Obviously it's every teams goal to improve through the draft, get younger and get better. It's exactly what it is for, but under Rex Ryan, I'm not at all sold that the right decisions are being made in the right areas. BPA is something that I'm 50% on, best player available regardless of position can certainly work. Or if the best player available is not the best player for your team, you could do what many teams do and trade down. With an aggressive front office like the Jets have, we haven't seen much trading down since Rex Ryan teamed up with Mike Tannenbaum.
Now I will agree that for a lot of the players that this administration have drafted; it's far too early to judge their overall talent, and value based on selection. However although it is early doors, we are going to have to see some serious improvement from a lot of players over the next 2-3 years.
So lets just list the players that the Jets have taken under the Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum partnership:
Round 1, Pick #5: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Round 3, Pick #65: Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa
Round 6, Pick #193: Matt Slauson, OG, Nebraska
Now by a lot of standards that is not a bad draft at all. All three players are now starters, Sanchez has taken us to two AFC CHampionship games, Greene has just eclipsed 1,000 yards in a season for the first time and Slauson while obviously not close to being elite, is an extremely useful starter who continues to improve as the seasons go by. There are a lot of questions about Mark Sanchez, I'll question him as much as anyone but I'm willing to give him another year under a new offensive system. He struggles to read defences, accuracy is a major concern and he runs through his checks (if he is not staring down his receiver) faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100 metres and ends up checking down anyway. Maybe it is poor coaching or maybe it is just a sign of an average QB getting by. After 2012, it will be a lot clearer.
Shonn is a little controversial as well, he has eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark but most agree he needs a compliment and it's yet ready to make that jump to the feature back. His pass blocking has improved since he was drafted and he still churns out yards after the catch. Greene is still the best pick in this draft for me from a Jets perspective. He is reliable, and he does have an extra gear but doesn't have that breakaway speed. Still when you hit 1,000 yards in the NFL despite your team throwing too much and your offensive line not being elite. You are doing something right, I think McKnight will partner Greene quite well; I don't think we have seen the absolute best of Shonn year.
Round 1, Pick #29: Kyle Wilson, CB Boise State
Round 2, Pick #61: Vladimir Ducasse, OT, Massachusetts
Round 4, Pick #112: Joe McKnight, RB, USC
Round 5, Pick #139: John Connor, FB, Kentucky
At the end of both Rex Ryan's reign and that of Mike Tannenbaum, I don't think this draft is going to be thought of fondly. At the time of the draft and anyone here who was around GGN at the time, I was devastated when the Patriots took Devin McCourty at #28. He was the CB I really wanted for this team, was the QB I thought would have the better NFL career and is the corner I still think will have the much better career. WIlson did come on this year in the slot, at times he still looked lost but he was a lot closer to where we thought he would be. He spent a lot of time last off-season working with Revis, almost shadowing him and his improvements were visable.
Personally I think Wilson will become a decent starter, but I don't think he will ever be elite. That's just based on what I have seen from him so far in the NFL. However I do like his improvement from season one to season two, so lets see what he can do in season three.
Vladimir Ducasse to me was a reach of epic proportions. He was taken before Charles Brown of USC, John Jerry of Ole Miss and Shawn Lauvao of Arizona State. Brown has obviously struggled with injury but has shown a lot of promise with his athleticism, Dolphins fans were calling for John Jerry's head last off-season and now after promising spot starts for Jake Long and Vernon Carey in 2011, some are suggesting he could earn a starting spot in 2012. Shawn Lauvao started all 16 games for Cleveland in 2011 and looks to be an extremely promising young player. Vladimir for me has shown little to no improvement at all, he looks completely lost in an NFL system. I'm sure the guy is trying, I don't doubt that at all. However two seasons down now, he's going to have to start showing something. When I watch him in games, and watch him in pre-season; I get the impression that he has no clue about his blocking assignments. He was a project and he was raw, but in my humble opinion you take a player that raw in the 2nd round. Projects are for 4th to 7th round selections.
Joe McKnight has really come on this year in the kick return game, unfortunately because Brian didn't use him enough we can't see how much he is going to contribute to the offensive side of the ball. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he progresses in 2012. He is ready for a bigger role and I have 100% faith that he can be a great compliment to Greene. We need to get him the ball with space, let's get some stretch plays to him and let him use his wheels.
John Connor is solid, he does a great job as the fullback. An extremely solid selection which was made based on need. Value was good, he isn't the finished article yet but when he pops you.......well you know you have been popped.
Round 1: Pick #30: Muhammed Wilkerson, DE Temple
Round 3: Pick #94: Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton
Round 4: Pick #126: Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville
Round 5: Pick #153: Jeremy Kerley, WR, TCU
Round 7: Pick #208: Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama
Round 7: Pick #227: Scotty McKnight, WR, Colorado
Personally I think it's too early to comment on the players in the 2011 draft, obviously Kerley has made a good start and Wilkerson has been decent. I wasn't a massive fan of the Ellis selection in the 3rd round or the Powell selection in the 4th. Scotty McKnight was a throw in for Sanchez, Greg McElroy probably will never be an NFL QB but I do like what I saw in pre-season and I always like taking a QB in the draft.
13 selections in three years. I don't think we have any elite players (so far) from the 13 drafted. No pro bowlers (not that it matters) but there are a lot of guys in here who I think were reaches who have just as much potential to bust as to be an everyday NFL player. I don't think we have drafted well at all over the Rex Ryan era. I know some players take a little time to develop, like Brick did. However we have never had the Revis, Mangold top quality selections from the get go.
The draft is a crapshoot, no doubt about it. However you can play your odds a little, I want to see a deep draft in 2012 and if possible, I want to avoid the small school raw project players.