I have seen too many clueless mock drafts with the Jets taking defensive players, especially pass rushing OLB/DE's. This is totally misguided. Their first pick will be an offensive lineman and nothing else makes sense with the exception of Trent Richardson if he is available. Here's why:
1) In 2009, with Faneca and Woody, the Jets finished 1st in rushing and go to the Championship game. In 2010, with Slauson and Woody, the Jets finish 4th in rushing and go to the Championship game. In 2011, with Slauson and Hunter, the Jets finish 22nd in rushing and 29th in avg/rush and miss the playoffs. In contrast, in 2011 the Jets rank 5th in defense, even with injuries at OLB and Safety. All of their significant defensive players will return in 2012.
2) The Jets fire their offensive coaches after 2011 and bring in people hand picked to strengthen the running game.
3) The Jets commitment to Sanchez for the next two years is clear. Sanchez is only effective in a clean pocket and one of his strengths is play action. (BTW, for those of you whining about Sanchez, its like being a Mets fan with the Wilpons - you're better off just getting used to it.)
4) Tannenbaum's comments about Hunter starting next year guarantees that he won't. Anyone who takes what Tannenbaum says at face value has no clue about media relations and the salary cap.
5) There are absolutely no free agent tackles worth taking. Teams don't let starter quality tackles go because, unlike RB's and WR's, they get better with experience in the system and age (to a point). For verification, read the essay on free agent tackles at jetssalarycap.com.
6) Between Reiff, Decastro, Martin and Glenn there is a virtual certainty that a blue chip offensive lineman will be available at 16. By contrast, the only defensive players which fit what the jets need are Ingram - who will surely be gone by 16 - and Barron - who is a reach at 16 in a weak safety draft class.
7) Other needs can be filled elsewhere. Namely Safety (Landry?), OLB (Johnson?), 2nd QB (Henne?) and WR (who knows, probably some ex-con, plus they will probably draft a WR in later rounds). They will also draft a RB somewhere, and the RB draft is at least 6 deep.
8) The Ryan system does not rely on individual elite pass rushers. Just look at the Ravens, a rare premier defense that never had one and neither have the Jets. Anyway there are no great pass rushers to be had. What they really need on defense is someone who can cover tight ends.