Like many other Jets fans I've spent the past few months mock drafting like a Mo-Fo... We have all seen the different picks mocked to us (Upshaw, Floyd, Trading back) and lately we have been said to be in love with Ingram.
Now don't get me wrong I would love Ingram on our team, I think he is a lot like Von Miller and Rex would have fun with him. What I don't get however is the cooling off it seems on these sites with Upshaw. Upshaw is the same player that he was when he led his team to the National Championship and won the MVP. Yes he isn't a perfect combine specimen, but you know who was? Vernon Gholston.
Obviously there have been great pass rushers who also have had insane combine numbers but my point is that the game tape should be more telling and reliable for your opinions on the player then numbers that don't translate directly.
Here are my reasons why we should all be excited if we select Upshaw at 16:
1. Although Ingram would be a great pick, Upshaw has gone against elite talent for a few years as Ingram has only started for 1. Upshaw played in a 3-4 scheme where he excelled not only as a pass rusher but as a run-stuffer too.
2. Upshaw's game is based on being physical and engaging with tackles as opposed to just using blazing speed like some other prospects that we have been looking at (Irvin, Branch, Zach Brown). This type of game with pass rushing tools will translate better to the NFL rather than players who have Maybin-like moves of just running through/ around slower college football tackles.
3. The second point leads me to my third point, think of the best pass rushers in the NFL, how many of them really possess elite speed (Dwight Freeney excluded)? Most of them rely on good moves, instincts, toughness and knowledge. James Harrison, Mario Williams, Justin Tuck, Brian Orakpo, Clay Matthews and Terrell Suggs are all incredible pass rushers but none of them are known for their blazing speed. Not to even mention that Upshaw isn't even slow!
My point being that I would be thrilled to have Ingram or Upshaw but I think a lot of the cooling down with us taking Upshaw has been cause as fans we are getting bored with the same pick and the possibility of mock drafting is fun and exciting. Having said that I feel that taking Upshaw would instantly help our team and I would also love if we did double up with a pass rusher in the second or third round who was more speed oriented (like the aforementioned Irvin, Branch or Brown) but Upshaw represents a complete player that would help us instantly.