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Jets Cornerback Conundrum

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Trying to bring together a few items that have been scattered across the site over the last week or so. That being the Jets 2010 cornerback situation. As we have seen with the fanposts on the right, Jets fans seem to unanimous in their support to bring another cornerback to the team.

As the situation stands the Jets have five cornerbacks signed up for 2010, which will become six as soon as Drew Coleman signs his offer sheet. As much as I would love to get a 6th round selection for him, it's just not happening, especially not this year.

Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Dwight Lowery, Marquice Cole and Bo Smith are the guys that are signed and ready to roll, I don't think anyone can honestly say that is enough to beat teams like the Colts.

Join after the jump

The starting cornerbacks are tied down, nobody is displacing Revis or Cromartie, and that's fine with me, that has the potential to be the best starting cornerback combination in the league, so that is sorted, settled, no need to really address it. I have a feeling that both will have a fantastic year.

Then comes the enigma, I can't remember Jets fans disagreeing so much on one player. Depending on who you are talking to, Dwight Lowery is either an up and comer who has bundles of potential, or he is a liability in pass coverage and the less he is asked to do the better for the team.

Marquice Cole has floated around several teams since being undrafted in 2007. The Raiders, Titans and Saints have all passed Cole on, and there is little evidence to suggest that he can contribute positively to the defense in 2010.

Drew Coleman looks to be on his way back *collective moan*. As Dwight Lowery divides people, Coleman unites. Unfortunately for him, Jets fans unite in disdain for his on the field play. Never really seen what the coaching staff sees in Drew, often slow to the ball, hard to pick up who he was supposed to be covering because he is rarely in the vicinity. Put quite bluntly, he isn't the best player that has lined up in the secondary.

Bo Smith is coming from the Canadian league, and I have no idea what to expect from him

Anyone feel confident going up against the Saints or the Colts with that secondary? I know I'm not. I like the starters, and I'm a fan of Dwight Lowery, but that's not enough. Which brings us to a few players that have been mentioned lately.

Tye Hill has been mentioned lately, and a few people seem to be in favour of signing him. I have talked to a few Atlanta fans about him, and the general sentiment is that he is quick and not much else. He ran a 4.34 at the Combine coming out of Clemson. Between 2006 and 2008, he played three years with the St Louis Rams appearing in 28 games, starting 18. Compiling 105 tackles, 13 pass defenses and 4 interceptions. In 2009 he appeared in 8 games for the Falcons, starting 3. With a measly 7 tackles, 1 pass defense and 1 interception.

According to PFF, Hill appeared in just 119 of the Falcons defensive snaps, which is a ridiculously small amount. being targeted on 11 occasions with 10 of them being completed. Giving up 17.3 yards a catch. I know we can say, system, system, system, but those are worrying numbers. One he was not trusted to be on the field more, and two when he was, and when he was targeted, it seems it was an easy completion. 23 targets, 19 receptions in 2008 while playing for St Louis. 24 receptions on 39 targets in 2007, which is adequate.

Should we pursue Hill? bring him in, see what he has and if he is no better than what we have, cut him free?

Nathan Vasher is the next potential player that has recently been released. If you are thinking "I used to hear about this guy all the time, is it the same one", It is. 2005 Pro Bowl selection with an 8 interception season. The 28 year old has taken a nose dive over the past three years, recording just one interception in each of the past three seasons. Starting only 11 games over that time period. Registering just 38 tackles. Like Hill, it seems that few teams had problems completing passes into his coverage. Targeted 14 times for 11 completions, a % of 78.6%, absolutely terrible, but still better than Hill. Like Hill it seems the majority of his time was spent on the sideline, as he appeared in just 165 defensive snaps.

However despite his drop off in interceptions in 2008, he actually had a solid year. Being targeted 61 times, with 32 of those being completed for a respectable if unspectacular completion % of 52.5%, which was good for best on the team with players taking 200+ snaps. Vasher is known for his bruising physical style, he can play up at the line and deliver a hit. 2009 was a down year for him no doubt, but he has performed to a reasonable standard more recently than Hill.

So do we bring Vasher in? kick the wheels, see what he has. I think he could potentially be a solid pick-up in the Nickel/Dime packages, especially if we allow him to rush the passer off the edge in certain situations.

Drafting a Cornerback is still on the agenda, although it now seems to be filled under "any other business", relegated behind Defensive End, Outside Linebacker and Wide Receiver. Could we go here early? potentially, if Kyle Wilson falls to us can we not take him?? how about Perrish Cox in the second round, perhaps Devin McCourty in the first if Odrick/Graham are gone. I wouldn't mind us using a 4th/5th round pick on a corner while bringing someone like Vasher in to work out.

There are several options for this Jets team, but I think we can agree that we need to improve that core of defensive backs heading into the season if we want to improve on our AFC Championship season of 2009.

So what do we do Jets fans?