New York Jets 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 1: Seven Rounds
New GM John Idzik Will Head the New York Jets War Room in 2013
It's a new era for the New York Jets, who enter the 2013 season with a new general manager who's looking to right the ship after a disappointing 6-10 season that cost former GM Mike Tannenbaum his job.
Rookie GM John Idzik has his work cut out for him, but he's ready for the challenge of turning around a Jets team that just a few short years ago was a strong playoff contender on the cusp of reaching the Super Bowl.
In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jets have a great opportunity to bring in some young talent capable of contributing right away as rookies, from the first round all the way through to the later rounds as well.
Idzik would surely love to have an inaugural draft like his predecessor did, as Tannenbaum was able to grab two Pro Bowl offensive linemen with his first two picks in 2006, along with some key contributors later on.
Of course, the Jets are hoping that Idzik's tenure turns out better than Tannenbaum's did. A good way to start would be to hit a home run in the draft, and supplement that young talent with shrewd free agent pickups.
Today, I'll be giving Jets fans a glimpse at what the Jets' 2013 rookie draft class could look like, with my first edition of a seven-round Jets mock draft. Check back every week for an updated mock every Monday night.
Without further ado, here is the first edition of the official 2013 Rant Sports seven-round Jets mock draft.
Round 1 - OLB Dion Jordan - University of Oregon
Officially listed at 6'6, 248 lbs at the NFL Combine, Dion Jordan is likely a lock for a top 10 selection in this year's draft. Not even offseason shoulder surgery has slowed his rise up the draft board.
Jordan's unique blend of size, speed and athleticism has put him firmly in the mix for the title of best pass rusher in the draft, and that's a position that the Jets have sorely needed to upgrade for quite some time now.
I don't know if Jordan will still be on the board when the Jets are on the clock at ninth overall, but they will certainly be doing jumping jacks in the Jets' war room if Jordan is there for the taking.
(Other round 1 possibilities: OLB Barkevious Mingo, DE Ezekial "Ziggy" Ansah, OG Chance Warmack)
Round 2 - DE Cornellius ''Tank'' Carradine - Florida State University
I'm doubling up on pass rushers for the Jets with their first two selections, and no, I will not apologize for it.
Many believe that Tank Carradine has first-round talent, and I think getting him 39th overall would be a solid move for Gang Green. He could be one of the best pass rushers in the draft, if healthy.
Unfortunately for Carradine, he tore the ACL in his right knee in late November, and it left him unable to participate in a lot of the pre-draft process, including the Senior Bowl and most of the NFL Combine drills.
Nevertheless, a healthy Tank Carradine coming off the edge would be a scary sight for opposing quarterbacks. He might not be a stellar run defender, but lining up next to Muhammad Wilkerson, he won't have to be.
(Other round 2 possibilities: OLB Corey Lemonier, OG Larry Warford, WR Justin Hunter)
Round 3 - TE Travis Kelce - University of Cincinnati
I've made it pretty clear in the past that I am not a fan of Dustin Keller.
Fortunately for me, Keller is likely on his way out, which means the Jets are in the market for a tight end.
Travis Kelce already appears to have his jet wings ready to go, and at 6'5, 255 lbs, he'd be a nice target for whoever is throwing him the football in the pros.
He's a strong, athletic tight end who can block with the best of them, something I love from a tight end, and something that the Jets did not get at all from Keller. Kelce could fit right in and start immediately as a rookie.
It should be a deep draft for tight ends, with viable contributors to be found all throughout the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. It might even be worth taking another tight end later on.
(Other round 3 possibilities: TE Gavin Escobar, QB EJ Manuel)
Round 4 - RB Stepfan Taylor - Stanford University
The Jets have drafted at least one running back every season of Rex Ryan's tenure, and all of them have come after day one of the draft. I'm thinking that trend will continue in 2013.
Stepfan Taylor, a 214-lb workhorse, can fill the shoes of the departing Shonn Greene and them some. He's exactly the type of back they're looking for.
A three-year starter at Stanford, Taylor is a hard-nosed runner who's capable of being an every-down back in the NFL, thanks to his ability to run the ball, pass block and catch passes out of the backfield.
He would join a Jets backfield that includes Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight and John Griffin, and he'd have every opportunity to win the starting job. He'd be a really nice pickup for the Jets in the fourth round.
(Other round 4 possibilities: RB Mike Gillislee, RB Montee Ball)
Round 5 - S Duke Williams - University of Nevada
The Jets will be in need of a safety, whether or not they re-sign LaRon Landry, and Duke Williams would be a pretty solid addition to throw into the mix with second-year safeties Josh Bush and Antonio Allen.
The Reno, Nev. native chose to turn down offers from higher profile schools to play for his hometown Wolf Pack, but his play has not gone unnoticed by NFL scouts looking for a smaller school sleeper.
Williams might be versatile enough to play both free safety spots, which is something the Jets love to have from their safeties. He's had some off-the-field issues, but he might be worth a shot in the fifth round.
Round 6 - OG Garrett Gilkey - Chadron State College
I'm dipping into the NCAA Division II pool for my sixth-round selection, offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey.
Gilkey was actually invited to the NFL Combine, a testament to his NFL-caliber ability. He weighed in at 6'6, 318 lbs, though I do think that this college left tackle probably fits better as a guard in the pros.
Gilkey was invited to the Senior Bowl and was able to hold his own against the best of the best, which bodes well for his NFL future. With proper coaching, he could be a viable starter at guard.
The last time the Jets used a sixth-round pick on a guard, they developed a quality three-year starter in Matt Slauson. Now, with Slauson potentially leaving as a free agent, they could go the same route with Gilkey.
Round 7 - TE Ben Cotton - University of Nebraska
With the Jets' seventh and final pick of the 2013 draft, I'm going with a second tight end.
Nebraska's Ben Cotton only had 40 receptions in his entire college career, but his bread and butter has always been his blocking. At 6'6, 255 lbs, he's got ideal size for a blocking specialist.
The seventh round is generally a crapshoot, but maybe the Jets can find a useful player here.
There's certainly nothing wrong with using a seventh-round pick on a guy who can do something well, especially when it's a skill set the Jets have been lacking for the past few years.
That's it for this edition of my seven-round Jets mock draft. Check back next week for the second edition.