Grading the draft: NY Jets

Based solely on the strength of each teams fan presence at this years selection process the New York Jets appear to have been the big winners. With fans screaming for Justin Miller the team selected Mike Nugent with their initial choice in the second round before grabbing Miller moments later. Thrown off after their team clearly ignored their audible chants, Jets fans eventually threw support behind the Jets draft.

Many people do not believe kickers should be taken on the drafts first day. Had the Jets not missed an opportunity to play in the conference championship game because of two missed field goal attempts by Doug Briin, they likely would have not taken Mike Nugent in round two. The Ohio State senior does fill a team need as Brien was recently released and is one of the best kicking prospects coming out of college since Sebastian Janikowski. Justin Miller, Clemson's standout cornerback, started sliding down boards in the days leading up to the draft thanks to off the field concerns and poor interviews, even tough all 32 teams gave him a first round grade. Miller has starting potential at corner and can also be a game impacting return specialist for the Jets.  Sione Pouha offers the Jets a wide bodied defensive tackle that can be used in the rotation up front. Considered a career long underachiever at Utah, Pouha must pick up his intensity and production if he is ever to be a force in the middle. Kerry Rhodes of Louisville and Andre Maddox  of North Carolina State offer the Jets two young safeties to develop for the future. Rhodes, a solid athlete, needs to round out his game and start playing to his potential.  Maddox is not as explosive when compared to Rhodes yet is a solid all around safety.  Cedric Houston would have been taken well before the sixth round in most recent drafts yet the glut of talent at the position this year coupled with inconsistent play and minor injuries pushed the Tennessee senior down draft boards.  The Jets will benefit greatly from this as Houston will immediately back up Curtis Martin, replacing Lamont Jordan. With Doug Jolley and Chris Baker in front of him, sixth round pick Joel Dreesen will have time to develop his game as a back-up.  Dreesen was excellent value in round six.   Receiver Harry Williams of Tuskegee will likely be a practice squad player and must immediately translate his vaunted 4.3-speed onto the football field with regularity.

The Jets used this years draft to improve their team in multiple ways. Aside from adding talented players at key positions the Jets also swung a pre draft day trade that netted them Doug Jolley, who will start immediately at tight end. With Nugent and Miller also likely to be starters for the team this season the Jets did a nice job of getting value despite not having early selections.

Draft Picks:

Round One: To Oakland in exchange for TE Doug Jolley

Round Two: K Mike Nugent, Ohio State, #15 Selection, #47 Overall (from Oakland as part of compensation package for Doug Jolley) and CB/KR/PR Justin Miller, Clemson #25 Selection, #57 Overall

Round Three: DT Sione Pouha, Utah #24 Selection, #88 Overall

Round Four: S Kerry Rhodes, Louisville #22 Selection, #123 Overall

Round Five: S Andre Maddox, North Carolina State, #25, #161 Overall

Round Six:  RB Cedric Houston, Tennessee, #8, #182 Overall and  TE/LS Joel Dreessen, #24, #198 Overall

Round Seven:  WR Harry Williams, Tuskegee, #26, #240 Overall

UDFA Signings: K Xavier Beitia, LB Mondoe Davis, LB Dennis Haley, WR Eddie Jackson, OL Michael King, FB Austine Nwabuisi, LB John Pickens, OL Isaac Snell, T Henry Tellis and WR Jovan Witherspoon


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