Given the lockout, this year's NFL Draft has plenty of unique factors. Over the next few days, I am going to take a look at a few of them. The first is the lack of undrafted free agents due to the lockout. Since teams may not sign players to contracts, that will prevent them from signing any undrafted free agents until the lockout ends. This could impact the Jets in a few ways.
The first is that it might make Mike Tannenbaum less willing to give up picks to move up. We all know how Mike loves to trade in the Draft, which often leaves his team with few picks. Part of the rationale behind this, though, seems to be his willingness and ability to find undrafted free agents to fill out the roster. We have seen guys like Mike Devito take on a big role, Matthew Mulligan take on a role, and Jeff Cumberland and Jamaal Westerman to name a few take on roster spots. Late round picks are where a lot of teams find developmental players and fill out their rosters. Tannenbaum leans on undrafted guys. Without that option, one cannot help but wonder whether he will hold back a bit and keep some of his picks. Logic would dictate this will not be the case since these guys will be available to be signed once the lockout ends, but teams will have a lot more to juggle at that point than they usually do at undrafted free agent time.
The plus side is it gives the Jets more time to watch film and target guys they like. The negative remains that the Jets are probably going to be more focused on Antonio Cromarite and Santonio Holmes than Joe Undrafted Free Agent once it hits the fan.