Once cornerback Dunta Robinson was off the board, Miami's Jonathan Vilma was an obvious choice for the Jets in the first round. Vilma, a heady linebacker, represents an immediate upgrade over the aging veterans he will replace in the starting lineup assuming, of course, the pre draft reports regarding his injury do not come to fruition. After that New York waited around for the third frame to begin then closed out the first day by selecting Derrick Strait.
Strait, who fell further than most people expected due to concerns of tackling skills and the type of schemes he will be productive in at the next level, had a great college career and looks poised to continue to achieve as a professional. Strait should start very early for the Jets and could wind up being one of the best value picks from this years draft. The fourth round saw a short run on offensive players as the Jets upgraded their depth at offensive tackle and wide receiver.
Jerricho Cotchery is neither large, nor a burner, but he plays the game consistently and does show the ability to make the big play on occasion.
Adrian Jones should develop nicely as a left tackle or fill a spot at guard as he takes the season to polish off his game. Jones has a tremendous amount of upside and was another good value pick.
Eric Coleman, the first of two safeties drafted by the Jets, fits nicely into their cover two defense. He could find a home on special teams and should immediately upgrade the pass defense in the Jets secondary.
Marko Cavka is another developmental project at left tackle for the Jets. Cavka needs time to get stronger and hone his blocking skills.
Linebacker Darrell McClover and defensive end Trevor Johnson add more depth to the Jets defensive front seven. Both have excellent size/speed numbers and will fit in as role players. Johnson could ultimately be tried at tight end.
Rashard Washington gives the Jets a possible special teams playmaker who could battle for playing time at strong safety.
Derrick Ward is a candidate for the practice squad or possibly a stint in NFL Europe and his future with the Jets could depend on the unsettled situation surrounding LaMont Jordan.
New York was able to put together a solid draft despite not having a second round pick as the Jets did a nice job filling holes and finding value. This should be a productive draft for New York with both first day picks starting early in the season and several other selections providing depth for the team.