I had posted this as a comment under the character issues post, but I am somewhat intrigued by the idea as I think that it really serves to address our issues with both our pass rush and our gaping holes at the safety position, while truly getting the most value in the draft and addressing our lack of depth and was interested in seeing what you guys thought.
I will be the first to admit that this is an entirely unorthodox idea, and one that many of you will probably hate. But sometimes when you have multiple needs and play in a division with Tom Brady and 2 of the best pass catching TEs in the game today, it is necessary to think outside of the box and roll the dice. And when that unorthodox/non-traditional look is on a defense run and designed by one of the more innovative, non-traditional minds on the defensive side of the football in Rex Ryan, perhaps it is not as crazy as it seems. Crackback is usually the voice of reason for all things defense, and many of you are probably going to laugh at me and think I am retarded for what I am about to write, but I would be interested to see what you think.
Assuming that we were able to trade back from the 16th pick under what DW had written regarding the trade with Houston (we move back into the first and pick up an additional second rounder)…….I kind of like the idea of using our first (Houston’s first) and drafting Janoris Jenkins. Then go with a pass rusher (Bruce Irvin?) and Massie in the second – which addresses a pass rusher and our RT position – both positions of need.
Everyone here realizes that we don’t NEED a DB…..however, Rex is the most creative defensive mind in the NFL today. Traditional defenses are either 3-4 or 4-3 fronts with 2 corners and free and strong safety. However, the Jets biggest weakness (aside from RT and a second WR) is the pass rush and the safety position.
The pass rush is either a function of having a monster DL that collapses the pocket (and we have a very good DL that will only improve this year with Mo Wilk and Ellis in year 2), a speed rusher off the end (either DE or OLB) or a combination of the first two and a strong DB unit who create coverage sacks. The last year or two, many of our sacks have been coverage sacks due to the corner tandem of Revis and Cromartie. And this will only continue with the emergence of #3 corner, Kyle Wilson, giving the Jets potentially the best 3 man corner combo in the league. This is ideal for Rex’s scheme, as he is able to isolate Revis on one side of the field on the opposing #1 while using Cromartie and a safety to take away the #2 and utilize either nickel or safety blitzes to disrupt the offense. The biggest issue that the Jets defense has had has been in getting burned by the #3 WR in 3 wide out sets or by the TE in the middle of the field as we really don’t have strong coverage linebackers.
Everyone on GGN realizes that there is really not a top safety prospect that is available in the draft, so realistically the Jets are not going to address the safety issue in the draft, and aside from Landry, probably not in FA either.
So why not throw traditional defense on its ear and shake up your defense even more. We now have the personnel where we can switch between 3-4 and 4-3 fronts on a down by down or situational basis. Maybe making a 4 corner set a cornerstone of our defensive alignments with Revis, Cromartie, Wilson and Jenkins would actually make sense? You absolutely blanket opposing wideouts – with teams forced to try and run up the middle on you (which is really a strength of our front 7). Granted the Pats have 2 TEs which will give us problems – but is any move we make in FA or the Draft really going to help with covering Gronk and Hernandez?
Imagine having Revis and Cromartie blanketing the top 2 WRs with Jenkins playing a center fielder role to help out Cromarte while WIlson plays in a rover position all over the field? It is going to be very very difficult to pass on this defense and will lead to many coverage sacks for guys like Mo Wilk and Mayhem. While this is not exactly traditional or smart football logic – in a Rex Ryan system it might just work?
Jenkins is definitely somewhat undersized for this type of role, but is also considered one of the best cover corner prospects since Revis. My entire premise is 100% unorthodox and I realize that. My point however, is that the NFL is a copy cat league where what is traditional is oftentimes changed up for better results. 5 years ago, I am sure many people would have had serious issues with an offense featuring 2 pass catching TEs. Now after New England has had such success with it; it is all the rage.
The point is that we have multiple holes on our defense (pass rusher, safety position) but our strengths are our DBs and our DL (both of which should be improved upon this year from last). Drafting at 16, there does not appear to be any real high impact pass rushers or safeties available – so trading back into the later part of the first round (while picking up an additional second) has merits for a team desperately in need of depth. Combined with one of the best cover corners since Revis who has significant character issues (marijuana, multiple kids, kicked out of Florida) might make a ton of sense for this team. The Jets would have the ability to take him in the first (while picking up an additional second to go with a pass rusher and Massie (RT)). This is not an orthodox defensive alignment, but having the ability to mix 4 of the best cover corners in the NFL all over the field is going to confuse the hell out of opposing quarterbacks and will help the pass rush simply on the merits of cover sacks.
This could either be a move of brilliance that addresses our weaknesses while creating matchup nightmares for the offense to adjust to - or could be an absolutely insane, horrible idea. But sometimes innovation looks insane at first glance.