I was responding to a comment on the Mel Kiper review article, and I realized that my response was so long that it would be better as a fanpost.
Let me preface this post by stating that I understand that you cannot easily compare one draft class to another. The board is different, depth at each position is different, where you pick in the draft is different, and need is different.
Having said that, I find the 2013 draft eerily similar to 2009. In both drafts we came out with a QB of the future, a backup/tandem RB that could take on a bigger starting role, and developmental help on the O-line. If this is the first year of a new Rex Ryan era (or mini era) I think the 2013 draft is basically 2009 ver 2.0. The big difference is that I think we received an enormous amount of value in 2013 (or had terrible value in 2009) by comparison (by luck or design.):
SANCHEZ (cost: 1st and 2nd round picks)
In 2009, we used our 1st and 2nd round picks to move up and grab Sanchez with the 5th pick of the draft. This year, our top two picks landed us Geno Smith, the best rated QB in the draft, and Richardson, a speedy DT freak that is perfect for a Rex Ryan defense. Both were rated 1st round talent coming into the draft.
Just before the draft there were rumors that the Jets were going to move up from #9 to grab Geno. If it looked like the Dolphins/Raiders trade for the 3rd pick of the draft, it would have cost our 2nd round pick, as it did in 2009. But let's discount that rumor for now, as the Jets passed on Geno twice in the 1st round.
We sat pat and wound up with Geno at #39. This is real value because this means that Richardson was essentially a free pick this year, compared to 2009 (in both scenarios we got the QB we wanted, but this time around it only cost a 2nd round pick). I think the interesting part is the Jets tried trading down #13, and when they couldn't, they decided to go Richardson. I read that the Jets called Geno to explain the situation to him as I think everyone (including Geno) expected the Jets could call his name with the #13 pick.. It was a bit of a gamble passing him here if they were really hoping to land Smith. Like Sanchez, the Jets wined and dined Smith pre-draft to the extent you knew they were very interested in finding a way to make it happen. Then on Day 2, the Jets had a chance for a 2nd bite of the apple. Rumors persisted that the Jets were looking to trade up in the 2nd round, presumably for Geno. Moving up would have cost us more picks, no doubt. But we either couldn't find a trade partner, or at least not for a price we were willing to pay - and our perseverance paid off as Geno dropped to us at 39.
GREENE (Cost: 3rd,4th, 7th round picks)
Next, in 2009, we traded our 3rd, 4th, and 7th to get Shonn Greene. Greene never really became the RB we expected. However, this year, we were able to replace Shonn in the draft with our 4th pick - trading it to the Saints for RB Chris Ivory. Ivory, if nothing else, comes to us on the cheap compared to what Tannenbaum gave up to get Shonn. If we say Greene = Ivory (and I hope its more like Ivory>Greene), then Winters, our soon to be starting OL was another free pick. I know there was speculation that the Jets were eyeing Ivory with our 5th pick, but it obviosuly wasnt enough to make the deal happen leading up the draft, and considering our previous 4th round picks (McKnight, Powell, Tebow) it was the round we normally select RBs.
In 2013, we were able to use our 3rd round pick to grab Brian Winters, who many project to be a starting caliber OG. Compared to 2009, this is a free pick because we bundled 3 through 5 to grab Shonn Greene, and in this case, we were able to get Ivory plus Winters for essentially the same thing.
We also were able to grab FB Tommy Bohanon with the 7th pick, but I wont get too excited about and 7th rounders given our track record with them come on the 53 man roster. The last FB Tanenbaum drafted was John Conner in the 5th round 2010, and he was gone within a year or two. By all accounts this was Rex's pick in 2010.
SHEPPARD (Cost 5th round)
In 2009, the Jets acquired Lito Sheppard from the Eagles for our 5th round pick (and a conditional in 2010). If you group this with the Ivory acquisition from above, I still think that Winters and Ivory are better than Shonn Greene and Lito Sheppard, so I still feel we received significant value versus 2009, not to mention that Sheppard actually cost us more if you consider the 2010 pick. In the end Lito cost a 2009 5th round pick and 1 round move down in 2010 (we swapped our 4th round for Philly's 5th round in 2010)
SLAUSON (Cost 6th round)
In the 5th we took OL Oday Aboushi, who I think is comparable to Matt Slauson, our 6th round pick in 2009. Slauson wasnt slated to start right away, but was good value in the 6th round. One could argue that Winters is our 2013 version of Slauson, but I prefer to compare him to Aboushi - someone that will backup the line now, and a chance to start in the future. Again, I think we drafted well with Slauson, better than Campbell in the 6th who is a project. (note to Tannenbaum: OL projects, like Ducasse, are selected in the 6th and 7th, not 2nd round)
By my count, we were able to "replace" Sanchez, Greene, and Slauson, who accounted for 7 picks in 2009, with just 3 picks in 2013. Whether or not Smith, Ivory, and Aboushi will outperform their predecessors will be determined in the years to come. However, this means that compared to 2009, we received Richarson, Winters, Campbell for essentially free. Those are 1st, 3rd and 6th rounders.
The Jets drafted Darrelle Revis in the 1st round of the 2007 draft. The Jets traded up to get Revis. It cost us a 1st, 2nd and 5th round pick to the Panthers to move up 11 spots in the draft. By all accounts Revis was worth the trade, and will go down as one of our finest draft picks. However, Revis demanded to be the best paid defensive player in the NFL and the Jets simply could not (or would not) pay that price given the number of skill position holes the team has to fill, not to mention he is coming off a season ending knee injury.
The Jets obviously traded Revis to the Bucs for their 1st round pick in 2013 and 3rd round pick in 2014. That is less than what we paid to move up in the 2007 draft, which is shocking. It is, however, more than the Texans got when Mario Williams went to Buffalo, more than what the Colts got when Peyton Manning went to the Broncos, Patriots got when Wes Welker went to the Broncos, and Chargers got for Vincent Jackson when he went to Bucs.
We used a 1st round pick to "replace" Revis, selecing Dee Milliner, one of the best CBs in the draft (many say the best). Will he be a HOF CB? Odds are no.. But if he can develop into a Pro-Bowl player, at a fraction of the cost of Revis, without the knee injury to worry about, and with 5 years of youth on Revis, it will be a suitable replacement.
If he becomes a suitable replacement for Revis, at least to the point that our pass defense doesnt drop off, we still have next year's 3rd/4th pick to add more value.
All in all I am pretty happy with the value in this draft. I expect folks will have differing opinions if we used that value wisely (ie Richardson over Floyd) or if we could have done more by trading down for extra picks and whether or not we addressed needs versus BPA. I do think the Jets tried to move up and down in the draft at various points (based on after-the-fact reporting), but either the right partner or value wasnt there. So I slightly discount those comments saying how we should have moved up or down because I do think those efforts were made.
Certainly, hindsight is 20-20 and we potentially could have done more. But on the whole, I think we wound up replicating the position players selected in the 2009 draft, plus a free 1st, 3rd, and 6th rounder.
This post isnt meant to say "Wow, we got all these awesome guys who are all Pro-Bowlers". I'm simply stating that in both 2009 and 2013 we drafted a top QB, tandem RB, and backup OL. However, we received far more value, nearly half a draft more picks worth of players, under Idzik than Tannenbaum.
I guess we can already see the difference between Tannenbaum and Idzik and their draft day philosophy at work.
Or maybe we just lucked out and saw guys fall to us at opportune times.... you be the judge.