Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios for New York Jets' Top 3 Picks
The draft is one of the most important ways to build a successful roster every year, but this offseason's draft seems to be on a whole other level for the New York Jets.
Coming off of an eight-win season, the Jets haven't made any major moves in free agency, outside of signing Eric Decker and Michael Vick.
Therefore, the draft is where New York must look to upgrade the many holes throughout the roster.
With 12 picks, John Idzik and Co. have a lot to work with, but it's yet to be seen whether the front office can make the right moves.
Click through to see the best- and worst-case scenarios for each of the Jets' first three picks in the upcoming draft.
Best-Case Scenarios for 18th Overall Pick
Eric Ebron is one of the most sought-after tight end prospects in recent years, as he projects to be a scary mismatch for every defense at the NFL level.
The North Carolina product would make an immediate impact in New York's offense. He would provide either Geno Smith or Michael Vick with a dangerous target over the middle of the field who could contribute between the 20s and in the red zone.
If Ebron falls to the Jets, which is unlikely, the team would be dumb not to take him.
After cutting Antonio Cromartie and missing out on every one of the starting-caliber cover men available in free agency, the Jets are in desperate need of a cornerback to play opposite Dee Milliner.
Justin Gilbert is, undoubtedly, the top cover man in this year's draft class, as his athleticism and ball skills are unparalleled by every other cornerback prospect.
Gilbert also projects to be a dangerous kick returner at the next level.
The Oklahoma State product will be one of the most desired defensive players in this year's draft, so the chances he falls to the Jets are low.
But if he does, John Idzik and Co. need to pull the trigger on him.
Worst-Case Scenarios for 18th Overall Pick
Bradley Roby is a talented player with terrific speed and top-notch toughness, but he has too many question marks for the Jets to reach on him with the 18th overall pick.
Roby lacks ideal size (5'11'', 194 pounds), and he can often struggle locating the ball in man-to-man coverage.
Additionally, the Ohio State product has dealt with a series of injuries in recent years.
The Jets need a cornerback, but they'd be smarter to wait on one in the second or third round, instead of forcing the issue with Roby, who is just an early second-round pick in my mind.
Verrett is very similar to Roby, as he's a speedy player with sound toughness who lacks ideal size.
Verrett is even smaller than Roby (5'10'', 189 pounds), and while he's stronger in man-to-man coverage, he can often make mental errors that result in big plays and penalties.
The TCU product has also had issues with his health, especially in 2013.
Verrett would be a terrific option in the early second round, but he would be an insane reach in the mid-second round.
Best-Case Scenarios for 49th Overall Pick
The Jets have been very interested in Jace Amaro for awhile now, and rightly so, as Amaro is one of the most talented tight end prospects in this year's draft class.
Amaro is coming off of one of the best receiving seasons for a tight end in NCAA history.
In 2013, he recorded an incredible 106 catches, 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns.
And while Amaro will probably never put up those stats at the NFL-level, he projects as a Pro Bowl-caliber player in the NFL.
The Texas Tech product possesses tremendous size, above-average athleticism, great hands and smooth route-running ability.
If the Jets miss out on Ebron in the first round, Amaro would be a phenomenal consolation prize in the second.
If New York opts not to take a wide receiver in the first round, Jordan Matthews would be the ideal second-round selection.
Matthews was one of the most productive wideouts in Vanderbilt's history, as he recorded a combined 208 receptions, 2,800 yards and 15 touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons.
And while Matthews lacks the elite speed to create separation, he's a reliable route-runner with great hands and surprising strength.
The Alabama native would serve as a terrific No. 2 receiver opposite Eric Decker on the outside, and there's no reason he shouldn't make an immediate impact in New York's offense.
Worst-Case Scenarios for 49th Overall Pick
I think Stanley Jean-Baptiste would be a terrific find at the right price (more on that in the next slide), but he'd be a huge gamble and a reach in the second round.
Jean-Baptiste lacks the necessary physicality to compete with outside receivers at the NFL level. His tackling ability and straight-line speed are also below the usual standards of a starting NFL cornerback.
The Nebraska product has his positives, but there is too much talent in this year's class to take him in the mid-second round.
Bashaud Breeland boasts terrific size and does a great job competing with opposing receivers. So why would selecting him be the worst-case scenario for the Jets?
Because Breeland has one huge flaw that's tough to overlook: He's slow.
The Clemson product doesn't possess the speed to contain NFL receivers.
At the next level, Breeland could be at the butt end of numerous big plays.
The South Carolina product simply does not possess the physical tools to be a successful starting cornerback in the NFL.
Best-Case Scenarios for 80th Overall Pick
Although Jean-Baptiste would be a horrid reach in the second round, he'd be a terrific selection 32 picks later.
Despite possessing all of the negatives previously mentioned, Jean-Baptiste has the size, ball skills and athleticism to develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback down the line.
The Florida native might struggle in his first few seasons, but, with the right training, his upside is extraordinary.
In the third round, John Idzik and Co. couldn't do much better than Jean-Baptiste.
Landry's draft stock plummeted after a horrendous showing at the combine.
That could make him a steal in the third round.
Landry's straight-line speed is subpar, but he possesses top-notch strength, hands and toughness.
The LSU product is also a great route-runner and a tremendous run-blocker.
Landry makes up for his physical deficiencies with heart. The Jets offense could use that type of player.
Worst-Case Scenarios for 80th Overall Pick
The Jets' draft could be undone if the team decides to force the issue at certain positional needs.
John Idzik and Co. would be making a major mistake if they decide to draft more for need than talent.
Dion Bailey is a serviceable player with great speed, durability and instincts.
However, the former USC safety lacks the size and tackling ability to cover tight ends and big slot receivers.
Bailey would be a nice add in the fourth round, but there's no reason New York should reach for him this early.
Archer's amazing showing at the combine sent his draft stock soaring. It wouldn't be a surprise to see a team take him early on Day 2.
However, the Jets shouldn't be that team.
Despite Archer's unworldly speed and athleticism, his limited size and strength make him a tweener without a true position in the NFL.
Archer could easily become one of the most explosive players in the NFL. He could just as easily flame out of the league in a couple of seasons.
The risk is too high this early.
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