The Jets need to seriously upgrade their roster through the draft this offseason, so the team is likely to scout prospects vigorously at the 2012 NFL scouting combine over the next few weeks. Among New York's biggest need positions are safety, right tackle, outside and inside linebacker and wide receiver. The following list of prospects will draw the most interest from Gang Green at the combine.
1. Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: Upshaw would fit perfectly into the Jets' 3-4 system, as he is one of the premier pass-rushing linebackers in the draft. Upshaw is the complete package, as he boasts both terrific strength and outstanding speed. The Crimson Tide star would be the ideal first-round selection for the Jets come March.
2. Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina: Although Ingram is a traditional 4-3 defensive end, he possesses the ability to fit in as an outside linebacker in the Jets' 4-3 scheme. Ingram is an athletic freak. The Gamecocks superstar has unparalleled strength and surprising agility. Ingram will impress at the combine.
3. Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia: Glenn would be another terrific selection in the first round of April's draft. He has outstanding agility and quickness to go along with dominant strength. The Jets have major question marks at both right tackle and guard, and Glenn has the versatility to fill either one of those needs.
4. Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois: New York does not want to draft a defensive end in two consecutive years, but if Mercilus falls into their lap, the Jets will have to pull the trigger. Mercilus had a breakout season in his senior year at Illinois, as he led all of college football in sacks. He boasts the raw strength and speed to excel in the NFL at rushing the passer.
5. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: The Jets may be reaching for Adams in the first round, but he would fill a tremendous need position for them. Adams' sheer size (6'7", 323 pounds) could make him a star at right tackle in the NFL. The Ohio State graduate has had some off-the-field issues, including involvement in the Buckeyes' tattoo scandal, but his pure blocking ability may be too hard to pass up.
6. Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State: If Gang Green opts to take a defensive player in the first round, Sanders would be a superb second-round selection. The former Seminoles star boasts the size, strength and agility to be an elite right tackle at the next level.
7. Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State: Burfict has arguably more natural talent than any other player in the draft, but anger issues on the field may lead to a draft plunge. If Burfict can control himself on the field, he could be an elite linebacker in the NFL. He would be the perfect replacement for the aging Bart Scott.
8. George Iloka, FS, Boise State: Mark Barron, the draft's premier safety, will not be participating at the combine, as he is recovering from hernia surgery. Iloka is widely regarded as the second-best safety prospect in the draft, so he will draw a lot of attention from the Jets. Iloka's huge frame (6'4", 222 pounds) would benefit New York in containing some of the game's premier pass-catching tight ends, such as Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
9. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Floyd is arguably the draft's most complete wide receiver. He possesses great hands, elite speed and tremendous quickness at the line of scrimmage. With Plaxico Burress likely gone and Santonio Holmes causing problems in the locker room, the Jets may choose to utilize their first-round pick on a true No. 1 wide receiver such as Floyd.
10. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: Jeffery unquestionably boasts more potential than any other wide receiver in the draft. He is one of the most formidable deep threats to enter the league since Randy Moss, and he always seems to come up with the big play. However, Jeffery has faced conditioning problems and his speed is subpar. This may lead to a fall on draft day. Jeffery is a huge risk in the first round, but the reward could be astronomical.
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