New York Jets 2013 Draft: Aggregating Report Card Grades from Around the Web
Fans and experts alike have weighed in on the Jets' draft, and the difference in opinions is astounding.
Some believe that Gang Green have improved significantly and are moving closer to contention, while others think that John Idzik and company have added to the franchise's dysfunction.
Here are draft grades for the Jets from leading NFL experts from around the web.
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
Kiper's Grade: B
Once you can divorce yourself from the reality of what Geno Smith is headed into, you take a step back and realize the Jets just took the guy I think is the best quarterback in the draft, and they did it at No. 39 overall. We're grading a draft, not the QB situation they have. The Jets really needed a corner now that Darrelle Revis is in Tampa, and they got the best one in the draft at No. 9. I wanted them to get a pass-rusher, but they might have done it in another way. With Sheldon Richardson, I expect them to do some new things up front, potentially shifting Quinton Coples to the edge. This is the makings of an extremely good defense up front, and Rex Ryan is a master at creating pressure with whatever he has. Brian Winters is a starter at guard, and Oday Aboushi could play either right tackle or guard. Tommy Bohanan (T-Bo!) should stick. I wanted the Jets to get a safety, but I still think they deserve a pretty good grade for hitting a few big needs. Now, they need to be patient with Smith.
Kiper provides solid analysis on the Jets' draft. His concern over the situation Geno Smith is being placed into is legitimate, as New York currently has six quarterbacks on the roster, including Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. However, Kiper realizes that the Jets got fantastic value in the second round with Smith, who was largely believed to be the top signal-caller in the draft.
Kiper also supports the first-round selections of Sheldon Richardson and Dee Milliner, as he believes they can contribute from the get-go, and he also likes many of New York's late-round selections.
However, Kiper is warranted in his questions about why the Jets didn't go for a safety. With Dawan Landry and Josh Bush currently manning the two starting safety positions, New York's secondary is a weak area.
Altogether, Kiper approves of many of New York's selections and gives them a solid B grade.
Rob Rang, CBS Sports
Rang's Grade: B
Rob Rang's analysis is much shorter than Kiper's, but they agree on many of the same points:
If the Jets had just drafted quarterback Geno Smith at No. 9 overall rather than waiting until No. 39, a lot of people might be celebrating their haul. Instead, the perception is that they reached to fill needs, which I don't believe is fair. Ultimately, the Jets filled the hole left by the trade of Darrelle Revis to the Bucs with the best and most physical cornerback in the draft with Dee Milliner and added to an already stout defensive line with Sheldon Richardson four picks later. Smith, of course, is the key to this draft and has the talent to be successful. It will be up to him to prove his critics wrong. I love the physicality and toughness of the two offensive linemen added later, Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi.
Rang believes the criticism of the Jets' draft is unwarranted, as he believes they added solid players at good value in both the early and late rounds.
Like Kiper, Rang is incredibly high on first-round picks Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson, as well as offensive linemen Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi.
However, Rang is less optimistic on Smith than Kiper, as he questions his ability to transition to the NFL game. Rang's fairly pessimistic outlook is justified, as Smith struggles with poor accuracy and leadership ability at times.
Overall, Rang sees the Jets' draft similarly to Kiper: an above-average class worthy of praise.
Evan Silva, Yahoo! Sports
Silva's Grade: C+
Evan Silva gives the Jets a tough grade and provides this analysis:
The fact that the Jets surrendered Hall of Fame talent Darrelle Revis for the 13th pick (and a 2014 third-rounder) is factored into their grade. GM John Idzik was still savvy enough to pull off a productive trade of his own, sending pick No. 106 to the Saints for new feature back Chris Ivory. Rather than adhere to a position-specific strategy, Idzik made selections working straight down his board. Milliner and Richardson upgrade the pass defense. Smith was the Jets' No. 1-rated quarterback and figures to start over David Garrard as a rookie. (Mark Sanchez will be released.) Winters is a highly impressive prospect and probable Week 1 starter at right guard. Aboushi, Campbell, and Bohanon may amount to mid- to late-round throwaways, but the Jets got better in this draft with five starting-caliber talents, including Ivory. Revis' loss still keeps their grade in check.
Silva's grade may seem low, but he gives many teams much lower scores than the Jets.
Silva is a fan of the Jets' first three selections and the addition of hard-nosed running back Chris Ivory, but he views New York's late-round picks less optimistically than either Rang or Kiper.
Silva is the first analyst to address the addition of Ivory, and rightly so, as Ivory has the ability to be an impact player on the Jets offense.
Altogether, Silva's grade is a bit low, but he still grades the Jets out as above-average.
Ty Schalter, Bleacher Report
Schalter's Grade: A-
Ty Schalter is more positive on the Jets' draft than any previous expert, and he provides this analysis:
The New York Jets finally traded Darrelle Revis. With one of their resultant two first-rounders, they got a big, physical, athletic cornerback who will spend his career unsuccessfully trying to paddle away from the legend of Revis Island. Dee Milliner should be a great player for the Jets even if he can't match Revis' all-world ability. He was also a great value, as many pegged him as a top-five prospect. Sheldon Richardson was taken right where he belonged, and he belonged in Jets green and white. That Geno Smith was still there for them with the 39th overall selection was a huge shock; that they took him was a huge relief. The Jets needed an answer at the quarterback position more than anything else this offseason. While the franchise still propped up Mark Sanchez as the quarterback, the team could not move forward.
Schalter only mentions the Jets' first three selections, but he is extremely positive on each early-round prospect.
Schalter is correct in saying Milliner will never be able to live up to Darrelle Revis, but he will be a star player for years to come.
He also loves the selection of Geno Smith and, unlike Rob Rang and Mel Kiper Jr., thinks Smith can adjust accordingly to the Jets and the NFL.
In all, Schalter believes the Jets' draft will improve the team significantly and move them out of dysfunction.
My Grade: B+
I see the Jets' draft somewhere in between Kiper and Schalter.
I believe New York got terrific value for Dee Milliner, and he should be a solid player in Rex Ryan's defense from the get-go.
However, unlike the other analysts, I think that drafting Sheldon Richardson was a big mistake. Star Lotulelei and Sharrif Floyd were both still on the board, and both possess more complete games than Richardson.
I love the selection of Geno Smith in the second round, though, as New York got terrific value for the draft's best quarterback. While Smith has weaknesses he needs to mend, he provides the Jets with stability at the most important position on the field.
Brian Winters was a solid third-round pick who is capable of starting at guard in his first season, and Oday Aboushi could definitely take the pressure off Austin Howard at right tackle.
I also love the trade to get Chris Ivory from the Saints. Ivory provides the Jets with a powerful and ferocious runner, and he should form a solid running combination with Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson.
The biggest downside of New York's draft was the franchise's inability to draft a safety or outside linebacker, two of the team's biggest needs.
However, the Jets still had a solid draft class, and they should be an improved team next season as a result.