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5 Potential First-Round Selections for New York Jets in 2014 NFL Draft

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2014 NFL Draft: 5 Potential First-Round Selections for New York Jets

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Finishing at 8-8 this year puts the New York Jets ahead of schedule in their rebuilding process. It wasn’t good enough for a playoff return, though, and when trying to see where they fit big picture in the AFC things get difficult. Obviously New York needs much improvement to be mentioned among elite clubs, but the team was only one game out of the conference’s final playoff spot. Pass rush represents one major strength with their young and dynamic defensive line. If safeties improve then this unit will be complete.

Offensively, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell form one solid running back tandem. Ivory brings brute strength while Powell serves as change of pace. Adding another player at this position would only make sense later in the draft or via a cheap free agent. Three solid backs would make them more dangerous, but again it is not that important.

Pass protection looked inconsistent at times, especially on the right side of the line. Now comes one major question mark in quarterback play. Geno Smith was taken No. 39 overall in 2013’s Draft, and according to some he embodied Gang Green’s future. Mark Sanchez will be released despite wanting to stick around. Matt Simms should go, but given his cap-friendly deal he will likely stay. General manger John Idzik spent his first offseason signing unheralded free agent veterans. Now that they have some space to work with, intrigue is there. How this team approaches the draft in regards to quarterback also is interesting. With all of the following in mind here are five prospects New York could take No. 18 overall.

Nick Mamary is a New York Jets writer for Follow him on Twitter @NickMamary1, Like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Greg Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Auburn

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I can see the anger from Jets fans present at the draft if such a scenario were to take place. They want skill position talent badly. Greg Robinson is a big left tackle that I would switch to the right side. He could replace Austin Howard and anchor their unit for unit for years to come. However, Idzik should not go this route. It would be just like Gang Green to do this, though.

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4. Derek Carr, Quarterback, Fresno State

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Quarterback is not the Jets’ biggest need, but if they decide to chose one in the first-round Derek Carr could make sense. This move might be a mistake, because it pretty much means they have already given up on Smith. One argument for Carr is how he functions more as a pocket passer, which helps in OC Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast system. Once again, though, picking a signal-caller early creates a number of potentially damaging questions regarding stability.

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3. Jace Amaro, Tight End, Texas Tech

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This tight end brings exciting playmaking ability. Positional depth currently boasts players like Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow. Both will be free agents, however, so adding Jace Amaro makes some sense. Outside playmakers should be a priority first.

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2. Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Vanderbilt

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It may be high for Jordan Matthews to go at No. 18 according to some mock drafts, but I think he brings a solid possession guy who can bring speed as well. Again many projections have Mathews going later in the first, but this would not be a bad choice.

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1. Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver, USC

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New York would be better off with Sammy Watkins, but that won’t happen unless they trade up. Lee’s stock has fallen, but he is good enough to help the Jets at receiver.