New York Jets Day 2 2014 NFL Draft Primer
With the first round in the books, the New York Jets can now focus on the meat of the draft. They have 12 picks to build a foundation for their roster, and how it turns out will define John Idzik's legacy as general manager.
After going with yet another defensive player in Round 1, the Jets would be wise to focus the bulk of their attention on the offensive side of the ball, particularly at the receiver and tight end position where there are several first-round players still available.
With 12 picks at their disposal, trading back up into the second and third rounds makes plenty of sense to capitalize on the unusual depth at the receiver position.
Here is a primer to get you ready for the second day of the NFL draft and how it pertains to the Jets.
Day 1 Recap and Analysis
The Jets did not make any shocking moves up or down the board with their first-round pick, but they did make a move few predicted to select their sixth straight first-round defensive player in safety Calvin Pryor.
The fact that the Jets used their top pick on a defensive back was not a surprise, but it would have been more logical to use the pick on the cornerback position, where Rex Ryan needs to have himself a pair of shutdown players to run his defense.
Still, "Louisville Slugger" will help set a tone for the rest of the Jets secondary with his brute physicality and supreme ball skills. Pryor is not an ideal man-to-man coverage player, but he makes game-changing hits and interceptions with regularity.
There is no doubt that Pryor upgrades the Jets secondary, but passing on Brandin Cooks and Marqise Lee leaves the Jets even more desperate for help on the offensive side of the ball. Look for the Jets to spend several draft picks on the offensive side of the ball to balance their resource allocation and give Geno Smith and Michael Vick the help they need to succeed.
1. Wide Receiver
Because the Jets decided to get defensive in the first round, there is even more pressure on John Idzik to bolster the Jets receiving corps with his second- and third-round picks.
The good news for Idzik and the Jets is that there are still a ton of talented players available at this position. The Jets can afford to sit back and draft whoever falls to them if they prefer.
The cornerback position may actually be a bigger need than the receiver position, but the fact that the Jets used a top pick on a safety helps lessen the need for a cover man. In theory, Calvin Pryor's presence will take some pressure off the Jets' relatively average cornerbacks, making wide receiver a bigger need by default.
3. Tight End
Luckily for the Jets, there are still several top tight end prospects still available for the Jets in the second round. Between Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Troy Niklas, the Jets will likely have an opportunity to draft one of the top tight ends without having to make a massive trade up the draft board.
4. Outside Linebacker
The Jets would love to add a young pass-rusher to groom behind Calvin Pace, but not at the price of a second-day pick. Unless a top player like Kyle Van Noy slips to them, they can afford to wait to draft a developmental player in the fourth round or later.
With the concerns surrounding Brian Winters' inconsistency and Willie Colon's health, the Jets need to continue to tinker with this position until they are more comfortable with their depth. However, the Jets can afford to wait until the third day to address this position.
Top Day 2 Targets
Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
Bryant is an even more intriguing prospect than his more well-known teammate. With tremendous size (6'4"), speed and body control, Bryant has only tapped into his potential as a one-year starter at Clemson.
If Bryant can clean up his lapses in concentration and perfect his route running, he can turn out to be the No. 1 receiver the Jets are looking for.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Essentially, Jordan Matthews is a poor man's Mike Evans as a big target who can win with size and ability to get jump balls. Matthews had a terrific week at the Senior Bowl, showcasing both his skills and coachability.
A lack of elite speed and acceleration will limit his upside, but he can be an instant contributor in the Jets receiving corps.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Based on on-field talent alone, Austin Seferian-Jenkins should have gone in the first round. However, concerns about his demeanor and inconsistent effort may have cost him a full round of selections.
If the Jets can get this physical phenom to play up to his potential, their tight ends needs will finally be solved once and for all.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss
He draws some comparisons to Stephen Hill because of his tendency to "body catch" a lot of balls, but Moncrief is a much more explosive player who has the ability to run a full route tree if given some time to develop. Moncrief is both explosive and fast, something none of the current receivers on the Jets can be described as.
Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
A lengthy cornerback who specialized in man-to-man coverage, Gaines would be a perfect fit in Rex Ryan's defense that demands a lot of press coverage from its cornerbacks.
If the Jets are looking for a safe pick to give them nothing more than security at the tight end position, C.J. Fiedorowicz is their guy. While not spectacular in any one area, he is a more-than-capable blocker and an effective receiver over the middle with his size.
His upside is a bit limited because of his average athleticism, but he provides excellent value as a plug-and-play starter from day one.
Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
While a bit unrefined as a route-runner, Herron has the one ingredient the Jets offense needs most—speed. Herron can be used both on deep routes and screen passes and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field.
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
The Jets will want to focus on offense as much as possible, but they should not completely rule out the possibility of taking a pass-rusher to develop behind Calvin Pace. Attaochu is a pure speed-rusher who knows how to get to the quarterback at the expense of stout run defense.
What Are the Experts Saying?
Matt Miller: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Attitude concerns aside, this would be a stellar pick for the Jets this late in the second round. Seferian-Jenkins has almost as much talent as Eric Ebron as a massive, athletic tight end who can block and be a big target in the receiving game. If he can overcome concerns about his effort, this could be one of the steals of the draft at a need position.
Bucky Brooks: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
The Jets desperately need an athletic edge player with the potential to record 10-plus sacks and make Rex Ryan's defense downright scary. Attaochu is not a finished product, but his motor and first-step quickness could make him a star in the Jets' scheme.
The Jets have a need for a pass-rushing outside linebacker, but this is a bit too early for Attaochu. Because of his struggles against the run, he will not be able to start over the incumbent Calvin Pace. Attaochu is a good fit, but not this early.
Matt Miller: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford
Trent Murphy has some upside with his size and length, but the Jets could have waited a round or two to get themselves a developmental outside linebacker. His stiffness limits him in coverage, which could restrict his versatility in the pros.
Bucky Brooks: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
Adding a technician with nickel-corner potential would help the Jets' secondary.
Again, Brooks' pick makes a lot of sense for what the Jets need—Kyle Wilson is set to hit free agency in 2015. However, there are likely to be more polished slot cornerbacks on the board at this point. The Jets would have been better off taking a receiver with this pick.
3 Predictions for Day 2
Jets Trade Up for Marqise Lee
The Jets took a risk when they passed on Marqise Lee in favor of a defensive prospect in the first round, but they will have another chance to acquire him in the second round.
With an entire day to mull trade possibilities and play out scenarios, the Jets have the time and resources in terms of draft picks to make such an aggressive move. After all, squeezing 12 draft picks onto a roster is a difficult task.
Lee's injury concerns may have led to his fall out of the first round, but he if can get healthy by the start of the season, he can be one of the best receivers to come out of this draft if he can return to his 2012 form.
Jets Stay Offensive
After using their top pick on a defensive prospect (again), the Jets now face even more pressure to use the majority of their remaining draft picks on offensive talent.
Specifically, look for the Jets to use at least one, if not both of their picks on receivers or tight ends. With players like Lee and Jace Amaro falling into the second round, there is a ton of value to be had in the second round at the skill positions.
Trade Back into the Third
With so much talent at the receiver, cornerback and tight end positions in the second- and third-round range, it only makes sense for the Jets to capitalize on the opportunity to stock up on talent at these need positions by trading for extra Day 2 picks.
Trading back into the second day is less expensive than moving around the first-round board, and the unusual depth in this year's class makes sacrificing quantity for quality well worth it for a team with 12 picks.
Round 2, Pick 49: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Based on talent alone, Marqise Lee is a first-round talent—but injuries and a steep decline in production have led to him take a steep drop into the second round.
With so many picks to work with, the Jets may want to consider moving up to take Lee, giving them two first-round talents at need positions. Lee would be the perfect fit opposite Eric Decker, handling all of the underneath duties.
Round 3, Pick 80: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Now that the Jets have used their top two picks on the defensive backfield and wide receiver position, they can attack their last major need area—tight end.
Fiedorowicz is a true two-way tight end who can both block and receive, even if his athleticism is relatively limited. He would provide instant relief to Jeff Cumberland to give the Jets a respectable tight end tandem for 2014.
Round 4, Pick 104: Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State
The Jets can no longer afford to wait to draft a cornerback to eventually supplant Dimitri Patterson on the outside. Rashaad Reynolds is bit undersized, but he has great movement skills that will give him a chance to at least contribute in the slot down the line, where Kyle Wilson is set to hit free agency in 2015.
Round 4, Pick 115: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
With all of their top needs now addressed in some fashion, the Jets can begin to focus on some of their secondary needs, stating with outside linebacker.
A pass-rushing specialist, Attaochu can be a situational player as a rookie, allowing the incumbent Calvin Pace to handle run duties. When Pace leaves as a free agent in 2016, Attaochu will have had two years of development to become a full-time linebacker.
Round 4, Pick 137: Dri Archer, WR, Kent State
More than anything else, the Jets offense needs an injection of speed to open things up for Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley. The fastest player in the draft, Archer can be used as a returner while developing into a slot receiver/gadget player to generate chunks of yardage.
Round 5, Pick 154: Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman
An athletically gifted guard from a smaller program, Dozier will give Brian Winters a run for the starting job at left guard right away if he can adjust to the NFL game quickly enough.
He struggles against some of the stronger defensive tackles because of his high center of gravity, but some refinement in his game will be able to clean up his anchor, allowing him to hold up in pass protection.
Round 6, Pick 195: Bene Benewikere, CB, San Jose State
A smaller cornerback with tremendous change-of-direction skills, Bene Benewikere would be an ideal replacement for Kyle Wilson in the slot in 2015.
Unlike Wilson, Benewikere leaves a little to be desired with his run defense, but his ability to mirror slot receivers in the middle of the field will overshadow his shortcomings in the run game, especially if he can be had in the sixth round.
Round 6, Pick 209: Preston Brown, ILB, Louisville
One of the most underrated needs on the Jets roster is at inside linebacker, where David Harris is set to hit free agency in 2015.
Preston Brown is not much of a cover man, but he can fill Harris' role perfectly as a downhill linebacker that resembles his teammate and Jets first-round pick Calvin Pryor.
Round 6, Pick 210: A.C. Leonard, TE, Tennessee State
The most impressive tight end at the combine (not named Eric Ebron), talent has never been the issue with A.C. Leonard. Instead, it was an altercation with his girlfriend that led to his transfer from Florida that will cause him to slip all the way to the sixth round.
Leonard does carry some risk off the field, but the Jets' need for talent at tight end makes him well worth the pick at this point in the draft.
Round 6, Pick 213: Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina
Slot receiver Jeremy Kerley was the team's leading receiver last season, but the Jets have become far too reliant on him to stay healthy to run their offense. When Kerley missed time with injury, the Jets offense went south in 2013, leading to a losing streak that caused them to miss the playoffs.
The undersized Matt Hazel is not quite as dynamic as Kerley, but he would at least give the Jets security behind Kerley so they can still run their offense as scheduled if Kerley misses time.
Round 7, Pick 233: Chris Davis, CB, Auburn
Famous for his historic return against Alabama in the SEC championship to put Auburn in the national championship, Davis has the skills to be an excellent dime cornerback with some return ability, giving the Jets a much-needed boost with their cornerback depth and on special teams.