2012 NFL Draft: Why the Jets Should Trade Down to Add Depth and Fill More Holes

Sam QuinnContributor IIIApril 22, 2012

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29: Melvin Ingram #6 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rumors are popping up everywhere about the Jets looking to trade up and grab any number of players. Adding a player like Trent Richardson or Melvin Ingram would be nice, but the question here is whether or not it's necessary.

The Jets aren't the same team that made two straight trips to the AFC championship game. They're older and far more vulnerable. They don't need another blue chipper. 

Speaking of blue chippers, look at Mike Lombardi's blue chip rankings from last year. The Jets were ranked fourth with four blue chippers and four red chippers. Nobody on that list has fallen off. The Jets are set at the top. 

What the Jets need is depth. Years of trading up have supplied the blue chippers (most notably, Darrelle Revis), but it has also left them dangerously thin. The Jets haven't left a draft with more than five players since 2006. To give you a point of reference, the Patriots leave almost every draft in the double digits. And you wonder why the Jets can't seem to beat them. 

Adopting the full Patriots model would take years, but that doesn't mean Mike Tannenbaum can't borrow some of the Pats' tactics. 

Let's say the Jets were to move down 10 spots, from 16 to 26. According to the draft trade value chart most teams use, that trade would be worth an extra second-round pick (with the Jets adding in a late pick). A second-round pick is usually a starter.

Is the difference between Ingram (who would likely cost a second-round pick to get) and Courtney Upshaw or Whitney Mercilus (who may be able to get the Jets an extra second-round pick) really that great? 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Louisiana State University Tigers during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Ben
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I doubt it. Ingram isn't Mario Williams or Julius Peppers. He isn't coming into the draft as a surefire star, he's a workout warrior who has skyrocketed up draft boards since the end of the season (usually a red flag). 

If any player is worth the price, it's Richardson. At least he's as close to a sure thing as there is in the draft. But do the Jets really need a sure thing at running back? Considering they led the league in rushing a few years ago with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, I don't think so. 

It'd be nice to have a star like Richardson, but it's entirely unnecessary. We live in the running back by committee era, and remember all Jet backs will now receive the Tim Tebow power-up (just ask Willis McGahee how much that means). It's just an unnecessary luxury.

Would I consider Richardson if he fell into the early teens? Absolutely. I'd love to see him on the Jets, I even wrote an article about it. I just don't want to mortgage the future to get him.

The model the Jets have used to compete recently is simply unsustainable. Injuries are too common in today's NFL to ignore depth. Remember what happened to the offensive line when Nick Mangold got hurt? Well, the same thing would happen to the secondary without Revis, the linebackers without David Harris and the receivers without Santonio Holmes. This isn't basketball; you can't just throw a few stars on the field and hope for the best.

So, if you're reading this, Mr. Tannenbaum, please ignore calls from Cleveland, Jacksonville, Seattle and whoever else is picking in the top 15. Learn a thing or two from the juggernaut in New England and trade down.