2K3 Jets Draft Preview

The Jets' positions of need are no secret...in this latest update we'll provide you with everything you need to know about who the Jets are targeting on draft day.

The NFL Draft is an exciting time for Jets fans.  The organization has drafted well in recent years and it shows in the starting roster in every aspect on the field.  Chad Pennington, Anthony Becht, Kareem McKenzie, Shaun Ellis, John Abraham, Jon McGraw, Santana Moss and LaMont Jordan play a tremendous starting role in at least one aspect of the team.  Don't forget, if Bryan Thomas can contribute at DE this year it will essentially be a "third" first round pick in this year's draft!

The Jets have the #13 pick (acquired from Washington for Laveranues Coles) and the #22 pick in the first round.  While fans are speculating that the team needs a WR, it is believed that the team brass is looking closely at infusing more speed and youth into the defensive side of the ball.  Here we will look at where the team might be looking with their two first round selections, minus the prospects who will clearly be off the board by pick 13:

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

William Joseph. Miami
6'5" 295 lbs.
Do any Miami players fail at the next level?  William Joseph is an example of a player who stayed a year too long.  Widely seen as a top 5 pick in the 2002 draft, Joseph came back to help the Hurricanes make a bid for back-to-back National Championships and his stock fell.  Joseph's has unmatched athletic ability at the DT position.  Isn't known for being as dominating as other top DT prospects Jimmy Kennedy (Penn State) or Dwayne Robertson (Kentucky), but has the ability to be.  Size and athleticism are tremendous; plays as though he is a DE with exceptional pursuit, both laterally and down field; uses speed and quickness to make plays; averaged 10 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and 15 QB pressures in his 4 years as a starter at Miami.  Fire and intensity questioned after not progressing as many thought he would...Herman Edwards could be just the man William Joseph needs to get his passion for the game on the same level as his uncanny combination of size, athleticism, technique, durability (started every game of his career).  If this ever happens....William Joseph could prove be the steal of the draft.

Kevin Williams
, Oklahoma State
6'4" 301 lbs.
Williams solidified himself as a top 5 DT with a tremendous Senior Bowl.  He is a dominating force inside; very aggressive; excellent quickness off the ball; ran a 4.84 forty at the NFL combine; uses his hands very well..  Kevin is a strong player who has the strength and drive to collapse the pocket and the athletic burst to close once he breaks through the line.  Williams is currently being viewed as a top 15 draft pick with good athleticism, strong fundamentals, and loads of potential at the next level.  Could be the three-technique DT the Jets have been looking for...

Johnathan Sullivan, Georgia
6'3" 303 lbs.
Sullivan comes from the Georgia Bulldog Factory of DL Prospects.  Compared to fellow Bulldog DTs recently drafted, Marcus Stroud and Richard Seymour were both better prospects.  Sullivan plays exceptionally strong against the run; isn't much of a pass rusher with only 4 sacks last season.  Although he ran a 5.02 forty yard dash, Sullivan's lateral quickness is evident on game film.  Benefits greatly from a DT rotation...seen as a player that needs refining.  Once his technique catches up to his natural strength, ability, and footwork, could be a BIG factor in the NFL.

LINEBACKER

Boss Bailey, Georgia
6'3" 230 lbs.
Rodney "Boss" Bailey is the only name you need to know at OLB.  His athleticism is unheard of for a linebacker.  Boss's slowest forty time was clocked at 4.46 and he has an incredible 46" vertical jump.  Could be the top pure athlete in the entire draft.  Size is debated widely as Boss's game lacks physicality and power.  EXCELS at playing in space in a 4-3 scheme such as the one utilized by the Jets.  Does not fight off blocks particularly well...assuming the blocker is ever able to track him down.  Extremely effective in coverage; turn and run skills combine with his burst so well, analysts say he can make the move to safety if needed; uses his hands and unmatched leaping ability to take away the passing lanes..  Boss Bailey is far and away the best linebacker in the draft and will make a tremendous impact at weakside linebacker in the NFL.  It's no secret that the Jets are looking to get younger and more athletic at LB...with Mo Lewis' age and salary could easily be the pick at #13...if he's still there.

E.J. Henderson, Maryland
6'1" 250 lbs.
If you're thinking Henderson is a little small to play MLB at the next level...you may be right.  The 2002 Butkus Award Winner may figure to be a strongside linebacker in the NFL.  Is currently the top MLB prospect in the draft.  Some consider Henderson to be the best MLB prospect in years; compared favorably to Jeremiah Trotter.  Henderson is a tackling machine who had an explosive senior season.  EJ registered 175 tackles (19.5 behind the line of scrimmage) and 8.5 sacks.  Uses tremendous instincts and athleticism to make up for lack of pure speed; plays downhill and aggressively; fights off blockers very well; one of the best tacklers in the draft at any position; tremendous change of direction skills, awareness, and ability to cover backs and tight ends makes Henderson an every-down player.  Already possesses the skills and motor that Herman Edwards looks for in a defensive player.  As previously stated, the Jets are looking to get younger and more athletic at LB...Marvin Jones does not have age on his side although his salary as not as large as Mo's.  Would be considered a reach at #13 but if Henderson is still on the board at #22 the Jets may jump at the chance to grab him.

WIDE RECEIVER

Kelley Washington, Tennessee
6'3" 224 lbs.
If Washington hadn't had a serious neck surgery and played minor league baseball, he would easily have been a top 10 draft pick.  Seems like there are a lot of "IFs" with Kelley Washington...that said, with the loss of Laveranues Coles and addition of veteran WR Curtis Conway...the Jets added a presence at WR but not a star.  Washington has all of the tools to succeed in the pro game.  Kelley ran a 4.42 forty and increased his stock to a first round pick with his workout for scouts at the Vols' practice facility..  Superb physically; benched 19 reps of 225 lbs.; very mature; route-running and breakaway speed have been questioned but the knock on Washington is clearly his durability.  No other prospect had to have surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his spine.  At his size with the speed he possesses, Washington would be on par with Rogers and Johnson if he had been able to play an entire soph. season of football...the ultimate "risk" pick as he could make Jets fans forget about the loss of Laveranues Coles OR could easily irritate Jets fans with lack of playing time due to health.  Should Washington finally have his health problems behind him...he is the Willis McGahee at WR...will be a big star in the pros.

Taylor Jacobs, Florida
6'0" 200 lbs.
Does a Florida WR ever pan out in the NFL?  Jacobs possesses what PSU RB Larry Johnson possesses...a curse.  Draft after draft there is a Florida Gator WR who is extremely polished and has skills that will quickly translate to the pro game.  Draft after draft there is a Florida Gator WR who fails to be an impact WR at the next level.  Taylor has the toughness that has been lacking in Florida WRs of years past; game did not slip once Steve Spurrier left the Gator program; solidified status as a first round pick with a 4.43 forty and 38" vertical jump; viewed as much better pro prospect than previous Gator WRs Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell.  Jacobs would be a great fit in the west coast offense but names such as Travis Taylor and Jacquez Green awaken the ghosts of Florida WRs past and scare many people away...clearly has the ability to buck the Gator trend but would surprise more by making a great pro than he would by not becoming a great pro.

Bryant Johnson, Penn State

6'2" 210 lbs.
Johnson is very Physical and runs precise routes.  With his size, widely regarded as a possession receiver in the NFL.  After being clocked between 4.38 and 4.40 in the forty, prompted many scouts to admit Bryant had better speed than they believed.  Bryant Johnson was overshadowed by his brother Larry at PSU but with his experience as a go-to receiver and big play artist...doesn't need a "system" to flourish at WR as is the perception of Taylor Jacobs.  Johnson's willingness to block and strong fundamentals point to a "poor-man's Keyshawn Johnson" career in the NFL...Could be a late first-round pick but doesn't seem to possess the breakaway speed that the Jets are looking for at WR.

Don't forget fans...
The Green & White are hosting three simultaneous parties Saturday at three different locations – Poor Billy's in North Woodbridge, New Jersey, ESPNZONE right in the heart of Times Square, and Jillian's in Farmingdale.

All three April 26 parties will be from noon to 5 pm and ADMISSION IS FREE! The Jets suggest you get there early next Saturday because the first 1,000 fans at each site will receive a Draft Day t-shirt, compliments of Miller Lite. Special guest hosts will be on hand at all three locations to introduce appearances by current Jets and New York alumni. There will be opportunities for fans to get autographs and listen to interviews as the draft unfolds. The Jets will run fan contests, raffle prizes, and distribute giveaways throughout the afternoon.


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