?

Kiper has been consistent with Lee going to the Jets; it was the pick in his 1.0 mock. I've said it before about Lee: He looked like a top-five pick in 2012, but his production dropped in half last season when he was nicked up. Like Cooks, Lee is an underclassman, adding importance to the upcoming scouting combine. Teams don't have exact measureables on the underclassmen, so the spotlight will be intense at the combine.

McShay's 4.0 mock draft: Mingo

March, 28, 2013
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Say this for ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay: He's consistent.

In his latest mock draft, the 4.0 version, McShay predicts the Jets will select LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo with the ninth overall pick -- same as McShay's 3.0 mock.

In the second round, he has the Jets selecting SMU DE Margus Hunt, whom Rex Ryan worked out personally Wednesday during the SMU pro day.

Here's the McShay top nine:

1. Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

2. Jaguars: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

3. Raiders: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

4. Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

5. Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

6. Browns: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

7. Cards: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

8. Bills: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

9. Jets: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

McShay's take: Mingo's ideal fit is at right end in a 4-3 system, where he can put his hand in the dirt and explode upfield after the quarterback. However, the Jets need an edge rusher more than anything, and that's what Mingo does best. He is also capable of dropping into coverage when asked, and I believe people will be pleasantly surprised by his pass-rush production in the NFL compared to what he did in 2012 at LSU.

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