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Time Has Come from 2010 Draft Class to Step Up

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ORCHARD PARK NY - OCTOBER 03: Kyle Wilson #20 of the New York Jets runs against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 3 2010 in Orchard Park New York. The Jets won 38-14. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK NY - OCTOBER 03: Kyle Wilson #20 of the New York Jets runs against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 3 2010 in Orchard Park New York. The Jets won 38-14. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
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The Jets had to be a tad disappointed in what the four players they selected in the 2010 NFL Draft provided as rookies. None of them had great contributions. John Conner had the best excuse. He spent most of his year sitting behind Tony Richardson. The other three were more disappointing. The team had plans for Kyle Wilson locking down the nickel. A very slow start saw his reps get more and more limited as the year went on. Vladimir Ducasse failed to mount much of a challenge to take the starting left guard job. Joe McKnight was out of shape reporting to the team and almost got cut.

Those three can get something of a pass as rookies. The team asked an extraordinary , perhaps even unfair amount from Ducasse and Wilson. The transition from college football to the NFL is not easy. It does not click for everybody right away. The Jets could surely use more from them this year, though. They have had a chance to get used to the speed of the pro game. They know their respective playbooks. They have seen film. They know what the grind of the season is like and what kind of shape they need to be in.

The Jets also could use them to step up in expanded roles. There is a vacancy at right tackle with Ducasse's name on it. There either will be a vacancy at starting corner for Wilson or that same nickel spot that could use an upgrade from Drew Coleman. With offensive weapons potentially leaving and LaDainian Tomlinson aging, McKnight taking more of a role would be nice.

I do not expect any of the three to peak as second year players. They do not necessarily need to evolve into elite players. This is an important offseason for them, though, because if they do not show they are going to be decent NFL players by year two, it will create legitimate questions.