After missing out on Nelson, where do the Jets go from here? Moving Cromartie or another corner to safety is not a magic bullet, so lets forget it. Cromartie needs to cover wide receivers from CB.
Defensive backfield strategies have grown very complicated. You need to cover the role of centerfield, the traditional free safety role. This may be less of a concern. You can have a great defense with a lower paid center fielder and the Jets should be able to cover this.
On running downs, you need run support. Smith is adequate in this role. On passing downs, you need 3 guys to cover the receivers, the Jets have this, and someone to cover a tight end. So in passing situations, the Jets could replace Smith with another cover guy.
The problem is that masking deficiencies in personnel with schemes is risky. The Jets got outcoached by New England last year over this issue. The Patriots waited for the Jets to go dime coverage. Then they went no huddle, power football and ran it down the Jets throats all the way down the field. In the first Patriot game, Green-Ellis, a mediocre back, had 136 yes and 2 TDs. Then in the 2nd game, Gronkowski was targeted 11 times and ended up with 113 yes and 2 TDs. One thing about playing New England twice a year, you find out fast what your weaknesses are.
What they need is someone stout enough in the run game, and fast enough to cover tight ends so he doesn't have to be substituted out. We're talking premium defender. Landry may have the talent, but even with his injury concerns, is he good enough in coverage? I know opinions are split over Landry, but the more I learn about him the more negative I feel about it. I also don't like the Barron option with a 1st round pick. People have mentioned the ND safety Harrison Smith. Well he's not worth #16 and he probably won't be around at #47. I don't like any scenario which has the Jets moving up this year, they need their picks.
No choice is great. The best option may be to find a lower paid centerfielder, keep Smith, and draft a linebacker with superior cover skills. These guys Gronkowski and Hernandez are a real pain in the ass.