Building sustained-success in the NFL starts with getting talent on both the offensive and defensive lines. Excelling in these areas allows a team to stop an opposing running back while making room for a playmaker on their side of the ball. Concern was present for the New York Jets in each aspect entering the 2013 NFL Draft.
Left guards Vladimir Duccasse and Matt Slauson struggled in pass protection last season. As a result, quarterback Mark Sanchez constantly got pressure from his blind side. Now that Slauson is gone, general manager John Idzik and company chose Brian Winters in the third round. He uses a combination of great size and strength to hold his blocks. Coming out of Kent State, Winters could prove to be a small school gem. A late-round selection could cause change on the other side.
Fifth-round pick Oday Aboushi offers a high motor with great size. He has played both tackle and guard during his collegiate career. There is a chance that Aboushi could overtake Austin Howard as starter. William Campbell, who was taken in the sixth round, is transitioning from defensive tackle to the offensive line. Given this fact, Campbell should be athletic. New York also acquired additional skill on the defensive line.
Although I thought that it was a questionable move, the selection of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson from Missouri gained a talented player. Taking an offensive weapon, as I have said, would have made more sense. Richardson however, brings versatility. He defends well against both the run and pass. Now the defensive prowess of head coach Rex Ryan really could be displayed. Richardson will likely play defensive end in New York’s base 3-4 scheme. This allows Quinton Coples to serve as a pass rushing outside linebacker. The Jets hope he could make an impact comparable to Demarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys. If their prospects pan out it appears New York has made significant strides towards rebuilding.