The 2013 NFL Draft has come and gone, with the 2013 rookies now becoming familiar with their teams and coaching staffs as things are starting to ramp up towards the 2013 NFL regular season. Minicamp is coming, but first let's take a look back at what the Jets did over the course of three days at the 2013 NFL Draft, especially the early picks of Dee Milliner, Sheldon Richardson and Geno Smith.
What grade do you give the Jets for the 2013 NFL Draft?
Chris Tripodi: The Jets didn't follow my exact plan, so I can't give them a grade in the A-range. But they also brought in an above-average haul, so the C-range doesn't seem fair either. I'll split the middle and give the Jets a B here. While they didn't need to draft a QB, it's tough to say Geno Smith was a terrible pick at 39th overall. At 13th, it would have been a reach considering all of their roster holes. But there is legitimate upside in Smith's right arm, upside that could make John Idzik and the Jets look smart a few years down the line for getting him in the second round. It's just too bad he doesn't have much talent around him if he ends up starting this year.
Dee Milliner was a solid pick at 9 who fills a need, as it's obvious the team does not believe in Kyle Wilson as a starter. I'm not as down on the Sheldon Richardson pick as most; he's a freak athlete who can help the Jets pass rush from the inside even if they didn't address the edge. The Giants and plenty of other teams have shown how important defensive line depth is in the NFL and now the Jets have three guys who can be monsters.
Brian Winters is a versatile guard with the potential to start right away, while adding Chris Ivory for a fourth-round pick can't be considered anything but a steal. I've seen a third-round grade attached to fifth-rounder Oday Aboushi and, like Winters, he has the versatility to play multiple positions along the offensive line. With holes at both tackle and guard, both of these lineman can potentially make an immediate impact in New York.
Sixth-round pick William Campbell was a defensive lineman in college, but his Michigan coaches are quoted as saying he's not much of a lineman but can be a "heck of a guard." If you're going to find a starter in the seventh round, fullback is one of the positions you can find one. If Wake Forest's Tommy Bohanon's blocking and receiving skills are what scouts say they are, he could be a nice fit in Marty's Mornhinweg's offensive scheme. Outside of Campbell, every player the Jets acquired has a chance to start in the next year or two and they made some solid value picks.
Peter Schifani: Overall I would give the Jets a B- grade for the players they drafted and acquired over the weekend since they certainly added several o-lineman but not much else in terms of depth at tight end or safety. I would add that because they did not add much depth at those positions, even though two tight ends were added as un-drafted free agents, they did not accomplish finding starting quality talent to start alongside Dawan Landry in the defensive backfield.
Donald Lappe: Also giving the Jets a solid B. Two rare assets in Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson, a quarterback, and plenty of offensive line depth. Not in love with the Geno Smith pick, but it was a value pick at No. 39 overall. The team had a plan throughout the course of the NFL Draft, selecting best player available. The Chris Ivory trade gives the Jets another talented back to throw in the mix.
Which pick was the best? Worst?
Chris Tripodi: I'd say the Jets best "pick" was moving a fourth-round pick for Chris Ivory, although with my favorite back from this draft still on the board in Johnathan Franklin, it's not as great. It's also technically not a pick, so I'll make another choice and go with Milliner. Call it what you want but to fill a need with the best player on the board is a winning combination by any draft mantra. In three years, maybe we'll say Geno Smith was the best but for now, it's Milliner.
At the same time, if the team struggles enough to be in position for a top QB next year, Smith could be the worst pick because it will be difficult for Idzik to draft another QB. Since that situation is not known yet, I'll say Sheldon Richardson was the worst pick. Not because I don't like the player or because he can't fit in, but because there were other players on the board who would have filled a bigger need. If the Jets went with Chance Warmack at 9, there's a chance they may have still gotten Milliner at 13, and that's a combination I would have preferred. But I don't hate any of their picks with a passion.
Peter Schifani: I would say that will be determined over the course of the preseason and early part of the regular season but certainly Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson for talent were the best two choices. While I am sure Brian Winters will turn out to be a solid guard, since Stephen Peterman signed and the Jets drafted two more lineman on day three they could have filled another need when Winters was chosen in the third round.
Donald Lappe: I love the Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi picks. Two linemen who played a lot of games in college (50 starts for Winters, 37 for Aboushi), and were left tackles who will likely move inside or over to right tackle. Both share similar traits, with toughness, competitiveness and a nasty streak noted by many scouts. It's clear to me that the Jets had a vision of what they wanted to draft for their offensive line and they got what they wanted.
As mentioned earlier, not in love with the Geno Smith pick. Smith does a lot of things that are concerning, from his ball security to struggles against better defenses in college and coming from a system with reads that won't translate as easily to the NFL. On the other hand, it says something about the strength of a team's draft when getting the No. 1 quarterback on the board might be the worst pick. Or maybe it says something about this year's quarterback class.
Did you learn anything about John Idzik over the course of the 2013 NFL Draft weekend?
Chris Tripodi: Despite what people are saying about Rex Ryan having an influence on the team's first-round picks, I think the Jets legitimately took two of the top four players on their board and the ones they missed on happened to be the offensive players. If anything, the Richardson pick could signal a move away from Ryan's 3-4 defense. I don't think Ryan had as much of a voice as others do, which means Idzik is moving away from a lot of the mistakes that Mike Tannenbaum made and building a team based on his own vision.
I also learned that with the drafting of Smith, Idzik is not willing to just give up on 2013 like myself and many others are. It's not that Smith is an immediate impact player, because he probably isn't. But Idzik wants to move on from the team's current quarterback mess and give the offense a chance to be a competent unit this season, especially with a new bell cow in Ivory. Idzik wants to try to win this season, and it will be interesting to see what other pieces may be added by the time training camp rolls around.
Peter Schifani: Well for sure Idzik definitely played things safe, most often choosing the best option available and not forcing any picks to fill a need. I just wonder if it leaves the Jets heavy on the o-line while thin at several other positions. Hopefully they will add some veterans before training camp.
Donald Lappe: John Idzik is a stone cold value guy, and it's a perfect fit. While Rex Ryan should have some emotional attachment and be passionate about individual players, the general manager has to balance that out by ultimately being concerned with bottom line value when making decisions. John Idzik fits that role perfectly and that should help the Jets make sound decisions moving forward.
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