The trading of Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the latest and perhaps most anticipated headline grabber in the saga that has become the travelling circus of the New York Jets.
Now that they’ve part ways with the best player to wear New York Jet green in over a decade, it’s safe to say this franchise has hit rock bottom from a player personnel standpoint. The only names filling starting spots on their current depth chart that don’t elicit the confused-dog-head-cocked-to-the-side-look from football fans are Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
Given those circumstances, round one of Thursday night’s NFL Draft can’t get here soon enough for the Jets’ staff and fans alike. They’ll have two picks in the round, both of which must be used with the intent of acquiring two impact starters. A quick scan of the roster tells me they are pretty much free to draft the best player available with both picks, as both should have a decent chance of starting opening weekend.
Let’s take a closer look at the train-wreck that is New York’s starting 22 as of right now.
At the receiver position, the top two names are 29-year old Santonio Holmes, who is coming off a season ending Lisfranc injury and second year man Stephen Hill. Hill looks the part but comes from Georgia Tech’s option offense and has caught a total of 70 passes between his college and pro games.
In addition to Ferguson and Mangold on the offensive line, the Jets will line up 30-year old Willie Colon who was let go by Pittsburgh, Vladimir DuCasse and Austin Howard. I’ll give you a second to Google them.
They’ll start some guy named Jeff Cumberland at tight end. He’s caught 32 passes during his three-year career.
Mark Sanchez is listed as the starting quarterback. What? Oh, you..you want me to break that down? Ok, well Sanchez threw 13 TDs and 18 picks on his way to a 66.9 Passer Rating in 2012. His career stats are 68 TDs, 69 INTs, a 71.7 passer rating and one buttfumble.
Bilal Powell is currently listed as the main running back. He’s carried the ball 123 times in his two years in the league at 3.7 yards a clip.
Defensively, things don’t look much better. Just how bad is it? Their starting strong safety played for Jacksonville last year and the Jags had no interest in giving him a roster spot in 2013. David Harris and Calvin Pace are some familiar names. They’ll join Antonio Cromartie as the leaders of this patchwork defense made up of has-been’s and maybe could-be’s. How bad are things when Antonio Cromartie is going to be one of your leaders?
If I were picking for the Jets and had to select from the guys who could realistically be available to them at No. 9 and 13, I’d take North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams and Notre Dame Tight End Tyler Eifert. It doesn’t matter what pick they use on who, as both should be available The important thing is that both could walk into the locker room and start today.
Normally, Jet fans set up shop in the balcony of Radio City Music Hall and boo every pick — even their own. My advice to them would be to put the kibosh on that for this year’s draft, as it is very likely that any player selected on Thursday night is a better option than what they already have on their roster.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON APRIL 22, 2013