So I've done a couple of write ups on guys that I think that the Jets could draft to help solve our safety issue. I've mentioned Trumaine Johnson and Janzen Jackson. In my mock draft I had us taking George Iloka in the 3rd round. All three of these guys have at one time played Cornerback in college. Johnson having played all four years at the position, Jackson having played it this past year, and Iloka having played it a couple of games during this past season. The reason having Cornerback experience is important is because these guys know what if feels like to be one on one with a receiver and stop him from catching the ball. This will let us know that whatever guy we have back there as the ability and cover skills to match up with the Gronkowskis and Jimmy Grahams of the world. Well there is a particular Crimson Tide that could be available at 16 that has these skills. And no guys I am not talking about Mark Barron, I'm talking about Dre Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick is widley regarded as a top three player at his position, and this is in a cornerback heavy class so by no means is that a slight against Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick is a big corner at 6'2 almost 6'3 192, he plays a very physical brand of football on the outside. He uses his long arms to beat the hell out of receivers. He also has the speed to match up with anybody as he expected to run in the 4.43-4.51 range. Opposing QB's rarely paid Kirkpatrick any attention as he was highly regarded as the top man cover corner in college football. He also has the ability to play zone coverage showing the ability to read the eyes of the QB and follow receivers coming into his zone and making the interception or delivering a hit so hard he separates the ball from the receiver. He has good ball skills and is strong and athletic enough to consistently win jump balls with big receivers.
The one thing everyone first notices when watching Kirkpatrick is how physical he is. He is physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage, when fighting for the ball, and when asserting himself in run support. Watch any of his games and you'll notice him consistently knifing into the backfield taking down running backs. Enter the conversion to safety. I've thought about this before, most specifically when he was busted for marijuana possesion, because that was the first time I thought Kirkpatrick could be available at 16. I quickly dismissed it thinking that maybe he can't make the move. But then I read something that Mike Mayock had said, and when Mike Mayock says something I pay attention to it. I feel he is the best draft analyst out there and is usually right more often than he is wrong. But I digress, Mayock said that some people around the league have said that Kirkpatrick could have to make the move to Safety. They aren't sure what he will run, personally I think he could run sub 4.5 but if he runs above that then that could hurt his stock. Then again everyone said the same for Joe Haden when he ran a 4.57 at the combine, but he still managed to go #7 overall and is mentioned as the top corner in the league not named Darrelle Revis. But if Kirkpatrick ends up having to make the switch sometime why not just take him at 16 and convert him. He's got the measurables and the ability to be a star at the position. People may say that the transition to Safety may be difficult but guys like Antrel Rolle ( Who I thought we should've signed when he ended going to the Giants) and Malcolm Jenkins have gone on to make the transition seamlessly. Having a former shutdown corner playing Safety for us would make our base defense so versatile. The versatility that is needed to match up with versatile offenses such as the one in New England. And don't worry we could still get our pass rusher if we get a guy like Vinny Curry in the 2nd round. I feel this could help out with our issues tremendously. Let me know what you guys think.