Last year, I took a shot at predicting how our new draftees would fare throughout the season. For the most part, I was within reasonable vicinity of my predictions that I decided to do it again this year. Check out the 2011 projections HERE. But before my 2012 projections, here is a quick analysis of last years rookies and a comparison of projected and actual stats.
Muhammad Wilkerson DE: (PROJECTED STATS) 37 Tackles, 5.5 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 F. recovery, 8 TFL
(ACTUAL STATS) 49 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 F. recovery, 9 TFL
ANALYSIS: Wilkerson showed great flashes throughout the year, but really put it together to end the season. His long arms showed off the promise he has as a pass rusher while improving throughout the year against the run. Very solid contributor for the team and an overall, good rookie year.
Kenrick Ellis DT (PROJECTED STATS) 29 Tackles, 2.5 Sacks, 3 FF, 7 TFL
(ACTUAL STATS) 7 Tackles, 0 Sacks, 0 FF, 1 TFL
ANALYSIS: The whole Gang Green community quickly bought into the man, the myth, the legend: Kenrick Ellis. That being said, Ellis's season was disappointing as he didn't become active until around Week 7. Despite the disappointing season, Ellis had to compete against a lockout and one of the game's best DT's in Sione Pouha. Expect a bounce back year for Kenrick, becoming a key part of the rotation and contributing stats similar to my original projection.
Bilal Powell RB: (PROJECTED STATS) 12 Carries, 49 Yards, 1 TD
(ACTUAL STATS) 13 Carries, 21 Yards, 1 Fumble
ANALYSIS: No one expected him to light the world on fire from day one; however, it's safe to say not every one thought he would be this bad. A big body that doesn't dish out punishment, can't make people miss, and terrible acceleration make Powell expendable. I think he's either cut or leapfrogged by Ganaway.
Jeremy Kerley WR (PROJECTED STATS) 36 Catches, 426 Yards, 3 Receiving TD, 1 KO TD
(ACTUAL STATS) 29 Catches, 314 Yards, 1 Receiving TD, 0 KO TD
ANALYSIS: Kerley garnered high praise from both teammates and the media and he made sure not to disappoint. After the Mason debacle, Kerley took over the #3 WR spot and quickly found a role for himself. He was excellent in converting 3rd downs and proved to be adept at slipping through tackles. Also, he provided a dangerous weapon on punt return for Westhoff. A possible breakout season looms for our young WR.
Greg McElroy QB (PROJECTED STATS) Make team as #3 QB, no playing time
(ACTUAL STATS) No playing time.
Made idiotic comment on radio about team
Scotty McKnight WR (PROJECTED STATS) 7 Catches, 54 Yards
(ACTUAL STATS) Cut, still Mark Sanchez's best friend
GGN POLL QUESTION: Which rookie will have the biggest question for the upcoming season?
- Muhammad Wilkerson 58%
- Jeremy Kerley 28%
- Kenrick Ellis 8%
- Greg McElroy 2%
- Scotty McKnight 1%
- Bilal Powell 0% (OUCH)
In essence, the Jets had a pretty successful draft in 2011. They had immediate contributors and added much needed youth in the defensive line. Can the FO continue off last years drafting success? Read after the jump to find out.
ROUND 1 PK 16 Quinton Coples (DE)- In my humble opinion, Coples has the most upside of any defensive player in the draft, bar none. He pairs with Wilkerson to provide a heck of a DE combo. But the great thing about Coples is he's so athletic that he can play so many positions. Pair him with a puppeteer like Rex and you'll see Coples stunting on an interior rush from the inside, put his hand in the dirt with Maybin flanking him, or even putting him at OLB in pass rushing situations. He will not be just a 3-4 DE occupying blockers, Rex will not allow that or waste Coples talent. The sky is the limit for this guy: He'll vanish at points throughout the game with occasional sloppy technique, but other times he'll have OT look like their trying to catch air. In essence, Coples is going to become the most dynamic defensive player in this draft. Count on it.
PROJECTIONS: 58 Tackles, 7.5 Sacks, 12 TFL, 2 FF
ROUND 2 PK 43 Stephen Hill (WR)- Like Coples, Hill has elite size and speed. However, Hill is much more raw than Coples who has a good amount of polish. Thankfully, the Jets don't need Hill to be a polished receiver at the moment. They need him to blow the top off the defense and become a red zone threat, which I expect him to fulfill. Hill has rare measurables and physical ability paired with great intangibles. He'll have games where he frustrates and drops easy passes or is silent for the majority of the game. Good thing this guy is so dynamic because one vertical with Hill can turn into a quick six points.
PROJECTIONS: 43 Catches, 724 Yards, 5 TD
ROUND 3 PK 77 Demario Davis (OLB/ILB)- Has already shown great leadership skills throughout rookie camp but more importantly brings speed to a "dinosaur-ish" defense. I don't think Scott will be moved this year, but expect to Davis to take away some of his snaps and play in a lot of sub packages because of his potential coverage ability. Davis's tenacity is obvious on tape so don't be surprised if Rex sends him on a few blitzes as an OLB or up the middle as an ILB.
PROJECTIONS: 42 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 INT
ROUND 6 PK 187 Josh Bush (S/CB)- When I look at this pick it really reminds me of Dwight Lowery as a safety-corner hybrid. Bush has solid coverage ability and should make it on the team to compete for either the 4th CB job or FS with Eric Smith and Antonio Allen. A solid depth pick with no dynamic potential.
PROJECTIONS: 16 Tackles, 3 PD
ROUND 6 PK 202 Terrance Ganaway (RB)- I like this pick as he has the size to take the punishment if Greene goes down. He has a solid burst and pretty solid hands which is a plus, expect him to leapfrog Powell and compete with McKnight for carries.
PROJECTIONS: 62 Carries, 280 Yards, 1 TD
ROUND 6 PK 203 Robert T. Griffin (OL)- Although I'm far from an expert in evaluating offensive lineman it seems to me that Griffin is purely a developmental pick for the future at guard. He seems like a road grader who needs to work on his quickness and getting out of his stance.
PROJECTIONS: On the roster will be the next guard up after Schlauderaff.
ROUND 7 PK 242 Antonio Allen (S)- It's a personal shock that Allen lasted this far to me, I believe he's a much better prospect than Bush, but time will tell. Allen immediately shows off his ability to be an above average safety in the box as he played the spur position at SC. I'm excited to see what kind of position Rex will put this kid as he has the tools to be a good cover safety as well. Look for Allen to compete for playing time his rookie year, but a few years and he could become our new starting safety.
PROJECTIONS: 23 Tackles, 5 PD, 1 INT
ROUND 7 PK 244 Jordan White (WR)- At first glance, I had never even heard of this kid but after looking him up I was pleased. All this kid does is produce and shows a lot of grit. Unfortunately, he has two ACL injuries and does not possess explosive ability. That being said the other 4 WR are set with Holmes, Hill, Kerley, and Schilens.
PROJECTIONS: Gains #5 WR spot over Turner due to ST and being young. 5 Catches, 34 Yards