The Senior Bowl was yesterday and for those who watched it we saw as some people capped off a good week, some people let their bad week snow ball into the game, and some people redeemed themselves with a good game. All in all people had their draft status affected this week. I know most of us can not wait until FA and the draft so we can see how the 2012 Jets are going to be better than the 2011 Jets. Some of us like to speculate and that's exactly what I'm here to do. Since its harder to predict what is going to happen in FA I won't even touch that, I'm strictly going to predict the draft. I will not predict any trades, as that is also very difficult to predict.
Round 1 Pick 16- Whitney Mercilus, OLB Ilinois
The past two years I think almost every Jet fan has been praying we get that one Pass Rusher who could dominate opposing tackles and demand extra attention in pass protection. This would allow us to use the blitz as a luxury as opposed to using it out of necessity. This is the year I think the Jets finally address the position. Whitney Mercilus is an athletic pass rusher with good speed and the length that you look for in the good pass rushers. He has very good size at 6'4 265 lbs. He's very reminiscent of Jason Pierre Paul from the 2010 Draft Class. Like Mericlus, JPP was tagged as a late bloomer who could one day develop into a double digit sack artist in the NFL. After coming on late last season JPP exploded onto the scene this year with 14.5 sacks. Mercilus I believe has that type of potential. He had 16 sacks last season to go along with 9 Forced Fumbles. Some of you guys may wonder why not Upshaw of Alabama or Ingram of South Carolina? Well I'm projecting both these guys to come off the board and for Mercilus to have the same type of rise that JPP had two years ago when our cross town rivals picked him at 15 overall. Other Possibilties: Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram, Trent Richardson, and Mark Barron
Round 2- Brian Quick, WR Appalachian State
Plaxico Burress is a Free Agent and I doubt that he will be coming back so the Wide Receiver position will definitely be one that the Jets targert this April. Alot of us are hoping that we make a run at Braylon Edwards but there is no guarantee that he will want to re-sign with us also we don't know how healthy is going to be coming off multiple injuries. My pick for the Jets here is Brian Quick. He stands tall at 6-3 222lbs and plays even taller. The former high school basketball player goes up for every pass as if it were a rebound. He uses his natural hands and long arms to pluck the ball away from defenders even when the pass is thrown well outside of his frame. He does not have elite speed but is long strider who eats up cushion quickly. He displays the athleticism to run the NFL route tree and improved every day he was at the Senior Bowl. My favorite part about him is his ability to create yards after the catch. He shows good strength and elusiveness to make defenders miss and always has his sights set on the end zone.He came into the Senior Bowl with 3rd and 4th round grades but impressed coaches and scouts enough that he may have risen to the 2nd round. As someone that is still learning to play the game of Football his ceiling has yet to be reached. He will continue to rise with strong showings at the combine and workouts and I believe the Jets could be one of the teams to fall in love with him come draft day. His game reminds me of Brandon Marshall who our new offensive coordinator happens to know a lot about. Other Possibilities: Mike Adams, Zebrie Sanders, Harrison Smith
Round 3- George Iloka, S Boise State
By now we all know that Safety is a huge position of need. But not just any Safety will suffice for us, we need a guy who is big, fast, can play in the box, match up man-to-man with opposing TE's, and they have to have a high football IQ. Unfortunately for the Jets no guy in this years draft who will be available in the first round has these abilities. A guy a lot of us know about however is George Iloka. He's big at 6'3 220lbs and he's most likely going to run in the 4.58 to 4.49 range. He is a big physical safety that also has some coverage ability. At Boise State he was generally asked to cover TE's and Slot receivers. Due to injury he also played some Cornerback towards the end of the season. To be honest I have not heard much about his performance from the Senior Bowl practices but he's a guy that could rise during the combine. Other Possibilities: Doug Martin, Nate Potter, Stephen Hill, Nick Toon, Tommy Streeter
Round 4- Ladarius Green, TE L.a.- Lafayette
We've all been hearing the trade rumors about Dustin Keller. I don't like it just as much as the next guy but if this happens I expect the Jets to find a capable replacement. Since there are not any attractive free agents at the position I am anticipating that the Jets will draft one. Even if Keller is not traded he is set to be a free agent after the upcoming season, also the overall depth at the position is shaky, we are all tired of watching Mulligan trot out onto the field only for all of us to know that it will ultimately cost us five to fifteen yards in field position. Cumberland is coming off an achillies injury and Josh Baker is not your traditional in line TE. I think Ladarius Green would be a perfect fit for us. He stands at 6'6 240lbs and has the frame to add some more weight on without sacrificing much speed. He has nice release off the line of scrimmage whether you line him up in three point stance or a two point stance. He has natural hands and uses his height to go up over defenders and get the ball. He also has the strength and concentration to go up and get the ball even with defenders all over him. He has the speed to take off vertically and poses a matchup nightmare for linebackers and safeties alike. He is pain to bring down after the catch as he can break through tackles of defensive backs and run away from linebackers. His height allows him to be a target in the red zone. He has improved as a blocker and shows the effort and tenacity to be a consistently be a willing blocker. This would be a great pick in the middle of the 4th round.
Round 5- Brandon Lindsey, OLB Pittsburgh
An undersized Defensive End standing at 6-2 255lbs, Lindsey is probably better suited as an OLB in a 3-4 Defense. He has some experience playing in the 3-4 Defense so the transition will not be all that hard for him. He shows a quick first step and uses his lack of height to his advantage as he knows how to gain leverage against opposing offensive tackles. He uses his hands extremely well showing a nice array of pass rushing moves. He sometimes gets swallowed up by bigger offensive tackles but could fair better out of a two-point stance where he could use his quickness and hands to counter massive offensive linemen. He could add depth to the position now and could also develop into a quality starter and a nice book end to whoever we may have starting on the opposite side. Has drawn comparisons to Lamarr Woodley.
Round 6- Mitchell Schwartz, OT California
Anyone but Wayne Hunter. Of all the needs on the team this is one that can not be overlooked. The reason I don't address it until this late is because in earlier rounds the guy we would have most likely targeted that specific round is most likely off the board and imo there seems to be quite the drop off after the second round. Here the Jets grab a guy who started at both Tackle spots at Cal during his career. He played his senior season at LT but will undoubtedly slide to the right side for us. He is a hard worker and technician on the offensive line. He's good as pass protector as well as a run blocker. He's a big guy at 6'5 317lbs. He held his own this week at the Senior Bowl playing against guys with 1st and 2nd round grades. He will step in day one and compete for the starting RT spot.
Round 7 Russell Wilson, QB Wisconsin
What Russell Wilson lacks in size (5'10 5/8 203 lbs) he makes up for it in athletic ability and moxie. He can make plays with his arm or his legs. He is very dangerous outside of the pocket where he can throw to receivers running away from coverage or he can take off into the open field where he is most dangerous. He throws a nice ball and is able to put necessary touch on certain passes. Even though he lacks the size he still has a very strong arm and delivers the ball with a nice quick release. He was a very good passer in college as this past season he led the nation in passer efficiency, he was more than 22 points higher than consensus #1 pick Andrew Luck. He struggled in the Senior Bowl game throwing from the pocket but also showed his ability to make plays as he eluded the rush and escaped the pocket finding open receivers down the field. After only being on the Wisconsin team for only a couple months he was voted as a team captain by his teammates for his only season with the team which shows the respect that he immediately garnered from his teammates. He is a guy that will come in and compete for the 2 and 3 QB spots on the depth chart. He also provides some ability has a Wildcat QB. He will most likely slip due to questions about his height but as shown to be a proven winner at the College level and is worth the late round selection
Let me know what you guys think. Leave comments below. Thanks for Reading.