Realistic Draft-Day Trade Possibilities for the New York Jets
At the same time, his team will also be heavily reliant on the draft to fill his many roster holes. The Jets need to figure out a way to bring in a high quantity of quality players—a difficult thing to do, but in this deep class, the Jets have a chance to overcome their mistakes in free agency if they can maximize their value with each pick.
Idzik has proved to be an aggressive general manager when he needs to be. After all, he made the franchise-altering trade of Darrelle Revis and made a draft-day trade last year for Chris Ivory. Now, the key for Idzik is to continue to make necessary trades without becoming overaggressive and ruin their chance to rebuild their depth.
Here are some realistic draft-day trade possibilities the Jets can make.
Trade Stephen Hill
Parting ways with young, cheap talent at positions of need is generally considered to be bad business, but in this case, trading Stephen Hill may be a move that works out for all parties involved.
It was expected that a raw prospect like Hill would take some time to adjust to the league, but he seems to have only gotten worse with time. He was virtually invisible for most of 2013, catching just two passes after October 27 last year—one was a two-yard screen pass.
At just 23 years old, Hill's career is far from over—but he breached the Jets' patience threshold.
Jets described as near the end of their rope with Stephen Hill http://t.co/iCM7NcN4I5— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 20, 2014
Plus, the front-office regime in place had no business in bringing Hill to New York in 2012, giving it extra incentive not to hang on to Hill any longer than it should.
At the same time, Hill has flashed the ability to make big plays with his size and speed ratio. If players like A.J. Jenkins are still able to find interested teams in a trade, Hill should have some value as well. Not only can the Jets get an extra pick by moving on from Hill now—perhaps Hill would benefit from a fresh start with a new team.
Trade for Denarius Moore
Having 12 draft picks to work with is a luxury every team would sign up for on an annual basis, but it does present a unique problem—fitting a dozen rookies on the roster (plus undrafted free agents) is difficult to do, especially for a team that is looking to win in the immediate future.
One of the ways the Jets can use their abundance of draft picks to help them this season is to trade for a veteran, just as they did with Ivory last year.
As talk swirls about the possibility of Oakland Raiders receiver Denarius Moore becoming available on the trade block, the Jets would be wise to convert one of their later picks into a proven veteran who can start right away.
Injuries and less-than-stellar quarterback play have limited his statistical ceiling, but he has flashed the ability to be a star player if put in a more stable situation. Hi 695 yards in 13 games with arguably the worst quarterback situation in the NFL in 2013 is a testament to his talent.
Moore would also be a tremendous scheme fit, able to stretch the field while Eric Decker handles more of the underneath routes. By adding a player like Moore to the roster, they won't have to rely on a young rookie to start immediately before he is ready.
Package Picks for an Extra Day 2 Pick
Another way the Jets can cut down on the size of their rookie class is to trade quantity for quality by trading up.
Specifically, the Jets should look to trade up to get extra picks in the second and third rounds, where some of the best value can be had at the receiver position. Between players like Donte Moncrief, Martavis Bryant, Robert Herron and Allen Robinson, the Jets have a chance to get themselves more than one starting-caliber player outside of the first round.
The Jets should be especially interested in this strategy if they use their top pick on a cornerback, as doing so would make them even more desperate for receiver talent. As big of an addition as Decker was in free agency, he is not going to be able to turn around the Jets offense on his own.
If done correctly, the Jets can use the second day of the draft to completely rebuilt their receiving core, boosting starting talent while rounding out depth—all while making their oversized rookie class more manageable.
Trade for Johnathan Joseph
A second veteran the Jets should look into converting one of their draft picks into is Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
Joseph was off to a hot start to his career with the Texans in 2011, emerging as one of the top corners in the league. However, injuries have led to a decline in his skills in 2012, dropping to 43rd in Pro Football Focus' rankings (subscription required).
He rebounded in 2013, jumping up to 25th while allowing a solid 71.9 quarterback rating when thrown against—but are the rebuilding Texans willing to swallow his $7.5 million cap number?
Loaded with more than a comfortable amount of cap space, the Jets could easily fit Joseph on their books without blinking an eye, and the Texans may be intrigued by adding another draft pick to their youth movement.
The Jets did add Dimitri Patterson in free agency, but he is much better suited to play in the slot. While he has not been the same dominant player he was in 2011, he would instantly be the best, most established player in the Jets secondary and give Rex Ryan the high-caliber player at the cornerback position his defense demands.
Trade Up for to 11th Overall
Because of the immense amount of talent available in the first round, the Jets don't have much incentive to make an aggressive move up the boards—with one exception.
If stud tight end Eric Ebron slips out of the top 10 picks, Idzik should seriously consider packaging up a few picks to move up and snag the best tight end prospect since Vernon Davis.
It would be costly—according to the draft trade chart, their first- and third-round picks would likely do the job—but Ebron would give the Jets a presence at the tight end (as a blocker and a receiver) position they have not had in quite some time.
Why the 11th pick (that is currently owned by the Titans)? The New York Giants are selecting 12th, one of the few teams in the NFL that are as weak at the position as the Jets. Plus, I'm sure Idzik would earn some bonus points from his boss for cutting their hometown rivals in line.
This move would resemble the philosophy of the previous regime and would strip New York of a valuable draft pick, but the Jets have the draft ammo to sustain after making such a move.