I've been hearing a lot about how the Jets 2010 draft, highlighted by first round pick Kyle Wilson, has been nothing but a major failure. Not only has Kyle Wilson failed to secure a starting or even play at his slated nickel position, but other picks like Joe McKnight and Vladimir Ducasse appear to be struggling.
To me, this is far from the truth. Let's break down each player in a case-by-case basis:
Kyle Wilson: Wilson was drafted out of Boise only playing the outside position, which is vastly different from the inside he was forced into when Darrelle Revis returned from his holdout. By the time the season began, Wilson had lost his job to Drew Coleman. However, before the season, Wilson played well in preseason games and was impressive in camp. It's no coincidence that he was at his best when playing and practicing the outside positions. Give this kid some time to learn a new spot.
Vladimir Ducasse: Ducasse's situation is very similar to Wilson's in that they are both undergoing a position change, and they are both coming from small schools. Not exactly the recipe for immediate success. Now, I am a tad nervous that the Jets may just turn the starting RT spot to Ducasse, but a move back to tackle will be best for him. It requires different footwork and blocking assignments than guard. We always knew he was a bit raw, so let's see how he shows up in camp.
Joe McKnight: We all know the story of his training camp struggles, but if you aren't convinced by the week 17 game against Buffalo, you will never believe in Joe. He was never going to see the field in the regular offense in 2010 anyway. Look for Joe to pay off down the road.
John Conner: It's not like there's many people denying Conner as a fullback, but if you don't like taking fullbacks in the draft, just watch Hard Knocks when he just thumps people all over the place. Guys like this give you football team an attitude in itself.
So, don't give up on these guys yet - most of them were changing positions from small schools. In fact, you can expect these four guys to make a big difference in 2011.