With the rush of free agency in the rearview mirror it is time to focus in on the NFL Draft, specifically on team draft needs. In this article we look at the New York Jets draft needs for 2016 as we approach the April 28th 1st round from Chicago. 2015 was fairly successful for the Jets. At 10-6 they were the “best of the rest” in the AFC in their first year under Todd Bowles. Moving forward they will be keen to improve and get themselves on the inside of the playoff group looking out. That process starts with the draft and filling some of the gaps in their roster.
This is the most obvious one. Last year’s starter Ryan Fitzpatrick is still floating around on the free agent market but there is a chance he will be not be coming back to East Rutherford, so draft day becomes the place the Jets are most likely going to find their starter for 2016 – no offence Geno Smith! Picking at #20 isn’t the best place to be when you need a quarterback, but this year there may well be good options falling to the mid-first round, within striking distance for a trade, or they could pick up someone like Cardale Jones on day 2, who needs some work but has a lot of upside.
Edge Pass Rusher
The Jets have done a good job at getting to the QB in recent years without a real edge presence, and Todd Bowles has had success in a similar situation in Arizona, but it would certainly be nice to have. The Jets D-Line of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams do a great job of creating inside pressure but having that edge man would help generate a rush without blitzing and also improve their run contain. It’s something the Jets have been making do without, but with could propel them to new heights defensively.
Dee Milliner hasn’t developed into the quality starter Jets brass hoped when they drafted him 9th overall in 2013. With Antonio Cromartie released this offseason there is a clear need for New York to address this area of the defense. Darrelle Revis has fallen below his All-Pro standards since his return to Gang Green and there is a danger of this area becoming a weakness for the Jets – something that will not go well for them given they still have to face Tom Brady and the Patriots twice a year!