Replacing Revis: What Should The Jets Do at Cornerback After a Trade

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Darrelle Revis has yet to be officially traded from the New York Jetsbut the breakup of Revis and the Jets seems imminent.

At this point in the off-season, the relationship between Revis and the Jets is like a married couple who are separated, but not yet officially divorced, and you know there’s no way they’re ever ever ever getting back together – like, ever.

In the event of a trade, what do the Jets plan to do with their defensive backfield? Will they trust Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson to be the team’s top two corners for another year?

They certainly could. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA statistic, the Jets were tenth overall against the pass in 2012. With Cromartie taking over covering the opposition’s No.1 receiver – the role Revis usually has – the Jets only dropped from first in 2011 to fifth in 2012. The Jets were still above average against an opponent’s No. 2 receiver, ranking 12th.

If the Jets aren’t satisfied staying with that pairing, taking a corner in the draft would be the next option. The Jets are better off looking into the draft than the scraps of the free agent corner market after the first tier of players the Jets can’t afford.

The earliest the Jets should think about picking a corner is the second round. The Jets have plenty of other positions to worry about with pick No. 9 in the first, plus top-ranked corner Dee Milliner — the only corner in the draft class worth a pick that high — will most likely be gone.

If the Jets want to take a look at a corner in the second round, they should look at Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer. Poyer is a player who is built more for games than combine workouts. His numbers at the combine weren’t very impressive — 4.54-second 40-time, 30.5-inch vertical leap — but his play at the Senior Bowl was.

Poyer was a consensus All-American, along with Milliner, after a seven-interception season. His ball skills are the closest thing the Jets will find to Revis in this draft class. There are some concerns about his height and speed to effectively play corner in the NFL, but with his ball skills, instincts and willingness to tackle, his worst case scenario could be a move to safety — another position the Jets need.

If the Jets want to wait until later in the draft, they could go with William & Mary’s B.W. Webb. Webb differs from Poyer in some aspects — he jumped out of the Combine with a 40.5-inch vertical leap and a 11-foot broad jump. Webb isn’t quite the gamer Poyer is, but if the Jets are going to be in a rebuilding mode, why not give time to an athlete like Webb to develop into a defensive playmaker? Webb also has the added dimension of punt returns.

Again, these draft picks are assuming Revis is traded and the Jets have multiple second and third-round picks to use on players like this in the draft — unless of course, the Jets decide to trade Revis for another player instead of picks.

Either way, the Jets will be able to find a plan to survive without Revis, whether it’s by staying put or finding new talent in the draft — both options will be slightly less trouble when they walk in.

 

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