New York Jets 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 7: Seven Rounds
The New York Jets Enter the 2013 NFL Draft With Two Top-15 Selections
The oft-rumored trade of New York Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now official, and the most immediate impact of that trade is on the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft this week.
With mere days to spare before this year's draft, the Jets made by far the most significant move of the John Idzik era to date, as the rookie GM pulled the trigger on the Revis deal and brought in an extra first-round pick.
In addition to a conditional 2014 draft pick, the Jets acquired the 13th overall pick in this year's draft to go along with the 9th overall pick that they already earned by virtue of finishing with a 6-10 record last season.
Now with two of the top 13 picks, and three of the top 39, Idzik and the Jets have the ability to get multiple high-impact rookies, and also retain the flexibility to move around the draft board as needed.
After completing six previous weekly seven-round Jets mock drafts with seven-man rookie draft classes, the seventh and final edition of my seven-round Jets mock draft will have eight players in the wake of the trade.
This week, I will do my best to try to project what I think the Jets could do with these eight picks, and yes, I'm fully aware of how futile an exercise it may be to try to predict something as unpredictable as the draft.
But why not have some fun with it? In a few short days, every NFL fan will finally get to know who will be a part of their rookie class in 2013. Without further ado, here is v7.0 of my seven-round Jets mock draft.
Round 1 - DT Star Lotulelei - University of Utah
It's really anybody's guess what the Jets will do with their two top draft picks, #9 and #13 overall. I've believed for weeks now that Dion Jordan, Ezekial "Ziggy" Ansah and Star Lotulelei are all top-tier targets for the Jets.
There is a very strong chance that the two edge rushers, Jordan and Ansah, will go off the board before the Jets are on the clock at ninth overall, as will at least two left tackle prospects and likely one nose tackle.
The Jets aren't in the market for any of the three prized left tackles, (Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson) but if one of them is available at nine, that would make for some interesting trade bait for the Jets.
However, if the Jets do stand pat with their ninth overall pick, they could have a guy like Star Lotulelei drop to them, and if they deemed him the best player available on their board, they could very well take him.
Other possibilities at this spot could include pass rushers Barkevious Mingo, Björn Werner or Tank Carradine, one of the top offensive guards, Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack, or even quarterback Geno Smith.
But for now, I'll pencil in Lotulelei to the Green and White here at number nine, yet that could change.
I believe trading back for more draft picks is not only a legitimate possibility for the Jets, but possibly even John Idzik's priority. It would not surprise me one bit to see the Jets trade down, maybe even more than once.
Round 1 (from Buccaneers) - WR Tavon Austin - West Virginia University
For the first time in my seven weeks putting together these seven-round Jets mock drafts, a major trade has shaken things up, and the Jets now have some extra ammunition in the first round to make a big impact.
Personally, I'm not quite sold on Tavon Austin, especially since his listed height and weight (5'8, 174 lbs) are significantly smaller than almost every single NFL starter at any position on offense or defense.
Nevertheless, Austin looks like a look to go in the first half of the first round, and perhaps the Jets would even attempt to reunite the two West Virginia stars, Geno Smith and Austin, with those two first-round picks.
Perhaps this is another opportunity for the Jets to trade back, especially since Austin projects best as a slot receiver, and the Jets already have a darn good slot receiver on their roster in third-year man Jeremy Kerley.
Regardless, when it comes to projecting who will go #13 overall in this year's draft, and which team will even own the rights to that selection when it's all said and done, your guess is as good as mine.
Round 2 - DE Margus Hunt - Southern Methodist University
(Previous Mock Draft Selections: v1.0 - DE/OLB Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, v2.0 - Tank Carradine, v3.0 - Tank Carradine, v4.0 - OG Larry Warford, v5.0 - ILB/OLB Arthur Brown, v6.0 - ILB Kevin Minter)
Margus Hunt is an interesting player, a 6'8, 277-lb defensive end who Rex Ryan personally worked out at Hunt's Pro Day in March. Connecting those dots, Hunt could be the Jets' primary target at #39 overall.
Nobody knows how to develop defensive line talent like Rex Ryan, and considering he worked out Hunt as much as he worked out Quinton Coples in last year's pre-draft process, this pick could make a lot of sense.
If the Jets don't take a defensive end or outside linebacker with either of their first-rounders, perhaps they take one with their second-rounder. That flexibility in round one may allow them to wait a bit for a guy like Hunt.
Round 3 - TE Travis Kelce - University of Cincinnati
Travis Kelce might not be my favorite tight end in this draft, but Travis Kelce to the Jets in the third round has been unquestionably my favorite pick in the seven-week history of these mock drafts, and that won't change.
There's a good chance the Jets will consider Tyler Eifert, Zach Ertz and Gavin Escobar with some of their earlier picks, and/or some other tight ends later. But I think it would be pretty exciting to get Kelce at this spot.
Kelce can be a true two-way tight end, with the ability to be a punishing blocker as well as a legitimate receiving threat in the passing game. His skill set is something the Jets have lacked for far too long.
Round 4 - RB Le'Veon Bell - Michigan State University
I am still anticipating that the Jets will look to acquire running back Chris Ivory in the next few days, perhaps for a fifth- or sixth-round draft pick. However, I'm on deadline, and as of Monday, that deal is still just a rumor.
So for now, I'm selecting running back Le'Veon Bell in the fourth-round to pair up with an offseason addition, Mike Goodson, to form the Jets' primary running back tandem. However, I do believe that Ivory is on his way.
Bell is a big back, officially listed at 6'1, 230 lbs, and he's a strong power back who nevertheless has more agility than expected for a man his size. He would be a good fit as the thumper in a running back platoon.
Getting Chris Ivory for a fifth- or sixth-rounder would be a huge win for the Jets, but getting a guy like Bell (who the Jets have reportedly shown strong interest in) wouldn't be a poor consolation prize in round four.
Round 5 - S Josh Evans - University of Florida
It's possible this fifth-round pick will no longer be the Jets' property come Thursday, as they continue to pursue Chris Ivory. This draft pick here in round five has been the most prevalent rumored compensation.
Nevertheless, if they do keep this pick, the middle rounds of the draft might be where the Jets target a rookie safety who could potentially win a starting job opposite veteran free agent addition Dawan Landry.
Josh Evans is a 6'1, 207-lb free safety who could be available here, and could contribute as an immediate starter as a rookie if he can pick up the Jets' complex defensive scheme quickly enough in training camp.
There are plenty of quality safeties in this draft, even on the third day of draft weekend. I would be shocked if the Jets didn't leave Radio City Music Hall with at least one defensive back, especially a safety.
Round 6 - TE Levine Toilolo - Stanford University
Levine Toilolo isn't going to be the first tight end drafted from his own school, (that would be projected first-rounder Zach Ertz), but the 6'8, 260-lb behemoth is an intriguing late-round prospect in his own right.
The California native (whose name is pronounced "la-veen toy-lo-lo") obviously has intriguing size, but inconsistency will likely keep him from hearing his name called until day three of the draft.
Toilolo is very much a receiving threat and not so much of a blocker, but if the Jets take a guy like Travis Kelce in round three, that won't really matter much. Even as raw as he is, Toilolo is a born red zone threat.
It's probably unlikely that the Jets take two tight ends in this draft. I'm guessing a cornerback or guard could easily be taken instead. Trying to predict sixth- and seventh-round selections is a mostly fruitless endeavor.
Round 7 - QB Alex Carder - Western Michigan Univresity
With my final selection of my final mock draft, seven weeks in the making, I am going with a signal-caller from the Mid-American Conference, a project quarterback named Alex Carder, from Western Michigan University.
The 6'2, 216-lb Carder was not invited to the combine, but the Jets have shown interest in him throughout the pre-draft process, as they reportedly had him in for a private visit, in addition to attending his Pro Day workout.
Arguably all the quarterbacks in this draft class, especially the mid- to late-round guys, will need a lot of coaching, development and patience in order to make an impact in the NFL as rookies. Carder is no different.
I expect the Jets to take a quarterback at some point in this draft, perhaps as a guy to develop for a year and compete with a 2014 rookie for the starting job. Competition at every position is the John Idzik way.
After nearly two months of research and projection, I've reached the end of my mock draft journey. Whoever they end up with, I hope the Jets' 2013 rookie class can make a positive impact for many years to come.
In just a few short days, we'll finally find out how everything shakes out. Draft day can't come soon enough.