Another major need for the Jets to address is a playmaking tight end. Kellen Winslow has been somewhat productive this year while Jeff Cumberland has been very inconsistent. This year's draft is not very deep at tight end so the Jets will have to use an early pick to get a player who can be a key contributor on offense. Let's take a look at the best options available:
Jace Amaro Texas Tech (Junior)
Amaro is probably one of the fastest player, if not the fastest, at his position in regards to this year's draft class. At 6 ft 5 and 260 lbs with the ability to stretch the seam, Amaro is the definition of a mismatch. He has reliable hands and is sharp when it comes to his routes. He has benefitted greatly from the pass heavy Red Raider offense as he is among the nation's leaders in receiving yards with 1240 via 98 receptions and has found the end zone 7 times in 2013. He is surprisingly quick in open space and rather elusive. Throughout his career at Texas Tech, Amaro has been used more as a receiver than a blocker so that aspect of his game would require some work. Nevertheless, I have Amaro as a first round prospect and it would be shocking if he was available when the Jets pick in the second round. He is my top rated tight end in this year's draft because he has all the attributes needed to be very successful in the NFL and he has demonstrated his ability to produce consistently. Here's Amaro against Oklahoma.
NFL Comparison: Jimmy Graham
Projected 40 time: 4.58
Eric Ebron UNC (Junior)
Ebron is one of the most all-rounded tight end prospects in this year's draft. His pass and run blocking have improved drastically and they can no longer be considered liabilities but rather viewed as strengths. He is very fast and his route running is among the best of this class. His versatility is a strength as he can also line up in the slot. His size is adequate as he stands at 6ft 4 and 245 lbs. This season was his best year as he racked up 55 receptions for 895 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ebron has the potential to be a top tight end in the NFL if he continues to progress. I expect Ebron to go late in the first round but he may slip into the second round, where he would be a very viable option for the Jets. Here's Ebron against Duke.
NFL Comparison: Slightly slower Vernon Davis
Projected 40 time: 4.60
CJ Fiedorowicz Iowa (Senior)
Fiedorowicz has been severely misused throughout his collegiate career at Iowa. In the 2013 season he only had 26 receptions for 253 yards and 6 touchdowns. Fiedorowicz is a victim of a run heavy offense that used him mostly for blocking purposes, at which he excelled. He is by far the most reliable blocker in this year's class and he is arguably the most all-rounded tight end. Despite his lack of production, he possesses enviable measurables as he is listed at 6ft 7 and 265 lbs and has deceptive speed. He needs to continue his progression as a receiver by developing a more complete understanding of the route tree. He has a lot of potential and can excel at whatever role he is given. He is my third ranked tight end in the draft and I expect Fiedorowicz to be picked somewhere in the middle of round 2 at earliest but he could very well fall to the middle of round 3. Here's Fiedorowicz against Michigan.
NFL Comparison: Jason Witten
Projected 40 time: 4.65
Austin Seferian-Jenkins Washington (Junior)
Using his colossal figure, 6ft 6 and 276 lbs, in combination with his rare athletic ability, Seferian-Jenkins rose to prominence with a brilliant sophomore season for the Huskies in 2012 with 69 catches for 852 yards and 7 touchdowns. He displayed solid blocking and made significant downfield plays when called upon. On the other hand, his production this year has underwhelmed us all with 33 catches for 413 yards. He still remains a red zone threat though, as he hauled in 7 touchdown passes this season. Seferian-Jenkins possesses good hands; however, he needs to improve his routes in order to gain more separation. After a disappointing season, I expect him to go late in the second round at the earliest but I think it is very possible that a team chooses him in round 1. He has the potential to develop into a playmaker in the NFL but he needs further refinement. Here's Seferian-Jenkins against USC and LSU.
NFL Comparison: Marcedes Lewis
Projected 40 time: 4.68