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Mark Barron is ready for the NFL
The Jets need two new safeties in 2012.
Jim Leonhard (the team's only starting-caliber safety since Kerry Rhodes was traded away) is injury prone, in addition to lacking the height and mass needed to cover the likes of Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham.
Ryan's defense will have to face Gronkowski twice every year and so they need someone right away who can cover the Pro Bowler or they will continue to lose both annual regular season games against the Patriots.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum will need to both draft a safety and sign one in free agency if he wants to address the team's needs.
The only prospect that will definitely be ready to start in the NFL from day one is Mark Barron (Alabama). Barron has the size, speed, and instincts needed to play strong safety in the league.
He will most likely not be available after the 1st round. If he's not taken by the Jets with the 16th overall pick, he will likely be drafted by either Pittsburgh or New England.
The Jets are in an extremely difficult position. They need to get two new starting safeties but most likely can't afford to sign two in free agency. Ryan's team can either trade up and acquire a second first-round pick in the process, or trade down with their current first-round pick in exchange for multiple picks (including a late first-round pick).
One way or another, the Jets will need to find a way to acquire Mark Barron unless they are willing to draft a riskier prospect and suffer the consequences if the move backfires.