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Top Five Jets Needs

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take an updated look at the top five needs the Jets have after the first wave of free agency.

1. Quarterback

The Jets did add Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he is more of a stopgap than a genuine answer. Trotting out a Fitzpatrick level player at a different position is doable. A team can build a winner with a mediocre right guard or safety. It is very difficult to win with a mediocre player at the quarterback position.

2. Edge Rusher

After the additions to the secondary, the biggest impact addition the Jets could make would now be an explosive edge rusher. Think about all of the talent the Jets have on the interior of the defensive line. They have plenty of players who command double teams. This leaves favorable matchups on the edge. It makes the edge rushers already in place more productive, but the Jets don't have a player to make the other team pay. Jason Babin is still effective at his age, but he is a complementary piece at this point of his career. Calvin Pace isn't much of an entity as a pass rusher, and Quinton Coples has not shown a whole lot to suggest the outside linebacker experiment should continue. If the Jets could add a dynamic athlete off the edge, this defense could go to a whole different level. If the other team becomes afraid of leaving the edge one on one, do they start dedicating less resources to Muhammad Wilkerson or Sheldon Richardson

3. Guard

This probably isn't where you want guard to be after the investment the Jets made in James Carpenter, but he is less than a sure thing. The other guard spot is up in the air with three flawed players, Willie Colon, Oday Aboushi, and Brian Winters the most logic in house candidates.

4. Tackle

D'Brickashaw Ferguson is closer to the end than the start. Breno Giacomini seems stretched in a starting role. Better guard play could help both players look better.

5. Running Back

I know.  The Jets have Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. That is a limited backfield. Ivory adds little value in the passing game, and Powell doesn't add impact anyway. He's also overrated as a pass protector. Here is the big reason this position rates so high. Think about the question marks on the offensive line. Ivory might be limited, but he creates his own yardage. If the Jets could add a second back like that, one who could also bring value in the passing game, this offense looks a lot better. Carpenter and Colon have issues in the run game, but they both are capable pass protectors. Suddenly the offensive line looks like less of an issue. The Jets would have a line that could protect the quarterback adequately and backs who could make up for a lack of run blocking skill.