New York Jets 2012 Mock Draft: Buying or Selling Matt Miller's Latest Picks
In Matt Miller's latest mock draft, he has the New York Jets selecting two wide receivers, a running back, a linebacker, two defensive ends and an offensive tackle.
All—in—all, this would be a pretty good haul. But to get two wide receivers, especially one with your first overall pick, seems a little of a stretch considering the team is going back to the ground and pound game under new offense coordinator Tony Sparano.
Miller also failed to address the safety position, a major area of need for the Jets, since starting strong safety Jim Leonard may be leaving in free agency, and Eric Smith proved to be unproductive this season.
The safety position can be fulfilled in free agency though with the restructuring of D'Brickashaw Ferguson's contract that gave general manager Mike Tannenbaum $7.5 million to spend on Michael Griffin, Reggie Nelson, or another free-agent safety he may have his eye on in the open market.
Here's my take on each Jets' selection in Miller's mock draft.
Yes, the New York Jets wide receiving corps may leave a lot to be desired. The disruptive Santonio Holmes, second year receiver Jeremy Kerley, and the recently resigned Patrick Turner are not scaring anybody. But then again, do they have to?
If the focus is returning to the running game, drafting a wide receiver with your number one overall selection doesn't make sense. Even if it's the 6’4”, 232 lbs., Alshon Jeffrey out of South Carolina.
Jeffrey is a very physical receiver and could be brought in to be Mark Sanchez’s longtime red zone target. But what he has in size, he lacks in speed, and at the next level he may have trouble separating from cornerbacks, and may not be able to just outwork them with his size like he did in college.
His production also dropped off this year, as he had 49 receptions for 762 yards and eight touchdowns. In his sophomore year, Jeffrey had 88 receptions for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns.
With talks of the Jets possibly bringing back Braylon Edwards, a target Sanchez appeared to be comfortable with, as Edwards led the team in receiving last season, he might be the better option.
Jeffrey would be a luxury instead of a necessity, and using your first overall pick on a luxury may be ill advised. Especially if the number one ranked safety Mark Barron is still available.
Cam Johnson could be a very good pick for the New York Jets in the second round. He is a defensive end/linebacker out of the University of Virginia who can solve some of the pass rushing problems. In time, he can take over the aging Calvin Pace’s starting spot.
At 6’3’’, 267 lbs., Johnson shows a lot of speed for his size, as he is quick in his initial burst off the line to get to the quarterback. In his senior year at Virginia he had four sacks and 27 tackles.
He proved his versatility at Virginia. In Al Groh’s 3-4 scheme, he played outside linebacker before switching over to defensive end in his junior year.
In Rex Ryan's defense, Johnson will be able to line up possibly next to Mohammad Wilkerson or take a few steps back and occupy a linebacker spot. This may be wishful thinking, but Ryan may be able to use him like he used Terrell Suggs when he was in Baltimore.
The New York Jets already have Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, and last year's fourth-round pick Bilal Powell at running back. While Shonn Greene may not have had the breakout season that so many expected, he still ran for over 1,000 yards.
With a season’s worth of experience as the team's lead back he may improve next season, especially if the team drafts an offensive tackle with this pick, or if they get one through free agency.
But if they do go the route of drafting a running back in the third round, I prefer Oregon's LaMichael James to Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead.
At 5’9’’, 185 lbs., James is a small, quick running back who had big production during his years at Oregon. In his senior year, he rushed for 1,805 yards on 247 carries while getting in the endzone to score 18 touchdowns.
James can be the perfect complement to the Greene’s downhill, pounding style of running, as he is a more of a take it to the outside kind of back.
No complaints about selecting Vontaze Burfict in the fourth round. Burfict can be the perfect replacement to Bart Scott. He has the perfect attitude to fit in with Rex Ryan's defense, as he has a big mouth and can back it up with his play.
In his junior year at Arizona State, Burfict had 68 tackles and an interception. Due to his play in college he was ranked as the number two linebacker in the draft, but due to his poor 40 time at the combine, he may drop into the later rounds.
His poor 40 time isn’t the only thing holding him back. Burfict also has a problem with his aggressiveness. At times he lets his emotions get the best of him, which lead to personal fouls, he was flagged for 17 personal fouls in 35 games during his career ASU. He was even held out of a bowl game because of undisclosed reasons.
Still, if Rex can get Burfict to control his emotions, he can be a real steal.
If the New York Jets haven’t already drafted an offensive lineman or acquired one through free agency, Jeff Allen out of Illinois could be a very useful player. But, offensive lineman drafted in the later rounds usually take some time to develop and cannot be plugged into a starting role immediately.
If the Jets are still in "win now" mode, this pick could be better served on a safety or maybe even a wide receiver, positions that can produce immediately.
If the pick is Jeff Allen, he is a very experienced offensive guard, who was a four-year starter who avoided serious injury. He was also the 2010 team captain and was named the team's most outstanding offense alignment in the 2010 at 2011 seasons. He was also All Big Ten Academic in 2010.
Derek Wolfe can be a very nice pickup in the sixth round if the New York Jets do not re-sign Sione Pouha. Wolfe is a 6’5’’ defensive tackle out of Cincinnati who needs to put on more bulk to his tall frame, as he only weighs in at 286 lbs.
He was very productive in his senior year. He had 64 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Wolfe is not the quickest but he has an excellent motor.
He would fit in very well in the defensive line rotation and can play different positions. At Cincinnati, Wolfe lined up at defensive end, defensive tackle and nose tackle. His game can translate well in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 system as he can back up Muhammad Wilkerson or line up next to him, providing New York more depth.
Marquis Maze is an undersized receiver out of Alabama with blazing speed. At the combine, he ran the 40 in 4.51 seconds, which was the fourth-fastest time for any player coming out of the SEC.
In Alabama's run-heavy offense, Maze still managed to stand out. In his senior year, he had 56 catches for 627 yards and a touchdown.
Maze is too similar to last year's New York Jets' fifth-round pick Jeremy Kerley and would be a waste of a pick.
The Jets would be better off trying to grab a more serviceable backup QB in the seventh round. If Boise State's Kellen Moore is still available, he would be the better pick.
Moore is a very accurate QB who threw for 3,800 yards, 43 TDs and nine interceptions, with a 74.3 completion percentage.
He can come in and push Mark Sanchez in practice and just might be able to be groomed into a starting QB of the future if Sanchez does not work out.