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News » New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-04-18


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-04-18


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-04-18
The Jets targeted defense during free agency, signing linebacker Bart Scott and safety Jim Leonhard from new coach Rex Ryan's former team, Baltimore. They also acquired cornerback Lito Sheppard from Philadelphia, and he is ticketed to start opposite young star Darrelle Revis.


So they figure to draft for offense in the first round, even though Ryan obviously is a defensive-minded coach. The Jets seem set on the offensive line, which played well last season and features four former first-round picks as starters.

With Laveranues Coles' departure via free agency to Cincinnati, the Jets need another starting receiver. There are candidates on the roster, including fourth-year pro Brad Smith, formerly a prolific college quarterback at Missouri. But the Jets badly need a receiver with breakaway speed -- or very good size -- so they could go for Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey or North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks when they draft 17th overall in the first round.

They also aren't exactly set at quarterback.

Only one quarterback on the current roster, Kellen Clemens, has thrown a pass in a regular-season NFL game. Clemens was 3-5 as a starter for the Jets in 2007 and currently is competing with Brett Ratliff for the starting position.

Although coach Rex Ryan has insisted many times that the organization believes in the quarterbacks on the roster, that could be merely a misdirection play. The Jets are believed to like Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman, who could be available at 17, and Southern California signal-caller Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez' stock is rising rapidly, and if the Jets are really interested in obtaining him, they likely would have to trade up, as he figures to go in the top 10. General manager Mike Tannenbaum has not been averse to doing that in recent years. In 2007, he traded up in both the first and second rounds to get cornerback Darrelle Revis and linebacker David Harris, respectively, both of whom quickly became starters.

In 2008, he traded up into the 30th pick of the first round to get tight end Dustin Keller, who had 48 receptions as a rookie. Tannenbaum has shown he will not hesitate to make a deal to get the player he really wants.

If Ryan chooses to go for defense in the first round, the most obvious position of need would be at end. LSU's Tyson Jackson is a first-round possibility at this position, but if the Jets wait until their second-round pick, No. 52, they could go after San Jose State's Jarron Gilbert.

Running back also could be a need, as Thomas Jones will be 31 by opening day and has skipped voluntary off-season conditioning and practices thus far. Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells is a first-round possibility, and Pittsburgh's LeSean McCoy could be a second-round pick to fill that potential need.

TEAM NEEDS: Wide receiver, defensive end, quarterback, running back.

WR -- Laveranues Coles signed with Cincinnati as a free agent, but the Jets were looking to upgrade to a game-breaker anyway. Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey or North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks could fill that void, or they could trade up for somebody such as Missouri's Jeremy Maclin. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is fond of bubble screens and gadget plays such as reverses and end-arounds using the wideouts, so the Jets want more speed at this position.

DE -- Shaun Ellis and Kenyon Coleman will be 32 and 30, respectively, by the season-opener. LSU's 6-foot-4, 296-pound Tyson Jackson appears to be the prototypical 3-4 end, and those are harder to find than 4-3 ends. Pressure off the edge will be extremely important in new coach Rex Ryan's 3-4 defense, which is much more of an attacking defense than the read-and-react schemes of former coach Eric Mangini.

QB -- The Jets don't have a proven starter on the roster and thus could draft someone such as Kansas State's Josh Freeman. But it's unlikely they would look for someone at this position as intently later rounds. A trade up for Southern California's Mark Sanchez also is a possibility.

RB -- Thomas Jones hasn't reported for any of the Jets' voluntary conditioning or practices this spring, so the Jets want to begin targeting his successor. They don't consider the dynamic but diminutive Leon Washington to be an every-down back, and there are no other proven backs currently on the roster.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 18, 2009

D'Brickashaw Ferguson Name: D'Brickashaw Ferguson
#60
Position: OT
Age: 24
Experience: 3 years
College: Virginia
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