5 Creative Moves the New York Jets Can Pull on Draft Day
Draft day never goes how it is planned out on mock drafts. With months (and this year an extra two weeks) to devise strategies, general managers will look under every rock for a means to acquire the players they covet in the draft.
New York Jets GM John Idzik has proven that he is not afraid to think outside the box to acquire players, whether it be through trading a star player (Darrelle Revis) or acquiring overlooked talent from other rosters (Chris Ivory). With a dozen picks at their disposal, Idzik and the Jets have as much flexibility as any team in the NFL.
At the same time, because of their abundance of needs, the Jets will need to get creative to acquire the specific players they need to fill their roster.
Here are some creative moves the Jets can make to get the most out of this year's draft.
Trade for Denarius Moore
With 12 draft picks, the Jets have a chance to load up on a ton of young talent they can use to build for the future.
However, there is a downside to bringing in such a large rookie class. While young teams are generally cheaper and have more room for internal improvement than older teams, a lot of inexperience is often a liability in the short term.
Therefore, the Jets would be wise to use one of their many picks to trade for a veteran, even if that player's upside is not as enticing as a rookie.
Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders have been rumored to be shopping receiver Denarius Moore. While injuries and poor quarterback play have grounded his stats, he is a talented player with great potential if he can stay healthy and get paired with a respectable quarterback.
With his speed, Moore would be an ideal deep threat at the "X" position, with Eric Decker taking care of the "Z" responsibilities.
Because of the depth of this draft, the Jets would be able to get Moore for relatively cheap—likely less than what they paid for Chris Ivory a year ago (a fourth-round pick).
While the Jets would be forgoing a selection of a younger player to acquire Moore, their volume of picks would give them the flexibility to make such a trade for a more established player.
Trade Kyle Wilson
With their massive need for a No. 1 corner, it seems counterproductive for the Jets to trade away one of the few veteran corners on their roster.
But in taking a closer look at the situation, parting ways with Kyle Wilson makes as much sense as keeping him.
Set to hit the open market next season, Wilson is coming off the best season of his career—one in which he was arguably the best slot cornerback in the NFL. The Jets secondary had its share of issues, but Wilson was not one of them.
Why would New York want to part ways with a player coming off such a strong year? For one, his value is only going to plummet from this point on as he inches closer to free agency. With Dimitri Patterson now in the fold, the Jets have a proven veteran slot corner who can replace him.
However, because of their massive need for an outside cornerback, the Jets trading Wilson would be contingent on what they would get in return and them using their top pick on a cornerback, which is certainly a possibility.
The Jets do have a large number of picks (12 total, eight tradable), but adding extra selections can help them package picks for higher slots to increase the quality of their draft class without ultimately cutting into the quantity.
Trade Up in Day Two
Because of the sheer amount of talent available in this year's draft, it makes little sense for the Jets to move up in the first round, barring an unforeseen situation in which a player like Sammy Watkins were to fall.
However, it does make sense for GM John Idzik to slide up the board later in the draft simply because he can package some of his high number of draft picks. As great as it is to have 12 picks, it would be a challenge to fit them all on the roster without cutting ties with productive veterans in the process.
As much as building depth is a priority, the Jets would benefit from giving up some quantity in exchange for an upgrade in quality, especially in a draft where first-round talent can be found deep into the second day, particularly at the receiver position.
Players like Jordan Matthews, Martavis Bryant and Donte Moncrief are all "victims" of a deep draft class and will be slotted to go much later than their talent demands. The Jets should capitalize on this even if it does cost them a few mid- or late-round picks.
Ultimately, the Jets would be much better off walking away from this draft with four or five starting-caliber players in a draft class of about nine or 10 prospects. That would be preferable to landing just two or three immediate starters in a full class of 12.
Trade Down in Round One
While the Jets should be looking to decrease the number of draft selections in favor of higher-positioned picks, turning their first-round selection into multiple Day 2 picks should not be out of the question.
With so many talented players at so many positions of need, the Jets can afford to trade back a few spots to acquire an extra pick or two without sacrificing the quality of their first selection.
For example, with Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro's stock on the decline after a subpar combine, New York still may be able to nab one of the best receiving tight ends available after a trade down to the bottom of the first or the top of the second round.
Of course, this is all dependent on having a partner with which to trade. It seems unlikely that the Jets, with all of their needs, would be the initiators of a trade, but by no means should they hang up the phone immediately.
They may also be able to rob a desperate team of a valuable future pick. After all, if the New Orleans Saints had to pay two first-round picks to move back into the first round for Mark Ingram in 2010, there is no reason why the Jets' selection at No. 18 is not worth at least as much in an even deeper draft.
Trade Stephen Hill
As unfair as it is to write off a player's career after only two seasons, no one can fault the Jets' for being inches away from giving up on 2012 second-round pick Stephen Hill.
Despite being handed every opportunity possible to seize a starting job, Hill's extreme lack of production forced the Jets to start David Nelson, a mid-season addition, in favor of Hill last season. After a four-catch game against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 27th, Hill would not catch another pass until December 1st against the Miami Dolphins for a grand total of two yards.
He would not record another stat for the rest of the season.
As unproductive as he was in the second half of last year, Hill has a lot of potential as a tall receiver with 4.36 speed. He has flashed ability to make big plays, as he reeled in a game-saving 51-yard touchdown against the Bills in Week 3.
However, a new regime that had no part in drafting him would not shed a tear to see him leave New York.
The Jets may be out of patience with Hill, but that does not mean he has no value to other teams. After all, he will turn just 23 this April—far too young to write off just yet.
Giving up on such a young player so early in his career would go against conventional wisdom, but it may be best for all parties involved for Hill to get a fresh start and the Jets to get some value in return while they still can.