Jets 2013 Mock Draft: Full 7-Round Predictions After First Week of Free Agency
Although we just put out a mock draft on Friday, some free agent moves by the New York Jets (as minor as they may be) have changed the complexion of their draft.
After spending the first day of free agency watching multiple starters walk, the Jets signed running back Mike Goodson, guard Willie Colon and defensive tackle Antonio Garay.
While none of those players projects to be any kind of superstar, their signings could signal a shift in priorities when the Jets hand their cards to Roger Goodell the fourth week in April.
So here's a look at a slightly amended seven-round mock draft after the implications of free agency.
Round One: Jarvis Jones (LB Georgia)
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Even though there have been rumors connecting the Jets to free-agent linebackers Victor Butler and Antwan Barnes, they haven't pulled the trigger on signing any linebackers, so the position remains a need.
Jarvis Jones recently gained a clear bill of health from Dr. Craig Brigham in which the respected doctor said he will be able to play "without restriction."
That being said, teams still may be reluctant to draft Jones in the top five, causing the fearsome pass rusher to start sliding.
If he lands in the Jets laps at No. 9, his upside and the immediate impact he can make is worth the risk in drafting him.
Round Two: Larry Warford (OG Kentucky)
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Previously we have slated the Jets to draft North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard in this slot with an eye on Eddie Lacy in case he fell.
However, after signing Mike Goodson in free agency, the Jets shouldn't consider a running back here.
Thee reason the Jets should stay away from trying to find a franchise running back here is because with Bilal Powell and Goodson already on the roster, any running back taken in this draft will start the season as a rotational back at best.
With so many holes on the roster, the Jets can't afford to take a running back in the second round who might just get a handful of touches per game.
Even though the Jets signed Willie Colon, they should look to add Larry Warford, arguably the No. 3 guard in the draft, if he is still available here.
With Warford on the team the Jets would have three guards to choose from: Warford, Colon and Vladimir Ducasse. With Colon's history of injuries and Ducasse's general awfulness, the Jets would do well to have a promising young player at the position.
Round Three: E.J. Manuel (QB Florida State)
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Mike Garafolo of USA Today claimed to have inside information during the week that the Jets were the likely landing spot for the recently-released Kevin Kolb. However, as of this mock draft Kolb was still unsigned, leaving the Jets in the market for one more quarterback.
Unless they sign Kolb (or another quarterback) I still firmly believe Rex Ryan will push for E.J. Manuel in the third round if he is still available.
Ryan clearly wants a mobile quarterback on his team to use as a weapon, and right now his best option for that is Jeremy Kerley (even with Tim Tebow inexplicably still on the team).
Whether or not Manuel can make the adjustment to the NFL remains to be seen, but his physical skills might be too good to pass up for Ryan and general manager John Idzik in round three.
Round Four: Jordan Reed (TE Florida)
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With Dustin Keller officially a Miami Dolphin, the Jets are very much in the market for a tight end.
There are a number of good tight end options in the middle rounds of the draft, but players like Dion Sims and Nick Kasa are better suited as blockers instead of pass catchers.
If the Jets are looking to replace Keller as a pass-catching threat at the position, Jordan Reed is their best mid-round option.
Reed's style of play has drawn comparisons to Aaron Hernandez and is also quite similar to Keller's. If Reed picks up Marty Mornhinweg's system quickly, he could match Keller's production immediately at a fraction of the price.
Round Five: Marcus Lattimore (RB South Carolina)
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As we said in a previous slide, with Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson on the roster, the Jets look like they will go with a rotation at running back in 2013.
However, with Powell unproven and Goodson prone to fumbles, the Jets would be smart to add a running back to the mix in the middle rounds of the draft.
Enter Marcus Lattimore.
Lattimore is a huge medical risk after two major knee injuries, but if he is able to work his way back, his upside is huge.
With Powell and Goodson in the mix, there would be no rush to burden Lattimore with becoming a full-time back as a rookie. He wouldn't have to rush his rehab, could take his time learning the system and ease his way back into a full-time role.
Although it was a different injury, the Jets' medical staff has to be given credit for the way they helped LaRon Landry return from his previous injury. They could take the same path with Lattimore.
Even if it takes two years to get Lattimore back to full strength, that's perfectly fine. With Powell under contract for this year and Goodson signed for three seasons, that timetable could work perfect in getting Lattimore up to speed.
Round Six: Kwame Geathers (DT Georgia)
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Although the Jets signed veteran free agent defensive tackle Antonio Garay and have Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison on the roster, they could look at add another defensive lineman to the mix.
As the Jets try to replace Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito, keep in mind that Garay is 33 years old, Ellis has just 16 solo tackles in two seasons and Harrison has played just five games in his career.
Geathers needs work for sure, but his massive size (6'5", 342) could be too tempting to pass up in the late rounds. Geathers is quick for a man of that size, but sometimes can get pushed around because of poor fundamentals with his pad level.
However, with Rex Ryan and Karl Dunbar working with him, Geathers could develop into a nice find in the late rounds.
Round Seven: Johnny Adams (CB Michigan State)
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Nothing the Jets have done in free agency, or in this hypothetical mock draft, has deterred the thinking that Johnny Adams would be a good target in the seventh round.
The physical cornerback is the perfect candidate to contribute on special teams as he finds his way into the rotation at corner.
He probably doesn't have the talent to supplant Kyle Wilson or even Ellis Lankster, but he could easily take the place of Darrin Walls or Aaron Berry, each of whom remain on the roster.