That's right. In the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, the New York Jets should trade up to draft either A) Khalil Mack or B) Anthony Barr. That's crazy right? To draft a member of the front seven in the first round for the FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR?!? Yep, sure is, but it might just make this defense crazy good.
Going in to the draft Idzik will have plenty of fire power for potential wheeling and dealing. With the Jets' owning between 10 and 12 picks in the upcoming draft including their standard picks in each of the seven rounds, a 3rd or 4th coming from Tampa (depending on the Revis situation,) and 2 to 4 compensatory picks, the Jets could be in position to do some serious movin' and shakin'.
Behind arguably the best interior defensive line in the NFL, not to mention one of the youngest, the Jets defense is trending upward. While some might argue that the biggest needs on defense are in the back end, I'm here to tell you that what this defense really needs is a pure edge rusher, because let's be real, the jury is still out on the Coples experiment. Think of the potential havoc this defense could wreak if they had some real speed and athleticism coming off the edge. Who would the offense double team? Richardson and Wilkerson are already mismatches for the vast majority of offensive linemen, add in legitimate threat off the edge and opposing quarterbacks will be losing plenty of sleep next fall.
If either Mack or Barr slips out of the top ten, the Jets should jump.
On tape Khalil Mack jumps of the screen. With outstanding burst and a relentless motor, Mack made mince meat out of the majority of his opponents throughout his career. Mack was named the MAC defensive player of the year and won the Jack Lambert award for the nation's top linebacker, finishing the 2013 season with 100 tackles, 19 for a loss, 10.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns. Throughout his career Mack displayed the requisite dominance for a small school guy to be considered a top prospect, and even when matched up against big conference schools like Ohio State he never missed a beat.
I'm not quite as sold on Barr, but given that I've only watched three of his game tapes and also the fact that I'm not a professional scout, I'll concede to the popular opinion that he's a stud. From what I did see on tape, he is a bit more versatile than Mack. In the games I watched he was frequently used in coverage, even lining up on slot receivers at times. His ability to drop into coverage is something that would certainly help our defense. Neither Coples nor Pace can be counted to cover any decent pass catchers, let alone slot receivers.
So what do you think?
Is going defense early out of the question for the Jets this year? Should I check myself into the looney bin, or do you think I'm onto something?
Lemme' Have it!