New York Jets Mock Draft: Post-Free Agency Predictions for Every Round
New general manager John Idzik has opted to take a conservative rebuilding approach to a team seemingly looking toward 2014.
The team's new-look roster is comprised of low-budget, has-been veterans simply vying for playing time and an overwhelming contingency of players with bad contracts, like David Harris and Mark Sanchez.
The Jets have remained stagnant throughout free agency and don't appear adamant about making a big money splash. The goal isn't to win free agency. Instead, the objective is to build for the future.
New York needs to fill several voids on its depth chart before training camp hits town this summer. The team's most prominent needs, excluding quarterback, are at outside linebacker, nose tackle and safety.
The following slideshow is a seven-round post-free agency mock draft that illustrates the Jets' areas of need:
7. Jake Stoneburner (TE)
Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner is an athletic receiving target that possesses a strong combination of size and speed.
He's the type of player the Jets need on offense, given the departure of Dustin Keller, who was arguably the team's best receiving target.
Stoneburner was impressive at his pro day, where he recorded 40 times of 4.53 and 4.56.
He's a premier target in the end zone, reeling in 13 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter at the collegiate level.
He pulled down 16 catches for 269 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season, averaging 16.8 yards per reception. Stoneburner has the ability to stretch the field and make plays across his body. He has long arms and excellent ball control.
Stoneburner is charted at 6'4'' and 249 pounds. He's a swift route-runner, demonstrating above average footwork for his position, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com.
He's a versatile player that would aptly fit Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast offense and should be available on the third day of the draft.
6. Johnny Adams (CB)
Michigan State cornerback Johnny Adams is an aggressive defender that excels in tight coverage. He blankets receivers, forcing quarterbacks to pinpoint throws in small windows.
Adams recorded 35 combined tackles, seven deflected passes, three interceptions and a sack in his senior season.
He clocked a 40 time of 4.43 at the annual scouting combine, demonstrating above average speed for his position.
His physical style of play should make him enticing from a draft standpoint for the Jets. The team could potentially lose star cornerback Darrelle Revis via trade, which would create a need for depth considering that Isaiah Trufant and Aaron Berry are next in line behind Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson.
Adams is ultimately a potential fit in Ryan's defense because of the value he supplies in run support. He has solid ball awareness and reacts well in play action.
He's considered to be undersized at 5'10'' and 185 pounds, but he is efficient in leveraging every ounce of body mass to pummel ball-carriers.
5. Hugh Thornton (OG)
Illinois offensive guard Hugh Thornton is a natural run-blocker that sustains an appropriate combination of size and strength at 6'3'' and 322 pounds. His footwork is above average for his position, enabling him to pivot off the edge and maintain his block.
Thornton is an agile player, but is also explosive from the point, demonstrated from his ability to grapple defenders in the front. His determination is incomparable, proven through life experience.
Thornton was forced to overcome physical abuse from his father as a child before then having to cope with the murders of his mother and sister. He's a battle-tested individual that demonstrates personal growth on the football field.
He uses his size to gain leverage against defenders, according to Derek Stephens of CBS Sports. He's a powerful lineman that finishes his blocks, utilizing his upper-body strength to punish his opponent.
The Jets need to acquire at least one additional offensive guard before training camp. Vladimir Ducasse isn't talented enough to start and newly acquired Willie Colon is an injury-laden veteran that hasn't played a full season since 2009.
Thornton would inject youth and aggression into an offensive front crippled by free agency. He's a hard-nosed lineman that is capable of supplying additional pass protection and run support, and he would be a solid selection in the fifth round.
4. Josh Evans (FS)
Florida free safety Josh Evans is a physical defensive back and an effective open-field tackler. His read-coverage awareness allows him to see the entire field, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com.
Evans tacked up 81 combined tackles, three interceptions and two-and-a-half sacks in his senior season. He's a hardcore competitor, demonstrated from aggressive style of play. He attacks the ball in stride, ripping ball-carriers in attempt to force turnovers.
At 6'1'' and 207 pounds, Evans is considered too lean to be a difference-maker at his position. Still, he's a tremendous athlete that sustains the intangibles necessary to thrive at the next level.
The Jets are desperate for help at safety. Second-year players Antonio Allen and Josh Bush are chalked as starters on the current depth chart. Pro Bowl safety LaRon Landry fled for Indianapolis while veteran stud Yeremiah Bell inked a deal in Arizona.
Josh Evans has the potential to make an immediate impact in his rookie season and would help solidify the Jets' deteriorating defensive back field.
3. Quinton Patton (WR)
Louisiana Tech wide receiver Quinton Patton is a big-play threat that has the ability to ignite the Jets' stagnant offense. He's an effective route-runner that utilizes extensive arm length and swift agility to reel in tough catches.
Patton pulled down 104 catches for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior season.
He seldom beats his man solely because of speed, but is quick off the snap, enabling him to gain an edge on defenders down field. He clocked a 40 time of 4.48 at the annual scouting combine, flashing some degree of speed burst ability.
Patton has average size at 6'0'' and 204 pounds, but compensates leaping ability for height. He recorded a 33'' vertical jump at the combine to rank among the top performers and boost his draft stock.
The Jets aren't desperate for depth at wide receiver, but they're in dire need of a playmaker and Patton has the potential to fill that void. He'd appropriately fit Mornhinweg's West Coast offense because of his sleek ability to turn short passing routes into big gains.
Patton would be an ideal selection for the Jets at the top of the third round.
2. Jesse Williams (NT)
Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams is a brute force in the trenches and an anchor on the D-front.
He's the type of player the Jets need at nose tackle, a position he adopted at the start of the 2012 season before earning All-SEC honors.
Williams checks in at 6'4'' and 323 pounds. He can bench press 600 pounds, a feat that will translate well on the football field at the next level.
He's capable of occupying more than one opponent in the middle of the field to create pass-rushing lanes for his teammates. Williams is comparable to Vince Wilfork, according to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, because of his strength and technique.
Williams is arguably the most powerful player in this season's draft. He's a top-tier talent capable of devastating should-be blockers.
The Jets created a massive void on the defensive front when they opted to release veteran nose tackle Sione Pouha. Third-year player Kenrick Ellis has been slow to develop whereas newly acquired Antonio Garay is a reclamation project, and isn't guaranteed to start.
The Jets would be hard-pressed to pass on Williams if he drops to the second round.
1. Dion Jordan (OLB)
The general consensus that the Jets will draft a pass-rusher with the ninth overall pick remains static across various mock drafts, including this one.
Oregon Ducks defensive end Dion Jordan succinctly fits Ryan's 3-4 base.
There is mild concern surrounding Jordan's draft status because of a lingering shoulder injury that hampered his game play in 2012, but he's a top-10 talent ready to become an immediate impact player in the NFL.
Jordan is an athletic pass-rusher that sustains natural explosiveness off the edge. He racked up 44 combined tackles and five sacks in his final collegiate season.
He's a raw talent that has the potential to develop into a devastating strong-side linebacker in the 3-4 defense.
Jordan is listed at 6'6'' and just 248 pounds, but has room to grow.
The Jets need to revamp a depleted corps of linebackers that features just one starter from the team that reached consecutive AFC title games.
New GM Idzik and crew would be sure of it.