By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on April 22, 2014
With the 2014 NFL Draft rapidly approaching, it's time to compose a seven-round mock draft for the New York Jets. This mock was conducted via First-pick.com's simulator, so please note this isn't a prediction on my part, but merely myself picking for the Jets as if I were the GM according to what prospects the simulator deems available in each round. Let's get to the results.
The Jets don't exactly have a shortage of picks, but there's nothing wrong with trading back in the first round in order to acquire an extra second-rounder -- especially if the players under consideration at pick No. 18 could just as easily be had later in the round. In exchange for the Denver Broncos' selections in the first and second rounds, I gave up the Jets' No. 18 overall selection in this mock.
Antonio Cromartie is now with the Arizona Cardinals and last year's first-round pick, Dee Milliner, is still somewhat unproven. Thus, cornerback should be the Jets' top priority in May's draft. Ohio State's Bradley Roby would be a coup near the end of the first round. Roby has the speed and ball skills to instantly improve the Jets' secondary.
The Jets are desperate for a productive receiving tight end, and Texas Tech product Jace Amaro would provide them with just that. A select few consider Amaro the top tight end of the class and those who don't likely slot him at No. 2 behind North Carolina's Eric Ebron. Amaro has the potential to become a security blanket for Geno Smith or Michael Vick.
In order to improve against the pass in 2014, the Jets must generate a more consistent pass rush. Georgia Tech's Jeremiah Attaochu could be the disruptive edge rusher Rex Ryan's front seven is missing.
The Jets' offensive line was less than formidable in 2013. Solidifying one of the guard spots with Stanford's David Yankey could do wonders for running backs Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson.
Waiting until the fourth round to address the Jets' void at receiver is far from ideal. Fortunately, it's a deep class at the position. Bruce Ellington possesses an atypical body type, but he's a playmaker who gets the job done on game days.
The Jets double down at receiver in this mock, picking up an intriguing prospect in Pittsburgh's Devin Street. Street possesses a nice blend of height and reliable hands.
With Michael Vick and Geno Smith in the mix, the Jets appear set at quarterback for now. But in the event Vick's age shows and Smith struggles to develop, depth and eventual competition at the position will be needed. Alabama's A.J. McCarron could at least become a decent backup down the road.
The Jets should consider doubling down at cornerback. Notre Dame's Bennett Jackson could provide depth in the secondary.
Boston College product Matt Patchan looks the part when he's on the field. Due to injuries and a couple of freak accidents (including getting shot!), though, he wasn't on the field all that much. He would be a high upside pick on day three.
The Jets could use a rangy free safety on the back end of the secondary. Western Kentucky's Jonathan Dowling would be no guarantee to make the team, but he has some impressive raw ability.
Jay Bromley could develop into nice depth piece for New York's stout defensive line.
A best-player-available pickup, Wisconsin's James White could give the Jets' stable of backs physicality in case Chris Ivory goes down with an injury.
L'Damian Washington has impressive physical tools, but he would likely be a project to develop on the practice squad.
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