Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Jets May Have to Settle for Cameron Heyward
Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft Has the Jets Reaching for Heyward
I've spent a lot of time mocking the NFL Draft over the last couple months, and no team has mocked back quite like the New York Jets. They have plenty of needs, but finding the right fit for them at the No. 30 pick in the draft is always a challenge.
The good news is that I'm not alone in this regard. Mel Kiper has had them taking Muhammad Wilkerson (now rated too high) and Rahim Moore (now rated too low) in past mocks. In his latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft (must have ESPN Insider), he has them taking Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward, and I'm still not so sure Kiper has figured out the Jets problem.
To his credit, Kiper does justify the Heyward pick pretty well:
Rex Ryan needs to infuse some talent to his defensive front, because he has to blitz to get any pressure on opposing quarterbacks at this point, and you never want that to be the case.
The Jets definitely need some help on the defensive line. The team released Kris Jenkins in late February, and Shaun Ellis isn't getting any younger. Heyward is not going to do the Jets much good in terms of rushing the passer, but he's pretty decent against the run.
That's more or less where my problem with the Heyward pick lies. It seems to me to be a very safe pick, and I just can't escape the notion that the Jets would be better off making a bolder pick. Other needs beyond the D-line include help at the linebacker position, and they could potentially look to draft a wide receiver given the fact that they probably won't be able to bring back both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards.
As for who they might draft instead of Heyward, well, I'm afraid I don't really have any ideas. Keep in mind that it is common for some of the more highly-regarded players tend to fall on Draft Day, and the Jets could very well end up landing a steal as a result.
Kiper didn't botch this pick. It just seems to me that he didn't know what else to do with it.
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