General manager John Idzik made his presence felt in the New York Jets war room at the 2013 NFL Draft, his first draft as an NFL GM. Despite a plethora of positions of need, Idzik never once strayed from his draft board.
For Idzik, that meant scooping up two elite defensive prospects on day one of the draft, which has to make coach Rex Ryan smile. However, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wasn’t left out in the cold on draft weekend.
In fact, after addressing the defense with their two first-round picks, the Jets used all of their remaining six draft picks on offensive players. That haul was highlighted, of course, by their new quarterback and running back.
On day two, the Jets spent a second-rounder on their top-ranked QB prospect, Geno Smith, and then traded their fourth-rounder to the New Orleans Saints for running back Chris Ivory and signed him to a three-year extension.
Surprisingly, rather than address some expected areas of need like tight end or safety with their third-, fifth- and sixth-round selections, the Jets strengthened an already quite formidable unit on their team, the offensive line.
In round three, they took offensive tackle/guard Brian Winters; in round five, tackle/guard Oday Aboushi; and in round six, they took William Campbell, a college defensive tackle who will convert to guard in the pros.
Those rookie linemen, as well as free agent additions Willie Colon and Stephen Peterman, will compete for a spot on a Jets offensive line that still has two cornerstone guys in Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
The Jets brought back starting right tackle Austin Howard, which means that the bulk of the competition in camp will be at the guard spots, where holdover Vladimir Ducasse will compete with the new Jets additions.
In the meantime, the Jets quickly signed a few wide receivers, tight ends and defensive backs as undrafted free agents. John Idzik preaches discipline and competition, and this summer, we’ll get to see how that all plays out.
It certainly raised a few eyebrows when the Jets bypassed skill position players to fortify an already stout O-line, but it was a bold strategy to identify good value and trust the board. Time will tell if they made the right decision.