Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
With the Jets needing to upgrade several positions this off-season, do we need to upgrade the offensive line before we focus on the running back position?
I intended to write an article today detailing some of the running backs we should look at in the 2013 NFL draft, perhaps a little scouting report on Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle or Giovani Bernard from North Carolina, a quick look at Le'Veon Bell from Michigan State or Wisconsin's Montee Ball, a profile of Knile Davis from Arkansas or Clemson's Andre Ellington, you get the picture.
There are plenty of running backs that will be cluttering up draft boards all around the country next Spring and the value to be had in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th round is unreal......however at the end of it all, I continued to come back to the same question, someone has to block for these guys to make an impression at the next level. When I watch the Jets, I do see Greene go down at the first point of contact where a quick cut could earn another 10 yards, but more importantly I see the line getting absolutely no push at all.
We have three players on the line in Brick, Mangold and Moore who either already do a decent job or contractually make it near impossible to switch, Moore will need to be replaced at some point over the next couple of years. However Slauson is one of the worst LG's in the league in both pass protection and run blocking and Austin Howard is a stop-gap answer at a right tackle position that seriously needs to be upgraded as soon as possible.
There are plenty of offensive lineman in this draft that the Jets should look at, including Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M or Taylor Lewan from Michigan, D.J Fluker from Alabama or even Brennan Williams from North Caroline. Or you push it inside to the two boys from Alabama in Chance Warmack or Barrett Jones - but if you want a player to open up some holes, you may want to look the way of Kentucky guard Larry Warford.
The whole point here is to highlight the possibilities, we need to upgrade our ground game - we need to upgrade our offense as a whole. We have every opportunity to do both in the 2013 NFL draft, the talent at running back is as good as it has been in years (as long as people elect for the draft) in my opinion and if you choose wisely the talent on the line is there as well.
The season is still in full-swing, some believe that the victory against the Rams will propel this team into a play-off push, personally I think it's a mirage, a victory against a poor opponent. It's not to be negative, but realistic when considering how we move forward and what we address. When we know the area we will be drafting around, we can look a little closer. However as the college season winds down, I will be starting the yearly scouting the draft series as well as other snippets. Let's attack this draft this year.