New York Jets Must Circle Three Players on Their 2013 Draft Board

Patrick MintonContributor IIOctober 16, 2012

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 29: Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks breaks free from the Kentucky Wildcats during at Commonwealth Stadium on September 29, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.    (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
John Sommers II/Getty Images

While the New York Jets have experienced some difficulty winning on Sundays this year, there are plenty of players who play on Saturdays that could help them in this upcoming season through the draft.

The draft has not been overly kind to Rex and Tannenbaum since they began working together in 2009. They have acquired most of their talent from trades or free agency in recent years while riding the core four drafted in 2007.

The Jets roster is aging at a rapid rate and they must find more success in the draft this year if they plan on being relevant in the upcoming years. The team has plenty of units that could use an upgrade—they ideally could take the best available talent on the board once they are on the clock.

One player the Jets should take a long look at is Wide Receiver Justin Hunter out of University of Tennessee. Hunter is currently a Junior and has put up 35 receptions, 497 yards and four touchdowns through six games. He is 6'4", 200 pounds and can give the Jets that play making ability that their roster sorely lacks. Santonio Holmes is out for the year with injury and has not been what the Jets had hoped for this year. 

Another weakness in the roster is the offensive line. The fanbase cannot take another offseason of this issue not being addressed. The best offensive tackle on the board this year will be Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, who at 6'6" and 310 pounds could inject some youth in to a Jets offensive line that already boasts three pro bowlers from last year.

For the most part he has played left tackle and he has been a dominant pass blocker, however his game is very well rounded and his skills could certainly translate to the right side of the line as well.  Brandon Moore is not getting any younger and Austin Howard has been a blessing; no one knows when that dream will end.

The most obvious concern through six weeks of the Jets season has been their lack of big plays in the offense—they must find a player that can put some fear in to the oppositions defense. We have not seen running backs taken in the first round much in recent years, but if Rex Ryan wants to hang his hat on ground-and-pound, then they must get a workhorse to aid Shonn Greene's efforts.

Marcus Lattimore seems to be the best NFL prospect coming out of this years running back class and may be worth taking a risk early for the Jets. At 6'1" and 232 pounds, he is a power back who can still manage to make some guys miss and catch the ball out of the backfield on third down. If you are going to take a running back in the first round, you better make sure he can do everything.

Many fans clamored for the Jets to move up in this past years draft to take Trent Richardson, but the Jets stayed put and took defensive end Quinton Coples. The defense has some young players who could be looking to step in soon such as Demario Davis and Quinton Coples.

I believe the Jets must improve their offense to compete in the current NFL style. If they choose to draft defense in the first round look for them to take serious looks at Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o or Texas defensive end Alex Okafor.