This draft will likely be remembered years from now for the first two picks as the Jets addressed their biggest area of concern by drafting two defensive lineman. For the second straight year, general manager Mike Tannenbaum selected a player in the first round with New Jersey ties from a non-BCS program. The hope is that Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, largely considered the second best defensive end in the draft, can immediately step into the rotation and provide pass rush support.
The Jets next pick in the third round, Kenrick Ellis, is a FCS player who is a true nose tackle and has outstanding athleticism for his 6'5, 330 lb. frame. But Ellis comes with character issues and could face 20 years in prison for felony assault when he stands trial this summer. Team management is confident Ellis will play this year but for a team plagued with questionable behavior, the pick seems somewhat tainted.
In Rex Ryan's previous two drafts, the Jets selected just one defensive player, picking six players on the offensive side of the ball. After taking a defensive end and a nose tackle in the first and third rounds, the Jets went offense again with their final four selections. It looks like a case of the team drafting a best player available almost to a fault, perhaps ignoring serious areas of need.
The third day selections is where the Jets seemed to lack focus. Needing a safety and an outside linebacker, the Jets got neither focusing instead on the offensive side of the ball. Wide receiver was a potential area of need given the free agents at the position – and Jeremy Kerley is a solid athlete- but two wideout picks seemed over the top given the Jets other needs. Fourth rounder Bilal Powell comes with a limited resume and injury issues and is puzzling given the Jets taking a running back in last year's fourth round of the draft. Alabama's Greg McElroy, quarterback of their 2010 team, has the cerebral tools to stick around in the league.
Jets Draft Grade:
After a solid first two days, the Jets lost their vision on Day 3 and went way too heavy on the offensive side of the ball. General manager Mike Tannenbaum now needs to fill serious needs at safety and outside linebacker exclusively via free agency, whenever that is. Grade: B-