The New York Jets Need to Take "Best Player Available" Approach in Draft

By Dan Pizzuta
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With both the Super Bowl and Senior Bowl passing us, it has officially become mock draft season all across the internet.

As the NFL Scouting Combine approaches in the coming weeks, prospective rookies’ draft stocks will rise and fall with how well, or poorly, their workouts go.

The New York Jets  will have a large interest in the combine with a top-10 pick, ninth, in this year’s draft. With a top-10 pick, it is expected the player taken should have an immediate impact on the roster. While the Jets should be looking for that impact, they cannot be sucked into having a preconceived position to target.

The Jets have a lot of holes on their roster, and because of that cannot afford to reach for a player in a position of need when more than one position fall into that category. Going into the draft thinking, “We need to take a wide receiver” would be a mistake.

This draft class is reportedly deep at several positions—quarterback not one of them—which should allow the Jets to address many needs.

If you need to be reminded, the last two top-10 picks for the Jets were Mark Sanchez at No. 5 in 2009 and Vernon Gholston at No. 6 in 2008. Those two names should be enough to prove reaching for a position isn’t a smart option.

Of course Gholston was considered one of the best players available in 2008, but trading up to target Sanchez in 2009 erased a lot of value.

This approach, hypothetically, should help the Jets approaching the draft as they can be open minded on a wide range of prospects. Take for instance the Miami Dolphins, who could be so obsessed with getting quarterback Ryan Tannehill a new toy at wide receiver, they could reach for one no matter what value, or lack thereof, the pick may have—especially with Jeff Ireland making the decisions.

The Jets are better off in this draft collecting good players at various positons instead of searching for a star at a skill position.

New GM John Idzik seems to be a smart guy on the right track to turning the franchise around— with moves such as cutting Bart Scott and Calvin Pace. If he can approach the draft with the same logic of getting value at each pick, the Jets will start to improve sooner than later.

If the Jets are still going to be the Jets and need to make a big splash at a “postion of need,” it could be more likely they end up with another version of a no-value contract rather than a future star.



Follow Dan on Twitter @DanPizzuta

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