2012 New York Jets Mock Draft

Why so soon? because I'm already bored of talking about the 2011 Jets and the problems, the problems have been there all year, and we have analysed them all year. Last time I wrote for GGN I suggested that missing the play-offs was not a terrible thing because we are a .500 team. A lot of people disagreed, but the undeniable fact is that we are a .500 team and we have missed the play-offs. So lets not sit around and moan about it, be sad; then look forward to 2012 and competing for a division title and the Superbowl.

After I wrote my last draft just over a month ago, I did say that I would be following it up after the season with a new one. The chips have now fallen, the Jets have missed the play-offs, Brian Schottenheimer will surely be on his way and the process begins. How do we fill the problem areas on the team without surrendering talent in other areas. It’s a tough ask and although my confidence in Mike Tannenbaum is not what it once was after last off-season. I still believe we are extremely close to being that Super Bowl challenger that we want to be. Obviously I have no idea what we might do in free agency or via trades with other teams and whatever moves we make there will effect the draft choices.

However in my mind there is one move I would like to see us make through trade or free agency and that’s to bring in a RT. I know in my last mock I had a RT as the first overall selection but since then, my theory has evolved. I think a veteran presence on the line is what is needed, so offensive line talent won’t feature early on this draft. I’ve also had a look through previous drafts to look for round + Position = Value selections. To see if there are any trends towards which positions yield better players based on where they are selected. So do you normally need to select a receiver higher in the draft, can you afford to leave positions like offensive line, defensive line to later in the draft. With everything considered, here is what I have ended up with. I’ve tried to not let bowl performances override a seasons worth of evaluation but on occasions that can happen. As always let me know what you think, do you like it, hate it or just think I’m losing my mind:

Getting everyone to agree on a mock draft is impossible, but here goes!

First Round Selection: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Current Jets WR’s: Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, Patrick Turner, Jeremy Kerley

Ouch! That is the first thought that comes to me when I look at that receiving core. Sanchez is struggling and there are a lot reasons for that. One of them is this receiving core. Santonio is a big talent (but a terrible captain). Plaxico is a target in the redzone but doesn’t have the same skill set as he once did, makes him les effective. Patrick Turner is well Patrick Turner, I don’t think he offers us much to be honest. Kerley has the potential to be an effective slot receiver and I’m looking forward to seeing how he developes.

Saying all that, it looks to me as though the Jets are crying out for a young target receiver, a physical presense with a well rounded skill set. Step up Michael Floyd who has absolutely everything the Jets need. He is a big receiver at 6’3 and 225lb’s.He has deceptive speed especially on vertical routes, long strides and his physicality makes him extremely hard to press off the line. He has excellent hands and locates the ball over his shoulder extremely well. One of his best attributes is adapting to the ball while in the air. He snatches passes out of the air and has a long frame.

I was most impressed with his performances with a pro style quarterback in Jimmy Clausen and a pro style offence under Charlie Weis. He does need to be more willing to pop the block on the outside, but he doesn’t shy away from contact and does his fair share of blocking. He runs his routes well, especially the quick slant routes which he can really open up into bigger plays. He has experience running the route tree. Some small character issues based on some underage drinking (I don’t really count underage drinking at college as much of a problem, I do count driving after drinking as a problem, but he’s not a problem child).

The Jets would be getting a great compliment to Santonio Holmes here, he would help Sanchez a lot as he seems to be able to adapt to balls that are a little off and he has that physical presense after the catch that can pick up a few extra yards. I am a Notre Dame fan, but I can honestly say that I don’t think I’m being biased with this evaluation of him.

Season

Receptions

Yards

Average

TD’s

2011

100

1147

11.5

9

2010

79

1025

13.0

12

2009

44

795

18.1

9

2008

48

719

15.0

7

Michael Floyd Career Highlights (via Irishfootball25)

Second Round Selection: Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida State

Current Jets OLB’s: Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Aaron Maybin, Ricky Sapp, Jamaal Westerman, Garret McIntyre

The Jets OLB’s consist of players getting on in years, Calvin Pace will be 32 in 2012 and Bryan Thomas will be 33 and coming off a torn Achilles injury which has kept him out of the majority of this season. Then we have the nothing spectacular in Westerman, the project in Maybin and the largely unproven in Sapp and McIntyre. It’s not hard to see why a little talent is required. We need to pressure the QB without needing to bring the house. Our defensive line got a lot younger in 2011 and has a lot of potential and talent, now we need to add to the next level.

By all accounts Jenkins a junior has submitted papers to the NFL to enquire about his draft stock. I think he is a 2nd round prospect and he may elect to return to Florida State for his senior year to try and cement a 1st round selection. If he does opt to move into the NFL though, I think he has great upside for any team looking for OLB talent in the second round.

Largely a defensive end at Florida State he doesn’t have the bulk or strength to stay here in the NFL. He is tailor made for a 3-4 team looking for a speed rusher on the outside. He does show a lot of moves but not consistently. He has a spin, swim and rip move but due to his speed being so effective, he has rarely had to use anything else in NCAA to get to the quarterback. He is the quickest rusher off the snap in this draft in my opinion and has excellent closing speed and wrap up ability for open field tackles.

Hasn’t been asked to play coverage in college but he has lateral quickness, and a long frame and surely can adjust to this aspect of the game at the next level. He isn’t a polished player, not by any means. He has terrific upside, a great motor and shows a lot of desire to get into the backfield. I think he offers that pass rushing pace off the edge, and can eventually develop into a complete OLB.

He should be forcing more fumbles but he can be taught to try and strip the ball quite easily at the next level. I like explosiveness, I like hunger and I like tackling ability with my OLB’s and this guy has each of those.

Season

Total Tackles

Solo Tackles

Sacks

Forced Fumbles

Interceptions

2011

41

29

8.0

0

0

2010

56

38

13.5

1

0

2009

10

6

0.00

0

0

FSU DE Brandon Jenkins Junior Season Highlights (via RajonRondoShow)

Third Round Selection: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Current Jets TE’s: Dustin Keller, Josh Baker, Matthew Mulligan

This is going back to my draft position, value equation. The Patriots draft tight ends frequently; one athletic pass catching tight end represents a difficult matchup for any defense. Two athletic tight ends on the same field is a matchup nightmare. The Jets have an athletic freak in Dustin Keller, Josh Baker is a little unknown and Matthew Mulligan really is a throw in backup who is liable to commit some very silly mistakes.

Coby Fleener has had the luxury of being sourced with footballs from the best college quarterback since Peyton Manning in Andrew Luck. However we can’t take away from the talent of Coby based on his quarterback. He has excellent in line blocking skills, good but not elite speed and the softest hands of any tight end in the draft. He lines up all over the field and he does a great job sitting in coverage and protecting the football.

By all accounts he has an excellent football IQ and if you look at any highlight video I think you will see he gets a good release off the line and he really does run crisp clean routes. He sells the double move and once he has the ball in his hands he has the speed and acceleration to turn up field and turn a 5-6 yard pass into a 15 yard completion. He won’t be breaking 50 yard completions on the regular but his above average blocking ability and his pass catching ability gives him a duel threat that teams will find hard to scheme against.

I’m not sold that he won’t be taken at this point, and we may need to draft up to select him. However if the Jets were to take Fleener, he would be another safety blanket for Sanchez who is very good throwing between the hashes. Keller and Fleener lined up in the same formation causes a whole lot of problems for any defense. Just imagine a formation with Homes and Floyd on the outside and Fleener and Keller on the inside. Good luck defenses.

Season

Receptions

Yards

Average

Long

TD

2011

32

648

20.3

62

10

2010

28

434

15.5

58

7

2009

21

266

12.7

42

1

2008

13

176

13.5

32

0

Coby Fleener #82: Highlights (via StanfordFball)

Fourth Round Selection: Kenny Tate, FS, Maryland

Current Jets FS’s: Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, Tracy Wilson

Where to start here? Firstly I was wrong about Brodney Pool; I thought he could really flourish under Rex Ryan and become the long term answer at Free Safety. It hasn’t happened and I can only imagine that he hasn’t impressed in training either, if Eric Smith gets selected before you, then you are not the long term answer. Eric Smith is a back-up strong safety and shouldn’t be anywhere close to the free safety role. We haven’t got anyone. So why not draft one earlier?

I don’t personally believe that there are any safeties worth taking in the first three rounds. None of them represent value at the position. I have cooled on Martin and I honestly think that you are splitting hairs choosing between the top free safety prospects in this draft, so why over reach. Not for me, I think Kenny Tate is as good as any free safety in this draft, and is the cover ball hawk that we need on this team.

Nobody is hyping him like a lot of safeties, and at 6’4 and 220lb’s I don’t understand it. When the NFL combine comes along, don’t be surprised to see Kenny top safeties in the vertical jump category. He has great leaping ability which means that he can match up with tight ends in coverage. He has good but not lightning speed, but the one thing I look for in safeties is their closing speed, the break from back pedal to closing and recognition. I really like this guy, it’s not enough for a safety to run fast and hit hard. Like I said when Taylor Mays was on board, you can run as fast as you like and hit as hard as you like, if you are running in the wrong direction due to poor recognition and bad angles you won’t be hitting the person you need to be.

One other thing I like about Kenny, he has a high IQ. Call me a broken record, but I love football guys and not just athletic freaks. He doesn’t often get drawn in by play action and he is a wrap up tackler. He won’t run himself out of a play looking for the highlight reel safety. The more I watch this guy play, the more I like him. It makes absolute logical sense for the Jets to be in on Tate. He is a clean reliable safety. My favorite picks this entire mock draft.

I know that Maryland moved him to linebacker in 2011, but I think he is a free safety in the NFL. He made an impression as a linebacker and he is a little hybrid. However if you focused him to the free safety role I think he could really be a unique player. He missed a lot of the 2011 season with injury and as far as I am aware Maryland have not confirmed the injury. He has been granted a medical hardship waiver, which means that although he was a senior in 2011 he can return for another year. I hope he doesn’t.

Season

Total Tackles

Solo Tackles

Forced Fumbles

Sacks

Interceptions

2011

35

20

1

0.0

2

2010

90

51

3

3.5

3

2009

41

22

0

1.0

1

2008

15

10

0

0.0

1

Football: Kenny Tate National Award Candidate (via MarylandAthletics)

Fifth Round Select: Don Barclay OT, West Virginia

Current Jets OT’s: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Wayne Hunter, Vladimir Ducasse & Austin Howard

Although I do believe that Ferguson has regressed a little in 2011, I don’t think there is any doubt that he is one of the premier left tackles in the league. He has his off days like any player, but when it comes down to it he can hold his own against any pass rusher in the league. Right tackle on the other hand is a problem area, as I mentioned at the start I think a veteran presence at that position would suit the Jets in 2012. I don’t think that Vladimir Ducasse will ever be an everyday NFL player, it’s just my instinct and opinion from what I have seen. I think it was a mistake drafting such a raw player, would love to be proven wrong. So with a veteran at RT in 2012, we need to have an heir apparent in the wings learning the tricks of the trade.

Don Barclay is an extremely talented player, who has manned the left tackle position for West Virginia the last two years. He has a lot of strength and agility and in many ways looks very similar in playing style to Brick. He keeps his hands high, his feet agile and his QB clean. He has very good lateral ability, and is much more adept at pass protection than run blocking.

He is by no means a finished article, but you are never getting a finished NFL ready player in the 5th round. If he was asked to start from day one, I am sure that he would give a good account of himself. He works too hard not to, but a year sitting and learning the zonal blocking scheme that the Jets like to run on the offensive line would be an excellent route to take with an athlete like Barclay

DON BARCLAY (via Mountaineers360)

Sixth Round Selection: Tramain Thomas, FS, Arkansas

Current Jets FS’s: Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, Tracy Wilson

It was only when I was looking at the earlier selection of Tate that I realized just how limited we were in the secondary at safety. It really does need addressing and I don’t think one draft selection is enough. Brodney might not be back, Eric Smith is anyone’s guess. So I thought why not add some more depth with another ball hawk in Thomas. Now personally I think he is a much better player than a 6th round selection. However I have looked at a lot of mock drafts and all have him going between the 5th and 7th round.

Thomas is a center fielder, and doesn’t really mix it up at the line. He is in some regards the Kerry Rhodes type player. Is most comfortable facing the play in front of him. The thing about Thomas is that he has very average foot speed, he tackles high and doesn’t play with any anger or any real aggression. He has a lot of limitations, but for some reason his ability to find the ball in the air intrigues me a lot. You are not going to teach speed, but you can teach tackling and you can get someone to play with aggression. He can get beat, but as you can see, he can also change a game with an interception.

Season

Tackles

Solo Tackles

Sacks

Interceptions

Forced Fumble

2011

88

44

0.0

5

1

2010

73

46

0.5

4

4

2009

32

17

0.0

3

1

2008

28

17

0.0

0

0

Tramain Thomas (via morefia1989)

Seventh Round Selection: Chris Galippo, ILB, USC

Current Jets ILB’s: Bart Scott, David Harris, Josh Mauga, Nick Bellore

I can’t be the only Jets fan who has been completely underwhelmed by the Bart Scott, David Harris partnership in 2011. It seems that most large running plays go straight up the middle. I love both of these guys and Galippo is certainly not going to start over either one. However I think we do need to start thinking about depth. I haven’t seen a lot of Bellore and I do like Mauga when he is healthy but in the later rounds I always like to take some defensive depth.

He doesn’t do anything great, but he does a lot of things well. He is a very strong linebacker who does well finding the ball. He has strong arms, so if he gets a hold of you; it’s not often you are gaining any extra yardage. He has good lateral ability and he keeps his eyes on the QB. Doesn’t often get fooled by play-action. I like that he comes from USC, although as a Notre Dame fan I can’t stand them, I have a great respect for their program.

I just think he could do some work on special teams and actually has the potential to be an eventual replacement for Bart. You never know with drafting players this late, sometimes you can catch lightning in a bottle. Usually players become serviceable as back-ups and special teams contributors. I like Galippo here.

Season

Total Tackles

Solo tackles

Sacks

Forced Fumbles/INT

2011

47

20

1.5

0/1

2010

29

22

1.0

3/2

2009

67

32

1.0

2/2

2008

12

5

0.0

0/1

2007

8

5

0.0

0/0

.

USC LB #54 Chris Galippo Highlights 2009 (via CaliforniasGold)


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