In the perfect world, the Jets will sit at No.18 with a chance to address their desperate need at wide receiver. Bringing in Eric Decker through free agency is not enough to guarantee a successful 2014. However, this year's draft is considered to be the deepest in recent memory, especially in wide receivers, and the New York Jets can wait on selecting a playmaker. If Gang Green does not choose to move up in the draft to solidify a chance at taking Odell Beckham Jr, the New York Jets will select cornerback Darqueze Dennard with the 18th overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Darqueze Dennard proved to be one of the elite cornerbacks in college football last season. His 14 passes broken up and four interceptions, combined with 59 tackles, allowed him to become this past year's Jim Thorpe Award winner. This award is given to the nation's best defensive back and Dennard was well deserving of this astonishing achievement. The cousin of New England Patriot's corner Alfonzo Dennard is very physical at the line, being one of the best press-man corners in the NCAA last season. In the combine, the former Michigan State corner did not put up any stellar performances but his 4.51 40-yard dash time and 15 reps on the bench press were enough to solidify his first round position.
Rex Ryan likes to have physical, press-man coverage corners on the outsides and Dennard would be the perfect fit. Opposite of Dee Milliner, the former Spartan can step right in and make an impact on day one. His natural cover- and ball-skills will allow him to be placed on an island, if need be. Dennard's success in college football can easily carry over into the NFL with Ryan's press-heavy scheme.
He also has a great character, which will allow him to fit in the locker room very well. Not having any major issues off the field, he would not seem to be a distraction in the locker room. However, drafting another defensive player in the first round might upset a few Jets fans come Draft Day. The Potential:
Dennard can come to New York and start opposite of Milliner on day one. He has the potential to be a great press-man corner in the NFL, if he can stay healthy. After having a knee injury and double hernia surgery in his past, Dennard can only go as far as his health will allow him.
Going back to the 2010 combine, there was a young corner coming out in the draft from the University of Florida named Joe Haden. His 5'11", 195 lb. frame is almost identical to Dennard, except for a few added extra pounds for the Michigan State product. Also, Haden and Dennard both share similar arm lengths and hand sizes, giving them an easy physical comparison. However on the field, the both had a great amount of success in the NCAA shutting down the nation's best receivers with their exceptional press-man coverage skills.