Reassessing the Jets' Offseason Plan and Breaking Down What's Left to Address
The New York Jets headed into this offseason with one primary objective: to make a team that won a surprising eight games last year a legitimate postseason contender.
The Jets entered the offseason with a boatload of holes throughout the roster, and with staggering cap space available, the team was able to address most of these concerns.
John Idzik and Co. enhanced a previously-abysmal receiving corps with the addition of Eric Decker and, to a lesser extent, Jacoby Ford while bringing in former Pro Bowler Michael Vick to compete with Geno Smith at quarterback.
The team also fixed several holes by re-signing players who were productive last year (Calvin Pace, Willie Colon and Jeff Cumberland).
However, New York is nowhere near completing its offseason plan.
Gang Green still has needs throughout the roster that the front office needs to address in order for the Jets to improve upon their eight-win season.
Click through to see the five things New York still has to do to emerge as a legitimate playoff contender next season.
Continue to Improve the Receiving Corps
New York's receiving corps is already vastly improved from 2013, but the team still needs to add one or two more targets in order to develop a dangerous passing attack.
Decker and Ford should both be contributors next season, but both players have major question marks.
While Eric Decker is a terrific receiver with great size and hands, there are still questions about how he will adapt to catching balls from someone other than Peyton Manning.
As for Jacoby Ford, he has yet to translate his explosiveness into production at the NFL level.
The Jets would be smart to target a wideout in the draft, which is shaping up as one of the most receiver-rich in recent memory.
According to NFL.com, New York is very interested in several of the draft's most talented receiving threats, including Kelvin Benjamin, Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Mike Evans, Eric Ebron and Marqise Lee.
Gang Green would be smart to take one of the aforementioned wideouts in the first round of the draft, as any one of them could form a dangerous one-two tandem with Eric Decker on the outside.
Fill the Glaring Need at Cornerback
The Jets swung and missed on basically every starting-caliber cornerback on the open market this offseason.
New York's inability to sign a major free agent leaves the team without a starting corner opposite second-year man Dee Milliner.
That means John Idzik and Co. need to sign an NFL-ready cover man in the early rounds of the draft.
The draft is full of solid cornerback talents, including Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard, Kyle Fuller and Bradley Roby.
The Jets reportedly have a lot of interest in Roby, and Gil Brandt of NFL.com confirmed that the Ohio State product has a meeting scheduled with Gang Green.
Another intriguing option is Nebraska product Stanley Jean-Baptiste. A projected third-round pick according to CBSSports.com, he is a tall, lean player with terrific ball skills.
Add Young Depth at Outside Linebacker and Safety
Depth is one of the most important factors in creating a successful NFL roster.
Unfortunately for New York, it lacks depth at a number of key positions—most importantly outside linebacker and safety.
The Jets have decent starting options at both positions, but Gang Green needs insurance policies just in case injuries or ineffectiveness strike.
Those concerns are legitimate for New York's starters, as Calvin Pace and Dawan Landry are both over 30 and Quinton Coples and Antonio Allen have both had their share of medical issues and on-field struggles.
The Jets would be smart to address these needs in the middle rounds of the draft, where they hold multiple picks.
New York currently has 12 selections, including three in the fourth round.
Intriguing prospects such as Adrian Hubbard, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Daniel Sorensen are projected to be available by CBSSports.com on the second day of the draft.
Acquire a Home Run Hitter in the Backfield
The Jets' backfield really came into form late last season, as Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell combined to carry New York's offense on a weekly basis.
While both players are efficient, talented backs, they lack breakaway speed and above-average elusiveness.
Without a speedy runner in the backfield, Gang Green's offense will lack the big-play threat it so desperately needs.
Enter Chris Johnson, one of the most electrifying backs in NFL history.
Johnson, who was cut by the Tennessee Titans last week due to his staggering cap charge, has had his production dip in recent seasons, but he's still one of the most dangerous offensive threats in football.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets have a lot of interest in Johnson.
New York's interest makes sense, as Johnson's breakaway speed would be a perfect complement to the ferocious running style of Chris Ivory.
If the Jets can get CJ2K at the right price, they would be dumb not to pull the trigger.
Determine Who Will Be the Starting Quarterback in 2014
The Jets added Michael Vick.
Now they need to address the most important question of the offseason.
Will Vick or Geno Smith start in 2014?
New York's offseason plan won't be fully complete until it officially names who will be under center next season.
My guess for weeks has been that Vick will get the call. Why else would John Idzik and Co. sign a 33-year-old with the reputation of dipping in and out of greatness to a one-year contract?
However, it's impossible to know for sure until Rex Ryan walks onto the podium and announces his 2014 starter.
Until then, Gang Green's offseason plan won't be anywhere close to being over.