I've been reading as many articles as I can find this morning recapping day two of the draft. Not many have the Jets listed as a winner and for me that is wrong, so wrong. One day after selecting what looked like a complete luxury pick, the Jets started to plug holes and they managed to plug three in one day and that's good work.
Geno Smith is a great pick-up at #39 (Fans who booed that selection at Radio City......go slap yourselves). I think John covered this really well with his thoughts piece, but taking a QB in the 2nd round does not tie you to them going forward. So if we play Geno this year, and we see he's not the one - we have what looks to be a strong quarterback class next year to put that right. If he is the one, we've got him on a decent contract for the next few years.
Smith also represents hope, and to quote one of my favorite films (Shawshank Redemption) "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things". Who was excited about seeing Sanchez or Garrard start this season? I think the answer to that question is absolutely nobody. We know what we have in Sanchez and what we have is not enough. So at least Geno is an unknown, and he is a fierce competitor. So he won't be on the sideline with his head down when things are going bad, and at times this season things will go badly. It's a fresh approach, an injection of athleticism and swagger at the QB position. All this and we didn't have to spend a first round pick, the Jets simply had to make the selection and personally I think that Geno can be an extremely effective quarterback in this offensive system.
Geno was a great start, and after that I was really hoping that Larry Warford may fall to us, if not we could pick up a receiver to help. However Warford was gone and numerous receivers started to drop. We end up taking Brian Winters, a guy that can play LG/RG and fill in at tackle. In fact in 2012 he started all contests at left tackle but moving inside won't be a problem. He is a complete mauler with a good football IQ. A background in wrestling, grappling helps teach people how to use their hands correctly, not identical but transferable traits. He drops his hips in pass protection and in 2012 he showed the feet to mirror pass rushers on the outside, he has a tremendous amount of strength and on more than one occasion he has thrown pass rushers to the ground. He has a real mean streak and plays with a great base and foundation in the run game, he's quick off the snap and extremely durable playing through a lot of injuries.
If you pick up a QB, you have to give him some help. The Jets did that immediately, and I have to applaud them for that. I thought going into the draft that we desperately needed to pick up a guard, which is why I had us taking Chance Warmack in pretty much every single mock draft I did. Brian Winters is not a Chance Warmack, but he is someone who can come in and start immediately. It also gives us cover for the veterans we signed at the position in Colon and Peterman, who joined the Jets yesterday moments before the Brian Winters pick.
At that point we thought we were done. We watched some good players come off the board and then all of a sudden the Jets made their move to put a running back behind that improved offensive line. Trading their 4th round selection (#106 overall) for Saints running back Chris Ivory. I'm really excited about having Ivory on the team, he is a very physical runner who plays with a lot of attitude. He runs with a lot of balance, and power but he also has some wiggle and enough speed to knock off 10-20 yard runs. Ivory went undrafted in 2010 and in three years with the Saints he has 256 attempts, 8 touchdowns and a huge 5.1 average. I know we don't have any real known commodities in the backfield, in fact I read it was the first time we would enter the season with no 1,000 yard back on the roster since 1994, but I like the thought of Ivory, Goodson, Bilal and McKnight.
Put simply, the Jets have improved the football team over the last two days. These selections make the Richardson and Milliner selections a lot more palatable. We now have three players who were widely considered to be among the elite at their position in this draft, Geno Smith, Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson.
So what can we do now, we'll have to wait a little while to make our next selection. We still have our 5th, 6th and 7th round selections. I think we need to look at the S, OLB and WR position with the rest of our selections.
Here are my top 10 players still available in the draft:
1) Alex Okafor, DE - Texas
2) Jesse Williams, DT - Alabama
3) Quinton Patton, WR - Louisiana Tech
4) Zac Dysert, QB - Miami (OH)
5) Brandon Jenkins, DE - Florida State
6) Joseph Randle, RB - Oklahoma State
7) Matt Barkley, QB - USC
8) Chase Thomas, OLB - Stanford
9) Andre Ellington, RB - Clemson
10) Khaseem Greene, OLB - Rutgers