What The New York Jets Should Do With The 16th Overall Pick In The 2012 NFL Draft

By Akiva Goldenberg

I’ve watched all the film I’m going to watch prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, had to revert many of my positions on prospects, and argued about nearly every possible 2012 first round pick. Here is a list of the options the New York Jets will should consider with their 16th overall pick:

  • Trade down for once: The New York Jets need a new running back, wide receiver, right tackle, 3-4 defensive tackle, outside linebacker/pass rusher, and free safety. If a top talent slides down to that pick, then the Jets should use that as leverage and make a great trade to move down.
  • Draft David DeCastro (Stanford): DeCastro is the fifth best player in this year’s draft but may slide due to the fact he plays an undervalued position, offensive guard. Fortunately for the Jets the Stanford lineman can also play right tackle which would give them more versatility on the offensive line.
  • Draft Riley Reiff (Iowa): Another player that could slide to the 16th overall pick, Reiff is a quality offensive tackle and has the potential to become an elite right tackle. I have him rated as the eighth best prospect in this year’s draft for the Jets.
  • Draft Mark Barron (Alabama): He is the best safety prospect in this draft and I think he could play both strong safety and free safety. Barron is the only safety in this year’s draft that may be able to cover Rob Gronkowski in man coverage. He also is an excellent decision maker who possesses a killer instinct and can read offenses at a level no other safety prospect this year can match. Any concerns about his double hernia injury are ridiculous, I can say this because unfortunately I have experienced a double hernia, and he will be perfectly fine for rookie off-season activities.
  • Draft Michael Brockers (LSU): The LSU defensive tackle is arguable the best five technique defensive end prospect in this year’s draft. I think he would be even better in the 3-4 defensive tackle position that Rex Ryan’s defense utilizes. He would make a huge difference against passing offenses and allow the Jets linebackers to have an easier time to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
  • Draft Whitney Mercilus (Illinois): If the Jets must target “pass rushers” with their 16th overall pick then Mercilus might be the best prospect. He has a fantastic motor, a very good frame for an outside linebacker, and more upside potential than any other prospect at the position. Some may be considered he’s a one year wonder but the same could have been said about Jason Pierre Paul, who played only one year of Division I college football with far worse production.
  • Draft Dontari Poe (Memphis): Some might be worried about Poe’s “lack of production” at Memphis but based on his tape I saw a player who was a motivated and dangerous prospect at the 3-4 defensive tackle position. His frame is ideal for the position and his combine figures show he has similar athleticism to Haloti Ngata, who is considered the best 3-4 defensive tackle in the NFL.
  • Draft Nick Perry (USC): This USC defensive prospect has a frame that is suited for the outside linebacker position and has experience dropping back in coverage, he played the elephant defensive end position in 2009 under Pete Carroll. Perry also had better combine figures than almost every outside linebacker prospect in this year’s draft.
  • Draft Doug Martin (Boise State): If the Jets won’t want to consider any of the prospects I listed above then they should draft Doug Martin. Martin can do everything a running back is expected to do and he would be an immediate impact play-maker for the Jets. He could possibly save Mark Sanchez‘s job for the beleaguered fourth year starter. The Jets will most likely not get a chance to pick this tailback in the second round, barring a trade up.
You might notice certain names are not on this list and that’s because they don’t fit with what the Jets are trying to do. Melvin Ingram is not a pass rusher and is best suited to play inside linebacker. Courtney Upshaw is a safe pick but he’s more of a run stopper and would just be a player similar to Jarret Johnson in their current scheme. Chandler Jones is best suited to gain 15-20 pounds and play the five technique defensive end position, which makes him worth at best a late first round pick.

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