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NFL New York Jets

NFL Rumors: Are the New York Jets Looking to Trade for Morris Claiborne?

Morris Claiborne

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The New York Jets need a cornerback in a bad way, and are stuck between a rock and a hard place with the 18th overall pick in the draft, having to choose between filling the hole left by the recently departed Antonio Cromartie, or addressing their talent-depleted offensive side of the ball. The Jets have been tied to nearly every top corner in the draft it seems, but if they find that some of the top-tier corners such as Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard have already come off the board by the time New York is on the clock, don’t be surprised if they look to go  another route. The latest rumors suggest that the Dallas Cowboys are looking to sell and the Jets are looking to buy — could a draft-day trade be in the works?

Morris Claiborne was a highly-touted prospect coming out of LSU, and was picked sixth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft after the Dallas Cowboys traded up to select the All-SEC corner and Jim Thorpe Award winner. Claiborne has failed to meet expectations thus far, however, and has struggled with injuries and an ill-fitting defensive scheme in Dallas. He’s had trouble adjusting to the Cowboys’ zone-heavy defense, as even Claiborne himself has attributed many of his struggles as a pro to the fact defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin‘s scheme relies very little on man coverage, Claiborne’s bread and butter.

Are you listening, Rex Ryan?

The Jets’ aggressive, blitz-happy defense requires strong man-to-man corner play in order to work effectively, and adding a talented, man-coverage-friendly CB with something to prove like Morris Claiborne could be a recipe for success.

The Jets have 12 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, including four in the fourth round, and it’s very unlikely they end up using them all. Unloading one of these picks, or even two depending on what Dallas is looking for, could certainly be in the cards for Gang Green. GM John Idzik has already demonstrated that he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on a draft-day trade, having done so when he swapped a fourth rounder in 2013 for another talented but injury-prone player, Chris Ivory

Claiborne is a scheme fit, fills an enormous need for the team and would allow the Jets to focus on the offense during the draft. This is definitely one trade scenario Jets fans should keep a close eye on.

Follow Luke Ewing on Twitter.