Jets Wheel and Deal: Go With Quality Over Quantity

Matthew CohenCorrespondent IApril 27, 2008

I thought the Jets had a tremendous draft this year.  At first I was disappointed Darren McFadden didn't fall to us, it's like missing out on Reggie Bush all over again.  But then you look at what they were able to do getting Vernon Gholston, an pass-rushing nightmare, in the mold of a Shawn Merriman, how can you really be mad?  He's a little bit raw, and sometimes appeared to take plays and games off, but I think he can really be a force teamed up with Calvin Pace.

Dustin Keller is a TE that has a lot of speed for the position.  He isn't that great of a run blocker, but his big play ability and his ability to separate makes him a tough matchup for CB's and LB's trying to cover him.  Look for him and Chris Baker to be a good tandem, along with Bubba Franks in run situations.

4th round pick Dwight Lowery is a decent sized CB that is a playmaker.  His lack of strength though will limit him to being a nickel or dime DB.

QB Erik Ainge is an interesting pick in the 5th round.  After a run on quarterbacks earlier in the round, the Jets took him and hope he can compete with Kellen Clemens.  Ainge can play, he's a good game manager, doesn't have a terrific arm or mobility, but aren't we used to that watching Chad Pennington?  Look for Ainge to give Clemens a run for his money and possibly win the backup job.  He played without much help in terms of quality players, but held his own and put up impressive numbers in the tough SEC.

The 6th and 7th round selections,  WR Marcus Henry and OT Nate Garner respectively, both have the physical tools to be solid prospects at the next level.  However, both are a bit inconsistent. 

Henry is a good-sized receiver that runs smooth routes and isn't afraid to go across the middle.  However, he dropped some easy passes and lacks some upper body strength.  Garner is a big physical OT that is big enough to hold off rushers.  However he's a lot better run blocker than pass blocker.

Overall the Jets upgraded their team by getting one of the best speed rushers in the draft in Gholston.  They also got a solid TE with speed in Keller who will be a handful for opposing defenders.  Ainge is a very solid pick in round 5, and has the potential to be a good game manager in the NFL.  They filled needs while adding depth to their receiving core and defensive backfield.  

Overall Grade:  B