Before examining the career expectations of the Jets' 2013 draft class, let's look at how the draft compared with the experts' predictions.
Here's what the Jets' draft accomplished:
- The Jets added two probable defensive starters in cornerback Dee Milliner and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
- Geno Smith joined the 2013 competition for the starting quarterback job.
- Guards Brian Winters and William Campbell, as well as tackle Oday Aboushi, will vie for spots on the offensive line. Winters is the leading candidate for a starting role.
- Fullback Tommy Bohanon will compete with Lex Hilliard for that position.
In addition, the Jets traded their fourth-round pick to New Orleans for running back Chris Ivory.
What do the Jets think they accomplished?
- They bolstered the offensive line and backfield. Whoever plays quarterback will benefit from a bolstered offensive line, a new running threat in Ivory and a new receiver out of the backfield in Tommy Bohanon.
- They found a younger and more economical replacement for Darrelle Revis. Dee Milliner may not be everything Revis was, but he has the tools to be outstanding in his own right.
- They improved their interior pass rush. Sheldon Richardson should combine with Antonio Garay to improve quarterback pressure up the middle and complement ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples.
- They added a potential starting quarterback. Mark Sanchez's hopes for self-redemption in New York met another obstacle in the person of Geno Smith.
Here's what they failed to do:
- They didn't add an outside pass-rusher. Most experts predicted the Jets would pick an outside linebacker in the first round. They didn't even though Jarvis Jones was available. Outside pressure will have to come from Antwan Barnes.
- They didn't draft a safety. It looks like either Antonio Allen or Josh Bush will start opposite Dawan Landry.
- They didn't draft a wide receiver. It wasn't necessary to draft a quarterback in 2013. The Jets could have used that pick to select a wide receiver like USC's Robert Woods.
- They didn't draft a tight end. That's not completely accurate. Granted, they could have used their second-round pick to take San Diego State's Gavin Escobar. What they did instead was pick Tommy Bohanon in the seventh round. He's listed as a fullback but played tight end as well. He may get work in both positions.
However, the Jets' collection of undrafted free agents includes players who address these needs. The team's announcement notes that Chris Ivory was once an undrafted free agent himself,
On paper, the Jets' 2013 draft class will improve the team.
However, the rush to draft a quarterback cost the team a chance at a wide receiver or tight end in the second round. In addition, the Chris Ivory trade, while potentially improving the backfield, may have cost opportunities to address areas of greater need. The Bills took free safety Duke Williams immediately after the pick the Jets traded to get Ivory.
The Jets weren't going to address all their needs with one draft, unless they obtained more picks. Maybe that's why they hung on to Tim Tebow for so long, releasing him once there was no chance of getting even a seventh-round pick in trade.
That's enough lamenting what might have been. It's time to look at who the Jets took and how they might help the team.