In case you couldn’t hear over the deafening boos for Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes or the angelic spiritual crooning of Mr. Timothy Tebow here in the New York Metro area, the NFL will kickoff its 77 annual draft festivities tonight at Radio City. There, the New York Jets will be looking to significantly improve an 8-8 team that wasn’t too easy on the eyes or bar tab last season.
Who better to break down the prospects of Gang Green then the two rampantly masochistic Jet fanatics that run this site? Myself (Dan Troisi) and my blogging accomplice, Puneet Singh.
Here’s our dual-sided take on eight burning questions (because we’re too lazy to think of ten) regarding the Jets, the NFL Draft, and other pressing issues of concern at the moment:
1. Who are the five most feasible prospects that will be available for the Jets at #16?
Puneet: WR Michael Floyd of Notre Dame, S Mark Barron from Alabama, G David Decastro of Stanford, DE Melvin Ingram of South Carolina and DE Quinton Coples from UNC. These players address the areas of Jets needs and for the most part should be sitting around at the 15-19 spots.
Floyd could easily slide in as the #2 WR seeing that the Jets don’t look too tempted by free agency and are high on Floyd.
Barron is considered the best safety in the draft — which doesn’t say much. Coming off two hernia surgeries before starting your NFL career and missing the combine because of it really poses some question marks for me.
I know what you’re saying; why draft Decastro? Well, he’s considered one of the best guards the NFL combine has seen in 10+ years. Last offensive lineman we took with that type of praise turned out pretty okay *COUGH* Nick Mangold *COUGH* Also, you really want to see Vladmir Ducasse and Wayne Hunter out there every Sunday? Ask yourself that for the next 18 hours til draft time.
Both Ingram and Coples address the pass rush need for us and based off Rex’s comments earlier last week (wanting someone who can hybrid between LB/DE) these two guys fit the bill of who’ll be there and should have a smooth transition between both positions if Rex, Tanny & Co. decide to go that route.
Dan: I’d go Floyd, DeCastro, Ingram, Chandler Jones, and Cordy Glenn. I don’t think Barron or Coples will last this long. Jones is a really intriguing prospect that has flew up the draft boards the past few weeks, seemingly out of nowhere. He’s kinda undersized at sub-250, but it seems like he could really thrive with good coaching and develop into an elite edge pass-rusher. Mike Mayock of NFL Network even went as far as to dub him the best defensive end in the draft.
Glenn has great size at a mammoth 6’6″, 345 pounds and would obviously be an upgrade over Wayne Hunter at right tackle. Then again, so would the automatic garbage can in my kitchen. It’s doubtful my garbage can drops past Dallas at #14 though.
2. Gun to your head, who will the Jets take with the 16th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft?
Puneet: Gonna go out on a limb and say Michael Floyd. Jets love his athleticism and size and believe he’ll be the best player available at that spot (assuming the defensive players they want are gone and not sold on the remaining players who’ll be around in the late 20s as well). Some see him going as high as 9 or 10 to Carolina or Buffalo while a majority (including myself) see him in the late teens. The dropoff between Blackmon and Floyd isn’t a lot but it’s enough for you to consider NOT taking him in the Top 10. Outside of the size he brings, Floyd is a very good blocking WR; something Sparano and Rex Ryan are both fond of and build their systems around (See: Edwards, Braylon, Burress, Plaxico, Marshall, Brandon) (Michael Floyd Highlights Video)
Dan: Co-sign. If Floyd’s there at 16, he’s the pick. Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire (except in Santonio Holmes’ case, where there’s usually hashish and patchy facial hair). There’s a reason Woody Johnson and Tannenbaum met with this kid two weeks ago to talk to him about his beer-ticket bullshit. Floyd is the absolute total package at the receiver position. For a team that is absolutely emaciated at wideout, why wouldn’t you nab him if he’s available? Can you imagine Tim Te–I mean Mark…Mark Sanchez throwing fade routes to Floyd for the next ten years? Sign me the fuck up.
3. Gun to Mike Tannenbaum’s head, who do YOU take with the 16th selection in the 2012 NFL Draft?
Puneet: No brainer for me; has to be Quinton Coples if he’s there. Drawing comparisons to another stud DE from UNC (Julius Peppers) he’s the consistent pass rush we’ve lacked from the edge since John Abraham departed for Atlanta and that Calvin Pace has failed to live up to. Adding Coples to our current D-Line core of Muhammed Wilkerson and Sione Pouha and Mike Devito sets us up for at least the next 3 years and he’s one of the few players who I feel could jump in and help us immediately. Would need Rex Ryan and some of the vets to continually push him at times but he’s definitely the guy I’m hoping is there at pick #16. (VIDEO OF QUINTON COPLES HIGHLIGHTS)
Dan: Personally if I have a 40 cal in my possession, I’m holding Goodell hostage, replacing Stu Scott, Kiper and McShay with TNT’s NBA crew, contracting the Patriots and Steelers, acquiriing the fourth pick and drafting Richardson.
Since I don’t, I’d take Barron. Great size, good coverage skills and perhaps most importantly he’s a PLAYMAKER at the safety position. That’s something this team hasn’t had since…………fuck….Victor Green? A strong safety duo of LaRon Landry and Barron is a bagillion times better than our 2011 one of Eric Smith and Brodney Cess-Pool. That’s right, a bagillion.
4. Finish the sentence: Don’t be surprised if…
Puneet: The Jets trade DOWN. I know rumors have us going up to potentially getting T-Rich as high as #3 but I see the opposite. If Perry/Coples keep falling and the Jets like what they see in them OR are high on someone of a lower tier (Upshaw, Ingram), don’t be surprised if fall back a few spots to as low as 19 or 20 and settle on someone they like while adding a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the mix.
Dan: The Jets trade UP. We all know Mike Tannenbaum has that itchy Gilbert Arenas trigger-finger. We all know the Jets ‘love the headlines and attention’. We all know the Giant fans who constantly regurgitate that tired narrative are jealous pussies with an inferiority complex. Expect the unexpected, Jet fans.
5. Don’t lock yourself in your garage with the engine running if…
Puneet: The Jets add O-Line. Decastro is good. Really good. Having Decastro, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashw Ferguson and Brandon Moore as your offensive line every Sunday? Yeah I’m absolutely okay with that. You could be looking at an All-Pro NFL offensive line. You could have Olandis Gary come out of retirement tomorrow and run for 100 yards week in and out with that line. Considering how the O-Line was one of our many follys last year let’s avoid this issue for the next 3 years. (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS Of David Decastro beasting)
Dan: The Jets trade up for Ryan Tannehill. Just kidding… by all means, feel free to treat yourself to a strong cocktail of hydrogen peroxide if that happens. In all seriousness though, don’t panic if the Jets trade down. If Barron, Ingram, and Floyd are all gone by #16, which is a distinct possibility, I could definitely see them moving down the draft board. This team has a shitload of holes, so adding an additional pick or two would certainly not be a bad thing.
6. The Jets absolutely will not…
Puneet: Make their fans happy. It’s been proven that we will boo and shit on anything and everything breathing. With news that the Jets asked T-Rich about his contact info incase they trade up, now every Jets fan and their mom have gotten a bit of a boner as to expect Trent Richardson in green and white. Well, don’t get your hopes up fellas.
Dan: Trade Mark Sanchez. Over the past month, there’s been a bunch of bullshit rumors circulating across the internet forums and radio airwaves that the Jets are planning to ship out Mark by Draft Day. Or that they’ll ironically trade him to Cleveland in a deal to move up to #4. I’d set chances at that happening at about -.321%. We have a better shot of seeing Tim Tebow and Antonio Cromartie star in a Trojan ‘Fire & Ice’ commercial on ESPN tomorrow night.
7. Darkhorse to slide down the first round and nervously play Temple Run on his iPhone in the green room will be….
Puneet: Courtney Upshaw. Right after Bama’s national title victory over LSU people saw Upshaw going as high as Top 10 then settled in somewhere in the early teens. Upshaw himself still probably believes he’s an early first round talent. Well, poor remarks regarding his character and less than stellar combine (posting a worse 40 yard time, bench etc.) than the players he’s put up against in terms of being first round picks (Chandler Jones, Nick Perry, Whitney Mercilius, Quinton Coples to name a few) has his stock falling hard and fast.
Dan: Gotta agree with you here. Upshaw obviously put up some very impressive numbers the past two years in the SEC (aka the NFL D-League). I just feel like this guy is too slow and not athletic enough to be a high impact player at the pro level. I see him as a solid run-stopper who can really plug up the middle of the field. He’d fit in very well on a team with some absolute stud pass-rushers like the Giants, which actually could be a very plausible landing spot for him.
8. Finally, and perhaps most importantly….who would you pick with the first selection in an NFL Draft of Nicktoons?
Puneet: Skeeter Valentine. Reminds me a LOT of Vince Young; size, strength, speed and lacking some intelligence. A HUGE raw talent with a lot of upside. Comes from a great upbringing with no character issues. Sky is the ceiling for this kid.
Dan: While I certainly agree with you that Valentine is a phenomenal talent, I have serious concerns about those pipecleaner arms. That toothpick frame was no problem at Bluffington High, but isn’t gonna cut it at the pro level. Linebackers and defensive ends will absolutely eat him alive.
I’m gonna have to stray off the beaten path and go with Donnie Thornberry here. Great motor, nasty mean-streak, and you just simply can’t teach speed and agility like that. His raw talent and killer competitve nature make up for his lack of football IQ. Natural speedsters like Thornberry come along once or twice a century. Can’t miss prospect.