Star Lotulelei had at least a heart ache, maybe dehydration, and hopefully nothing serious. Dee Millner joined the endless line of Alabama players who we learn have undergone surgery, or who will undergo surgery, on the eve of the Combine. Is this purposeful? While Milner has one of the labrums in his shoulders repaired, his classmate Eddie Lacy is doing something about a torn hamstring; what I’m not sure. Matt Barkley’s doctor claimed his could throw at the Combine but he didn’t. Jarvis Jones has not yet been cleared by doctors so he did not do anything at the Combine. April 26 is a long way off at this rate of injury. Quick, let’s have the draft before there are not enough players to hold one. Lacy’s situation was most impactful for the Jets. It is one thing overreaching with the 9th pick for a running back, it’s quite another to reach for one there with a hamstring tear. Fortunately, one of the stars of the Combine was Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert. That makes it more palatable for the Jets to reach for Eifert with the 9th pick. Otherwise, he would be gone by the time the team drafts in the second round.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: The Jets desperately need a tight end who can block. The Jets desperately need receivers who can get open. The Jets desperately need receivers who their quarterback of record, Mark Sanchez, can see.
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia: Yes, he falls this far. He starts right away and hopefully remains healthy, wealthy, and wise---for a long time.
Laveon Bell, RB, Michigan State; Rex Ryan has his heart set on Eddie Lacy but he marched on Atlanta. Because Bell does not hit the hole immediately everybody wonders whether he can make it in the NFL. Yet he was incredibly productive in the Big Ten, where everybody can play run defense, and proved to be much faster at the Combine than everybody thought. Bell kind of reminds me of the great Army fullback of the late 1960s, Charlie Jarvis. Jarvis just fell forward and he gained five yards every time.
Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas: It is Bailey's job is to make it possible for Bell to look good, and fast, and productive. And more exciting than the departing Shonne Green.
Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin: The good news here could be very good. I remain mystified why Wagner is supposed to be still available this late in the draft.
Dan Molls, ILB, Toledo. Molls made 86 tackles last year and the Jets need linebacker help against the run. This might be a place in the draft for a quarterback. In addition, I am under the impression that there is a clause in Rex Ryan’s contract which allows him to select at least one corner back in every draft. Rex would like to take Illinois corner Terry Hawthorne. Hawthorne is actually quite good, and fast as well. He could very well be much quicker at catching up to receivers than Kyle Wilson, who should be officially designated as a nickel back and not permitted to do anything else. But Rex is overruled by new GM John Idzik who wants production at inside linebacker. I expect the Jets to sign Matt Moore at quarterback, who can pass. And I would not be shocked to also see Vince Young invited to training camp as we know how much Lord Ryan loves quarterbacks who can run.
Ray Polk, FS, Colorado: Yes, I know, Lord Ryan does not like to entrust starting safety positions to rookies because he uses the position as back up secondary coaches, but folks and Bret Musberger, this is the best safety class in years. And Polk is Ryan’s type of bar brawling defender who will knock your teeth out. He was born to play for Ryan. And I’m sticking to that idea.
FREE AGENT POSSIBILITIES—There is a tendency not to take undrafted free agents seriously, but with a team with as many holes to fill as the Jets, we need to take a long, hard look at each of these young men. Every single one of these players, who could go undrafted, could possibly start for the Jets, (with the exception of quarterbacks Tino Sunseri and Robert Marve) Particularly with the injury rate what it is in the NFL.
Michael Zordich, FB, Penn State
Lane Taylor, OG, Oklahoma State
Mike Purcell, DT, Wyoming
Jemarkus McFarland, DT, Oklahoma
Roy Roundtree, WR, Michigan
Robert Marve, QB, Purdue
Randall Mackey, RB, Ole Miss
Omar Hunter, DT, Florida
Dustin Harris, CB, Texas A&M
Joe Kruger, DE, Utah
Maalik Bomar, OLB, Cincinnati
Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green
Tino Sunseri, QB, Pitt