NFL New York Jets

2013 NFL Draft: Five options for New York Jets at No. 9

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Who Will the New York Jets Draft at No. 9?

Patterson
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

As is the situation for most of the teams drafting in the Top 10 of the 2013 NFL Draft, making the most of your first-round pick can be the difference between a quick trip back to the playoffs and putting the franchise back five years.

The New York Jets are no exception.

For years now, the Jets have been trying to cross the bridge between middle-of-the-road and playoff team. Despite their best efforts via both free agency and the draft, nothing has worked. Season after season, they continue to disappoint and fall short of the expectations that head coach Rex Ryan sets for the team.

After an offseason of tearing down and rebuilding the roster, the pressure is on the Jets more than ever to make the most of their first-round pick. Currently in possession of the No. 9 overall selection, they’ll have plenty of options to choose from when they’re finally on the clock.

From reaching for a potential franchise quarterback to taking one of the best defenders in the 2013 draft class, the Jets will have more than a handful of avenues to consider taking when April rolls around. A big part of the process will be determined by whether or not they feel that the available quarterbacks at No. 9 can be better than the signal-callers currently on their roster. If that’s not the case, picking up a defensive end or linebacker will be the safer pick.

One way or another, the Jets must make the right calls on draft day. It’s a make-or-break year for Ryan and Co., and hitting a homerun with their first-round pick will be a huge factor in determining whether or not the coaching staff gets a remodel in 2014.

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Dion Jordan, Outside Linebacker, Oregon

Jordan
Jim Z. Rider-USA TODAY Sports

As much as this pick makes sense for the Jets, it’s hard to imagine Jordan getting this far down the draft. If, for some strange reason, he did, Gang Green would be smart to rush up to the podium and snag the former Oregon stud. Jordan is a dynamic player with the athleticism to be a complete nightmare as a pass-rusher. He’s quick, agile and has the flexibility to turn the edge on even the best tackles. Especially since the Jets have been brutally lackluster in the pass-rush department as of late, it makes sense that a player like Jordan is directly in their crosshairs as the draft draws closer. Unfortunately for them, they might not even get the chance.

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Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC

Barkley
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As polarizing of a prospect as Barkley might be, the Jets desperately need a new quarterback and could be willing to scoop one up at No. 9 if they get enamored enough with a particular player. While Barkley is far from a sure thing, anything would be better than Mark Sanchez at this point. With Barkley, the Jets would be getting a proven winner who was considered a Top 10 talent last year before opting to stay in school. Many people have pointed out his flaws in the last few months, but Barkley still has the tools to succeed in the NFL with the proper coaching and a strong support system. The Jets aren’t the ideal match in that scenario, but could make things work if they put all of their chips in the Barkley basket.

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Barkevious Mingo, Outside Linebacker, LSU

Mingo
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Much for the same reasons that Jordan is a fit, Mingo makes a boatload of sense for the Jets. On top of elite pass-rushing skills, the former LSU star brings an electrifying burst to the defensive line that simply isn’t matched anywhere outside of the Top 15 players in this year’s class. While Mingo may be one of the biggest projects heading into April considering his rawness and lack of size, the potential that he holds as an edge rusher simply can’t be ignored. If Jordan is gone at No. 9, you better believe the Jets will be pondering long and hard about bringing Mingo aboard.

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Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee

Patterson
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

For years now, the Jets have been lacking a top-flight wide receiver who can make sparks fly whenever the ball is in his hands. That’s the type of player that Patterson is. It doesn’t get much better than Patterson when it comes to making people miss, as he uses his elusiveness, agility and burst to leave defenders grasping at air. Many consider him an extremely raw talent because of his lack of experience and polish, but Patterson has the talent to be a sparkplug from Day 1 in the NFL. If the Jets want a bigger, stronger version of Percy Harvin on their offense, they’d be smart to grab Patterson at No. 9 – if he’s available.

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Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah

Lotulelei
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

One draft after another, the Jets continue their search for a dominant defensive lineman who can be the anchor of their 3-4 attack. What better way to address the issue once and for all than by adding a mammoth of a man in the form of Lotulelei, a star in the making. Although it would be a bit of a waste to use Lotulelei as a two-gap nose tackle, the Jets could definitely use his presence on the interior of their defense. He’s as disruptive of a defensive tackle as you’ll find in this draft class, and could fall right into their laps at No. 9 considering his recent health concerns. If New York lands Lotulelei, they’d be getting one of the biggest steals of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Content Planner/NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.