OK. It’s time to play Jets GM for a day. This is my first post on this board (although I am an active reader of posts here) and my pologies in advance for the length of the post, but there is a lot to do to make this team equipped to get to the Super Bowl and to ensure depth for injuries and continued success….
Personally, I was impressed with the Jets core, and it is something they can definitely build on. On D, the Jets front 7 is strong, but a replacement needs to be found for Calvin Pace to inject more youth and aggression into the front 7 and the back end needs to be corrected. On Offence, the left guard position needs improving (i.e. Winters should be depth to learn and not a starter) and both the WR’s and TE’s need an overhaul as they are sub-standard other than Kerley. RB’s are OK (just need a speed guy to be the future replacement of Goodson) and our QB needs another year of development + a solid back up.
My theory is that at every key position you need someone who is talented and who can take a rookie under their wing to minimise the transition pain/ difficulties from College to NFL. Example:- don’t start the season with 2 x rookie WR’s- you trade for a (quality) talented and experienced starter and draft for the future (i.e. between 1 and 3 depending on what is in the cupboard) and start the best draftee opposite the experienced WR. As they gain experience you can replace as needed. Continuity also has to be considered on both sides of the ball. Play makers are needed on both sides on the ball, so here we go….
Release or Lose via Trade: Mark Sanchez (Was an initial fan and blame management just as much for all his woes, but to avoid any bad air would release); Santonio Holmes (Never liked the trade from the beginning. Talented, but too much trouble and has very few big games for both Pittsburgh and the Jets for a highly paid WR); Clyde Gates (Replace via draft for depth); Antonio Cromartie (But re-sign at better rate for further 2-3 years if cannot get secure either Alterraun Verner from Titans or Vontae Davis from Colts; Kellen Winslow (Not worth headaches, especially when a 1 dimensional TE); Jeff Cumberland (Simply not good enough or well–rounded enough to be a backup); Vladimir Ducasse (Not every game is against Wilfork! Hasn’t shown enough in other games). Calvin Pace (Although did well in 2013. Would bring back at minimum for depth); David Garrard (Wrong choice); Mike Goodson (Released or traded only if De’Anthony Thomas or Dri Archer is selected in draft as per below) Stephen Hill (Isn’t working out here, but only sent packing if can be traded for a 3rd or higher 4th round swap- see note below); Josh Mauga (Only due to numbers); Josh Bush (Keep Jarrett and Miles as the back-ups at FS, whilst starter via FA); and Ed Reed (Could see the change in Milliner, but it’s time to get a quality safety on the right side of 30 years old).
*Hopefully one of the above could be used to in a trade to swap our 4th and a player for another 3 or a top 5 round four choice (i.e. round 4 swap).
Re-Sign or Extend: Austin Howard (RT) – Sign for further 3 or 4 years; Willie Colon (RG) – Sign for further year at minimum; Aaron Berry (CB) – Sign for further year at minimum to add depth Ellis Lankster (CB) – Sign for further year at minimum to add depth; Ledger Douzable – Sign for further year at minimum or at a low cost and Nick Folk (K) – I think he has proven himself; and David Harris (ILB) – For a more salary cap friendly number, including minor 1-2 year extension. Darrin Walls (CB)- Not sure if a free agent, but a solid back up.
Coaching Changes: DB’s Coach- Convince Ed Reed to be the DB’s coach/ mentor. He gets more than the low price he would get as a player without affecting the teams cap, he is still involved in football, the DB’s learn from the best (win/ win). Also, I'm OK with the LSU coach for special teamsFree Agent Pick-ups: Jeremy Maclin (WR) - You want a FA to have immediate impact and he is both familiar/ comfortable with MM’s offensive system and was a top 10 receiver before his injury who could teach your draftee’s. He becomes our speed receiver/ deep threat and takes our rookie WR’s under his wing (Fall back options if Maclin not available is Golden Tate, Emmanual Sanders or James Jones in that order); Owen Daniels (TE) - If becomes available, otherwise Brandon Pettigrew (TE)- (Pitta will be too expensive) two ensure our primary TE can block and catch. Again, when drafting a rookie, to make their transition easier and to get earlier production you need a solid (experienced) vet who is talented to take them under their wing; Jon Asamoah (G) or Geoff Swartz (G). Hard to see Kansas City keeping both, so go after the one that is released (preferably Swartz as he plays LG); Jairus Byrd (FS)- This guy is a must. Need a ball hawking safety in a Rex Ryan defence. This is the difference keeping from a top 2 defence. Would be the only guy I over pay for, but may take TJ Ward (FS) if Byrd is franchised. Outside option is Whitner from the 49ers (but not preferred). Alterraun Verner (CB) otherwise Vontae Davis (CB). If cannot get either- bring back Cromartie at a cap friendlier number for 1-2 years. Chad Henne (QB)- Better back up at this stage of his career than Garrard and can still mentor Geno Smith (and Simms). Would take Schaub from Texan’s over Henne if released and the price is reasonable.
*Would love Orakpo to make this an incredible front 7, but don’t want cap hell for the next 5 years, so will try to find someone as a round 3+ steal……
Draft (in a perfect world): Round 1: TE Jace Amaro- Texas Tech. (Otherwise Mike Evens WR- Texas A&M) Basically, ensuring an athletic big target and red zone threat in round 1 (even though I think Marquise Lee will be a star). Round 2: WR Jordon Matthews- Vanderbuilt. (Unless Evans taken in 1st- then Seferian Jenkins TE- Washington) Round 3: DE (to OLB) Dee Ford- Auburn. (wrote this before the Senior Bowl, so given his stock is rising the fall back options are: Attaochu OLB- Georgia Tech, Marcus Smith DE/OLB- Louiseville or Michael Sam- Misouri) Round 3: WR Brandin Cooks- Oregon State as a mid-round steal (Fall back option Moncrief WR- Ole Miss) *Note: Beckham Jr WR- LSU, Jared Abbrederis WR- Wisconsin can replace Moncrief if they fall and if Cooks and Moncrief are already taken); Round 4: RB/ KR De’Anthony Thomas-Oregon. (Fall back option Dri Archer RB- Kent State) *Note: if Ka’Deem Carey RB- Arizona falls and Thomas is gone- grab Carey as the fall back option and look to get Dri Archer through a future trade for additional 4th round pick; Round 5: G Spencer Long-Nebraska (Fall back options Tre Jackson G- Florida, David Yankey G- Stanford, James Hurst OT-North Carolina); Round 6: CB Aaron Colvin Oklahoma University-i.e. He can rehabilitate for future behind Berry. (Fall back option Chris Borland MLB- Wisconsin); and Round 7: TE Colt Lyerla. Every team has at least 1 bone-head with huge upside on its roster and this is my bone head. Hopefully, he will mature and both recognise and appreciate the opportunity he has to be in the NFL (Fall back option Jordan Trip OLB- Montana).
Compensatory or Undrafted: 1. I would target the best punter available (which hopefully would be Tom Hornsey- Memphis, otherwise Cody Webster- Purdue); 2. Tevin Reese WR- Baylor if not selected in the 7 rounds due to his size.
*I know some of the above looks crazy (i.e. picks may already be taken earlier), however every year top talent falls due to low demand for that position, too many available (i.e. over supply), their size doesn’t meet the expected for their position, from a small school or lessor conference or due to character concerns etc… With the above, the Jets would look like this:
OFFENSE: QB: Smith, Schaub (or Henne), Simms; WR: Maclin, Nelson; WR: Matthews, Cooks, Cribbs (also our Wildcat option along with Kerley); WR (Slot): Kerley, Cooks; TE: Daniels or Pettigrew, Amaro, Lyerla; (Maybe release or trade Sudfeld??) LT: D-Brick, Ijalana; LG: Swartz, Winters, Campbell; C: Mangold, Dalton; RG: Colon, Spencer (Jackson, Yankey or Hurst), Campbell; RT: Howard, Aboushi (not happy with Aboushi- may look to improve stock); RB: Ivory, Powell (future trade value if Carey falls to Jets), Thomas or Archer; FB: Bohanon, Hilliard (not happy with Hilliard- may look to improve stock); LS: Purdum PK: Folk; P: Hornsey or Webster.
DEFENCE: DE: Wilkinson, Couples; NT/ DT: Harrison, Ellis, Douzable; DE: Richardson, Couples; OLB: Couples, Barnes, McIntyre; ILB: Harris, Bellore; ILB: Davis, Bellore; OLB: Ford (or Attaochu, Smith or Sam),Pace, McIntyre; SS: Allen, Landry; CB: Verner (otherwise Davis or Cromartie), Wilson, Lankster CB: Milliner, Berry, Trufant, Colvin; Nickel: Wilson, Walls FS: Byrd or Ward, Jarrett, Miles.
Thoughts??? (Be kind)