The NFL offseason has just begun, and GMs have many decisions to make. With free agency approaching next month, teams are now mapping out potential targets according to need. Of course, after re-signing their own players, adding talent becomes most important. After established veterans are brought in, teams’ turn to selecting ideal collegiate prospects through the draft.
Entering 2014, New York Jets GM John Idzik seems to be in better position than he was this time last year.
A relatively strong finish pushed Gang Green to 8-8. They have navigated their way out of salary cap problems, and can create even more space with expected roster cuts. Some questions do remain, however. Quarterback Geno Smith looked uneven during his rookie year, so no announcement has been made for 2014’s starter. At least one safety is needed. The team’s pass protection could also improve with an addition on the right side. Most importantly, talented receivers must be acquired.
Here is what I believe New York should do in the first four rounds. The first round should be focused on drafting a receiver. A safety should then come off the board, followed by a tight end and a quarterback to compete with Smith.
Iron Bowl hero Chris Davis may be available and is worth consideration. Outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard could be an added pass rusher in taken in the fourth round, while Michigan’s Michael Schofield can provide solid fifth-round production at offensive tackle. Marqueston Huff could be worthy of their second pick of this round.
Matt Hazel brings great size, making him a nice sixth-round choice. If UCF‘s Storm Johnson remains on the board in the final round, he would be solid along with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell at RB. Ryan Gray would add another big body at offensive guard. Ethan Westbrooks is a small school product at defensive end that makes for an interesting final pick.
These later round players often contribute in vital ways, and getting them right will help Idzik continue his rebuilding plan.