It's official—the draft is over. Finally, the hectic offseason can settle down. We now have a chance to reflect on the Jet's offseason as a whole. They have made some good moves, some bad. Let's review their busy offseason.
They signed LaDainian Tomlinson, Nick Folk, Brodney Pool, Jason Taylor and Lance Laury, traded for Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes, and shed the under-performing Kerry Rhodes, aging Thomas Jones, and plain bad Lito Sheppard. Then came the draft.
The Jets helped augment their secondary with Kyle Wilson and Donovan Warren, and added some running back talent in Joe McKnight. They replaced overrated Alan Faneca with the monstrous Vladmir Ducasse. They prepared Tony Richardson's successor in John Conner.
So, how good was their offseason overall? Well, I'll grade each move/pick individually, and then give them a grade as a whole. The moves/ picks are in chronological order.
Move No. 1: Signed Nick Folk
The Jets' first move, to say the least, was strange. Jay Feely was coming off one of his best years. Folk was coming off his worst. However, if you look at the numbers, Folk is the better in the long run.
I wrote another article about this recently. Basically, if Folk kicks like he did in 2008, good move. '09? Bad move.
Move No. 2: Antonio Cromartie for conditional 2011 pick, Lito Sheppard cut
The first big trade of the year. Talent-wise, this is a great move. Cromartie is a top-tier corner-back who should excel in the Jets' man-to-man coverage schemes. He is a former All-Pro and under 25. So he is a steal with just a third or second-round pick.
However, Cromartie's personality is questionable. He has fathered seven kids with six different women. Also, if anyone saw the Jets-Chargers game, you saw Cromartie give up on the tackle that let Shonn Greene score a touchdown. That raises dedication questions.
Still, if he doesn't work out next year, all you lost is a third-rounder. If he is good, you suddenly have the best cornerback pair in the league for only a second-rounder.
Getting rid of Lito Sheppard? Great. He was on the injury report too often and couldn't perform when off it.
Move No. 3: Traded Kerry Rhodes for a fourth-round pick, signed Brodney Pool
A year or two ago, this would be a terrible move. However, this is 2010, and Rhodes doesn't give a damn. He was underperforming and needed to be dealt.
Brodney Pool, on the other hand, is talented, but he has a dubious injury history with four concussions. He was an RFA with no tender, so there was not much given up, and a one-year contract means not too much risk. Overall, a good move.
Move No. 4: Cut Thomas Jones, signed L.T.
I don't like this move. Jones is still usable as a runner, while L.T. is burned out. Jones is a leader, L.T. is a lone wolf. L.T. is a weapon out of the backfield, but I prefer T.J.
Move No. 5: Signed Lance Laury
This is the best move you never heard of. Lance Laury not only adds ILB depth, he is a special team specialist (no pun intended). Great move.
Move No. 6: Santonio Holmes for a fifth-round pick
I don't care what they say about Holmes' character. This is not a steal; this is a highway robbery.
He is the previous year's Super Bowl MVP. He was Ben Roethlisberger's No. 1 receiver. He is a great player. Although he has character issues, for a fifth-round pick, he's a steal. He gives Mark Sanchez a great target who can actually catch a ball.
Move No. 7: Signed Jason Taylor
I'm torn on this move. On one hand, Jason Taylor could bring the Jets their much needed pass rush. On the other, he is a 34-year-old linebacker who could be burned out. However, this allowed the Jets to pursue other options in the draft.
First-round Pick: Kyle Wilson
This is a good pick. The Jets didnt have too many needs, and getting Wilson at No. 29 was a steal. With his talent, he can make the Jets' secondary downright illegal. He can come in if Cromartie underperforms, or be a solid third cornerback.
However, the Jets passed on Jerry Hughes, who was a better pick. Cornerback wasn't a major need. Still, I really like this move
Second-round Pick: Vladmir Ducasse, cutting Alan Faneca
I think this was a great move. Ducasse is a monstrous guard who fits the offense well. He is a very talented player who can develop into an All-Pro. He can make the Jets' offensive line the best in the NFL.
As for Faneca, he was getting old. He was the highest-paid Jet, and had trouble in pass protection. He was a big part of the team, but everyone knew he couldn't stay forever.
For a more in depth look, check out this article: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/384190-spring-cleaning-jets-deal-leon-washington-cut-alan-faneca
Forth-round Pick: Joe McKnight (Traded 4th, 6th and 7th pick to go up), Traded Leon Washington
Another good move. Leon was coming off a broken leg, and we didn't know if he'd be the same. He was going into his final year, and the Jets weren't going to resign him. A 5th round pick was good compensation, which they used for the next pick.
Joe McKnight is a really elusive back who is a cheaper and possibly better replacement. The Jets are a good judge of running back talent (Shonn Greene). It took a lot to get McKnight, but I think it i worth it.
Fifth-round pick: John Conner
I love this pick. No matter how good Richardson is, he is No. 3. He can't stay forever. John Conner is arguably the best fullback in the draft. He's a dominant blocker, and he can help develop Shonn Greene after Richardson left.
Undrafted Free Agent Signing: Donovan Warren
This is an amazing steal. Warren was at one point a first round cornerback. He only fell because of a 40 time. He is very talented. He can be a ridiculous No. 4 cornerback. I put Warren on my All-Late Round Team:http://bleacherreport.com/articles/380188-the-all-late-round-team-best-of-the-rest. The Warren signing, with the Wilson pick, will make the Jets secondary possibly the best of all time.
OVERALL GRADE: A
I think that the Jets were the biggest players this offseason. In my humble opinion, the Jets WILL win the Super Bowl. They managed to improve all aspects of their game to create a even more dominant defense and an offense with more weapons to help their sophomore quarterback lead his team to the Super Bowl. The only thing that kept them from an A+ was that they didn't get a young pass rusher.
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