As of Sunday, star Jet cornerbak Darrelle Revis is on the Tampa Bay Bucs. He was traded for a 13th overall draft pick which starts tomorrow. Here's a look at who the Jets should consider and how to fill their many holes.
It’s official. Darrelle Revis is now a Buccaneer. The trade happened Sunday and the Jets’ star cornerback is headed to Tampa Bay in exchange for the 13th pick in the draft which starts tomorrow, along with a conditional pick in the 2014 draft, which will be either a 4th or 3rd round selection depending on how much Revis plays. Revis also got his money from the Bucs, signing a 6 year $96 million dollar contract immediately after the trade was announced. Interestingly, none of it is guaranteed. He is thus betting on himself to come back and be the player he was, and remain healthy.
Revis is widely considered to be the best defensive player in the NFL, which as a rule of thumb you don’t want to trade, but in this situation it might make sense. He is coming off of ACL surgery, tearing up his left knee in week 2 which ended his season. Although he now has been cleared to start running, and by all accounts his rehab has gone well, his health is a concern. And then there is the money. The salary cap strapped Jets did not want to pay Revis 16 million a year, and were sick of his constant complaints about money, which resulted in two holdouts including training camp in 2010 which embarrassingly played out on TV in HBO's weekly show chronicling the Jets training camp. Revis' Jet contract had only 1 year remaining on it. New GM John Idzik said the cornerback was asking for a contract of “historical proportions,” which the Jets were never going to do. The Jets feared he would hold out again, and knew that if they didn't cough up the dough he was leaving for nothing after next season.
With so many other Jets leaving as free agents and a still-disastrous quarterback situation, Jet contention is unlikely in 2013. So it may have been wise to trade Revis now while they can get something for him. Since the Bucs were under the salary cap, willing to give him his money, and possessing a reasonably high draft pick to swap, the Jets probably made the only deal they could have.
Another wrinkle to the situation is that the Jets will play the Bucs in week 1 next year, creating made for TV drama. The Jets obviously have a lot of holes to fill, and they can start filling them tomorrow in Round 1 of the draft where they will try to put the Revis pick to good use. One thing they definitely need to avoid tomorrow night in NYC is selecting a quarterback early. It is not like last year, the year of the Quarterback, which had Andrew Luck and RG3 go 1-2 in the draft and both had terrific rookie seasons. Seattle plucked Russell Wilson in the 3rd round out of Wisconsin and he also had a great rookie year leading the Seahawks to the playoffs. If Matt Barkley of USC had come out last year he might have joined the first round party but stupidly stayed in school, had a mediocre season, injured his throwing shoulder and is plummeting down draft boards so fast he could end up in the 3rd round. The top rated quarterback is Geno Smith of West Virginia, who had a great start to his senior season, then he and his team were awful in the second half. Ryan Nassib of Syracuse and EJ Manuel of Florida State could be second round picks. It is the consensus that any QB taken this year is going to need time to develop so taking one high in the first round makes little sense.
This year, many say the strongest position is offensive line with 2 left tackles, Luke Joekel of Texas A&M and Eric Fischer of Central Michigan possibly poised to go 1 and 2 overall and a third, Lane Johnson of Oklahoma projected to go in the top 10. Guards Chance Warmack of Alabama and Jonathan Cooper of UNC are also possible top 10 picks. The defensive line is also deep with players such as Sharrif Floyd of Florida, Ezekial Ansah of BYU, and Damonte Moore of Texas A&M topping the lists.
The Jets desperately need a pass rusher, and potential options there include Outside Linebackers Dion Jordan of Oregon, Jarvis Jones of Georgia and Barkevius Mingo of LSU. Jordan is surprisingly fast for his 6’6” frame and he’s been touted as a lover of contact. Mingo is 6-4, 240 lbs and many think his sheer athleticism is enough to make him a dominant pass rusher in the pros. Jones had 14.5 sacks for the Bulldogs but has neck problem and ran a slow 40 on his pro day so he could slide.
Another big Jet need is guards, so they could look to grab Warmack of Alabama or Cooper of UNC. Warmack is 6’2” and 317 pounds and is incredibly strong and technically sound. Cooper is thought to be unusually athletic and mobile for a guard. If not in the first round, look for the Jets to tab a guard somewhere in the draft. A Tight End is also needed and ND's Tyler Eifert in the first or Zach Ertz of Stanford in the second could make sense.
New Jet GM Idzek is directing his first Jet draft and after trading Revis he is on the hot seat. The NY Giants' GM Jerry Reese on the other hand, gets a total free pass always from the fawning NY media. The Giants have about as many holes as the Jets do but you rarely hear about it. They need linebackers, corners, a safety, a tight end and a running back for starters. What the Giants do have is Eli Manning and 2 Super Bowl wins in the last 5 years. They pick 19th and have been flirting with Manti Te'o of Notre Dame. I don't know if their interest is real or imagined, but finding a linebacker who can tackle in this draft is a must for them.
You have one more night to pour over your Mel Kiper jr book. Then tune in tomorrow for round 1 which will air on ESPN starting at 8. Rounds 2 and 3 will be Friday night, and 4 through 7 on Saturday, when only the hardest core draft nerds will be still be hanging in there.
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