Geno Smith is in and Tebow is out as the Jets prepare for next season. A look at the NFL draft and the insane Jet selection.
After 3 long days the NFL draft which started last Thursday finally wrapped up over the weekend. Not surprisingly, offensive tackles Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Luke Joekel of Texas A&M went 1-2, followed by Oregon linebacker Dion Jordan to Miami, which traded up to get him. It went mostly as expected, with many offensive linemen and defensive ends going early. Among players I talked about last week, DE Barkevius Mingo of LSU went 6th overall to the Browns, and the 2 guards, Jonathan Cooper of UNC and Chance Warmack of Alabama went 4th and 10th. Other predictions came true; for the first time since 1963 a running back wasn’t taken in the first round. Giovani Bernard of UNC was the first one selected on day 2, going 37th overall to the Bengals. The 38th pick was Manti T’eo who slipped into the second round, and West Virginia QB Geno Smith went 39th to, ehemm, the Jets, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Matt Barkley must be feeling good about himself, after not declaring for the draft last year, he had a poor senior year as USC’s QB and ended up hurting his throwing shoulder and wasn’t selected until the 4th round by the Eagles. That was likely the most expensive year in college in the history of the world since that extra year at SC probably cost him at least 20 million bucks
With their 9th and 13th overall picks, the Jets selected Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Milliner is touted as an extremely quick-footed and agile cornerback who can stay with anyone while still possessing the physicality to tackle. His seasons with Nick Saban at Bama should also help. Some question how much he’s been tested coming out of a loaded Crimson defense but Milliner had a great season though and was a good pick, but he has big shoes to fill coming in for Darrelle Revis so it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses through camp and into the start of the season.
The Jets got the defensive tackle they need in Sheldon Richardson. Richardson was the No. 4 recruit in the country in 2009 but had to go to junior college first. He was a standout Tiger defender for 2 years, and last season he led the SEC with 75 tackles despite Missouri’s 5-7 season. He has enough athleticism to be the standup pass rusher the Jets so desperately need, and was thought to be underrated and far superior to other top defensive tackles Star Lotulelei of Utah who went 14th to Carolina, and Sharrif Floyd of Florida who went 23rd to the Vikings.
The real shocker by the Jets though, is the insane selection of West Virginia QB Geno Smith in the second round. The Bills picked Florida State’s EJ Manuel 16th overall to keep the league’s first round QB selecting streak alive, but after the consensus was Sanchez is staying and every quarterback in this draft needs time to develop, most would have thought it idiotic for the Jets to pick one up. But, nonetheless, they took Smith 39th overall. At least they didn’t trade up to get him as it was rumored they might. Can’t wait to see how Sanchez plays knowing his team not only picked up Tebow to back him up last year, who by the way got released Monday, now they picked Smith a different backup and clearly, or I should say hopefully, don’t plan to stick with Sanchez for too much longer. The Jets picked Guards Brian Winters of Kent State, Oday Aboushi of Virginia, and William Campbell of Michigan with their next 3 picks
The Giants went with Offensive Lineman Justin Pugh of Syracuse with their first pick, 19th overall , and took massive Ohio State Buckeye defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins in the 2nd round. They also made a surprising quarterback pick, selecting Ryan Nassib of Syracuse in the 4th round, who many thought the Bills might take. Their pick makes more sense than the Jets pick though; they hope to develop Nassib a make him a strong backup for Eli before he’s ready to be a full time NFL quarterback.
Now I can’t forget JC Tretter, Cornell’s senior Offensive tackles who went in the 4th round, 122 overall to Green Bay. Tretter had an excellent season that included protecting quarterback Jeff Matthews as Cornell went on to break multiple Ivy passing records during Tretter’s career. It is possible that they will move Tretter inside to center or guard in the pros. Although he went undrafted, Senior wide receiver Luke Tasker signed with the Chargers Monday as a free agent. Taker holds Ivy records for both receptions and receiving yards per game. He was first team all-ivy, and becomes the 4th Cornell player to be on an NFL roster. Good luck to both them and we hope to see them playing on Sundays next fall
With the draft behind them, each team has the summer to prepare for their opening season starting in September. The first Thursday night game will be this year’s champion Ravens against Peyton Manning, Wes Welker and the Broncos. The Jets open up against Revis and the Bucs, and the Giants will be in Dallas against the Cowboys in their opening game Sunday, September 8.
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