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The New York Jets have 12 picks this year, are desperate for a top receiver and general manager John Idzik appears to be pretty content to sit back this offseason and add players in the draft.
Whether Geno Smith or Michael Vick win the starting job, the truth is Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill aren’t enough.
Sure it’s a deep class at receiver, but the top—which is just Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans—are really a world apart.
The Jets were at Johnny Manziel’s pro day, and while you could argue that they are doing due diligence in case Manziel drops, isn’t it just as likely they were taking a close look at Evans?
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In order to get Watkins or Evans, the Jets have to move into the top ten. For Watkins, they would probably have to move to the top five, or maybe even three.
The Jets are at No. 18—so what would it cost to move from 18 to somewhere between picks No. 3 and 10?
The third pick in the draft costs 2,200 points, while the 10th runs at 1,300. The Jets pick is worth 900 points. The jump from No. 18 to No. 3 would cost 1,300 points, while the leap to No. 10 would be just 400.
Two recent moves up are worth examining when thinking of cost.
First, Washington moved from No. 6 to No. 2 in order to draft Robert Griffin III in 2012. I’ve always thought they overpaid—if you can say such a thing when quarterback is so important—and based on the value chart, their three firsts and a second kind of back that assessment.
That said, it was a shorter jump and in the same ballpark of where the Jets almost have to go if they want Watkins.
Our other test-case happened back in 2011, when the Atlanta Falcons moved all the way to No. 6 from No. 27. That’s a much bolder leap than the Jets jumping up for Watkins or, more likely, Evans. Of course it cost Atlanta more than the Jets trade would, but it gives us another baseline for that.
In that trade, the Falcons gave away more picks (five) than Washington did but one less first-round pick overall, replaced by an extra fourth-round pick in 2011.
While Watkins is the better all-around receiver, Evans is very, very good. If the Jets wanted to make a move, I’d hazard a guess they shoot for Evans, somewhere around picks 8 through 10.
In which case, we could assume it costing them something like this year’s first-round pick (again, a value of 900 points), their second (400) and perhaps one or two of their fourth-round picks. Or, alternatively, their first, their third (180) and one or two of those fourth-rounders.
Either way, it actually makes sense because they get a game-changer at receiver and can still grab talent in the mid rounds of the draft.
They can also be hard in negotiation because they can easily sit at No. 18 and grab the best defensive back or a receiver like Brandin Cooks or tight end Eric Ebron. So Idzik need not overpay.
The other team they trade with would, of course, gain some very good picks, and in a draft as deep as this one, still get a great value at No. 18.
I could see the Falcons, Buccaneers, Vikings or Bills all being potential trade partners. The Falcons can pick up some solid defensive help at No. 18, while Vikings could select a quarterback there as well. Both the Bills and Bucs could grab defense or a solid wide receiver there as well.