Mel Kiper's first 2013 mock draft was released this week, and it provides a glimmer of optimism for Jet fans who are weary of the team's dire quarterback situation.
Kiper does not have the Jets taking a quarterback with the No. 9 overall pick; instead, he has Gang Green addressing its weakness at outside linebacker and drafting Barkevious Mingo. In fact, Kiper does not have a single quarterback being drafted in the first round.
This is good news for the Jets, who would be better served addressing other weaknesses early in the draft but still need to bring in players to compete for the starting quarterback job.
While Kiper's projection clearly indicates a dearth of high-impact talent at the quarterback position, it also means the Jets may be able to get a quarterback that they like in this draft without having to overpay for him.
There are several quality quarterback prospects in this draft that can be found after the first round, including Ryan Nassib from Syracuse and Mike Glennon from North Carolina State.
The last time the Jets had a need at the quarterback position, they desperately sought high-profile solutions, leading to the trades for Brett Favre and Mark Sanchez that helped lead to smaller drafts and a team that lacks in overall depth. New General Manager John Idzik would be wise not to follow the same approach.
It is of course Idzik's Seahawks who have most recently proven that it is possible to find a quarterback in the middle of the draft, with Russell Wilson far exceeding expectations in Seattle this year.
It is unlikely that the Jets will unearth a player of Wilson's caliber, but the way the 2013 draft sets up will enable Gang Green to take a similarly patient approach to finding its next starting quarterback.
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