Reviewing the New York Jets' 8 Biggest Scouting Combine Takeaways
With the NFL combine in the books, one more of the main vehicles for sorting out the NFL draft has passed us by.
Teams still need to explore free agency and work the trade market, and there are plenty of pro days to attend, but the prospects are really starting to sort themselves out.
Incredible athletes on the Jets' radar like Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo and Ziggy Ansah were expected to do well at the combine, and they didn't disappoint.
Jarvis Jones answered medical concerns to the best of his ability and another player had a medical condition discovered in a development that could change the landscape in the top 10.
So what does this all mean for the Jets?
With a number of prospects under consideration by the Jets and needs all over the roster, there were no shortage of storylines to follow during the combine for Jets fans.
Here's a look at eight players who have been linked to the Jets and how their combine performance will play into the Jets' plans.
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Jarvis Jones didn't participate in the combine, but that doesn't mean there weren't any important developments with his draft stock.
While nobody will questions Jones' on-field talents, his spinal stenosis condition has been cause for great alarm. As with anytime reporters start trying to play doctor, there were conflicting reports on whether or not Jones' condition will play a large role in his draft status.
On Saturday, Mike Florio of NBCSports.com claimed that multiple teams were shying away from Jones.
However, Jones later put things in perspective as he painted himself as a healthy and motivated pro prospect. In an interview in The Detroit News, Jones said, "The doctors feel like I am healthy today."
Jones then continued:
I don't have any contusions on it. I didn't have a bunch of MRIs or anything like that. I only had one incident of having a stinger at USC in 2009 and I haven't had any symptoms after that.
I played two years of SEC football. I practiced every day and never had any symptoms. … Everybody saw me, everybody felt me and pulled on me and yanked on me today. They understand where I am at.
From the looks of it, the Jets still have to give Jones serious consideration.
Jones brings up a great point that he has played a lot of football at a very high level since he was first diagnosed with his condition.
Spinal stenosis might cause his career to be shorter than he hopes, but Jones' peak could very well be worth the shortened career if he is dominant immediately.
If Jones gets past the Lions at No. 5, there is a good chance the Jets will have a decision to make on whether they want to roll the dice on Jones.
Dion Jordan had been creeping up the daft boards in recent weeks and had found himself placed squarely around the fringes of the top 10.
He was positioned as a prime target for the Jets at No. 9 as they looked to add the outside pass-rusher they need so bad.
After the combine, the Jets may have to look elsewhere for that edge pass rusher.
Jordan checked in at 6'6", 248, so he stands to add some bulk as he matures. However, he used his somewhat slight frame to display remarkable athleticism in his drills.
Jordan ran a 4.60 40-yard dash (one of the best at his position) and looked tremendously fluid and athletic in everything he did.
The quandary now for the Jets now is figuring out how far did Jordan ascend in the pecking order of top outside linebackers.
Did Jordan do enough for teams in the top eight consider Jordan ahead of Jarvis Jones and Barkevious Mingo?
There is no question now that Jordan has the physical tools to garner a top-10 pick, so the Jets will have to seriously consider him. However, it may be all for naught as Jordan could skyrocket right past the Jets at No. 9.
As with Dion Jordan, nobody would question the athleticism of Barkevious Mingo.
Mingo was expected to do well at the combine, and he didn't disappoint.
The LSU outside linebacker ran a 4.58 in the 40 and was among the tops at his position in the broad jump and vertical jump. His 40-yard time was the fastest among all linebacker prospects.
Mingo has mostly been tabbed as a top-12 pick and did nothing at the combine to cause anyone to think otherwise.
He has always been a part of the picture for the Jets at No. 9, and after this display, he will remain in the conversation for the Jets right up until the draft.
While it's all well and good to put players through the workout wringer at the NFL combine, one of the most important aspects of the combine is the medical exam.
Star Lotulelei may have found out some bad news regarding his football career during these tests, but in the long run, he discovered something that could save his life.
Lotulelei was diagnosed with an under-performing left ventricle, a heart condition that could jeopardize his football career.
The star defensive tackle is going to have to undergo more tests to further evaluate his condition and the possibility of resuming is NFL career.
Even if he is cleared, the condition could certainly scare some teams away from picking the potential top-five player.
Not long ago, Lotulelei was considered to be a player who would be off the board well before the Jets selected at No. 9.
With the latest developments, the Jets could be in a position to nab a player who is in the conversation as the best defensive player in the draft.
Unless Chance Warmack cursed his way through his interviews and ran through his drills backwards, nothing was going to diminish his status as the top guard prospect to come out in years.
Warmack wasn't particularly impressive at the combine and one scout (anonymous, of course) told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Warmack was "not too bright," but none of that is going to matter much.
Warmack will grade out as one of the top prospects in the entire draft and his dominant game film trumps anything he does in shorts and a T-shirt.
While the No. 9 position might still be too high to draft a guard, the Jets have to thoroughly explore Warmack because of their current guard situation.
For those who were hoping for E.J. Manuel to fall to the Jets in the third round, you can cross that off your wish list after this weekend.
Manuel put up the second-fastest 40-yard dash time among quarterbacks (4.65) and was impressive in his passing drills.
Put that together with Most Outstanding Player honors at the Senior Bowl and the general lack of impressive candidates at the position, and that will have Manuel flying up the draft board.
Rex Ryan's affinity for mobile quarterbacks and the general belief that Manuel would come off the board in the middle-to-top of the third round made him a likely target for the Jets.
However, now the question around Manuel would be whether or not the No. 8 selection in Round 2 is too high of a spot to pick Manuel.
The battle to be the best running back in the draft has been a see-saw affair between Eddie Lacy and Giovani Bernard.
It's a battle the Jets must watch closely.
Bernard would be a great fit for the Jets in Marty Mornhinweg's new system, and there is a very good chance he could be available when the Jets pick in the second round.
However, his combine performance (and Eddie Lacy's non-participation) might just have boosted Bernard out of the Jets' range.
Bernard's 4.53 40-yard dash time was the seventh-best overall for running backs and was among the tops for running backs who are considered to be potential full-time backs.
His surgically-repaired knee held up well all season at North Carolina and didn't slow him down in any of the drills at the combine.
Chances are pretty good that either Lacy or Bernard will be available when the Jets pick in Round 2. The day after the BCS title game, it looked like Lacy would be off the board early.
Now, it's looking like Bernard might be the one gone by the Jets' second-round pick.
As expected, Ziggy Ansah absolutely lit it up at the combine on Monday.
The freakish athlete from BYU ran a 4.63 in the 40 and flashed incredible athleticism in everything he did.
At 6'5", 270, the things Ansah can do athletically are just befuddling. He worked his way up the draft boards with a dominant performance during Senior Bowl week and cemented his status as a top-15 possibility with his performance this week.
The question for the Jets now is whether to take the high ceiling, but raw option in Ansah or to take a more polished football player who might not have the same athletic ability.
The Jets and Rex Ryan need someone badly who can step into the outside linebacker spot and make an immediate impact.
That doesn't seem like the description that fits Ansah, but his pure athleticism might just be too tempting to pass up.