First round picks are not meant to sit on the bench for long. The Jets surprisingly fell into a cornerback in the first round of last year's NFL Draft, Kyle Wilson. Wilson had the benefit of being able to sit behind Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis after a rough start to his career. There was not as much pressure on him to produce as there would have been in other places without New York's depth. When he struggled, he could ride the pine and work in practice.
Wilson looked a lot better when he got reps near the end of the season. The question is whether he showed enough to convince the front office he is ready for a full time starting gig. If he is, the Jets have a cheap alternative to paying Antonio Cromartie. Good teams do not overpay to retain guys when a younger and cheaper option is available.
I tend to trust the decision makers if they think Wilson is ready. Some questioned last offseason when the team let veterans walk out of confidence Matt Slauson and Mike Devito could step up. Those decision makers were vidicated and gained credibility.