Looking At The Rivals: Jets

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1st Round #30: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

3rd Round #94: Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton

4th Round #126: Bilal Powell. RB, Louisville

5th Round #153: Jeremy Kerley, WR, TCU

7th Round #208: Greg McElroy: QB, Alabama

7th Round #227: Scotty McKnight, WR, Colorado

Very much like the Dolphins, the Jets filled some needs and had a very solid, if not unspectacular draft. The Jets came into the draft with two big holes to fill, right on the defensive line, and did so with their first two selections. Also like the Dolphins, the Jets were without a second round pick.

Wilkerson and Ellis are two big guys who will fit in well with Rex Ryan’s defense. Wilkerson played inside for most of his career at Temple but projects better as a left end in the NFL. He is a little raw but has the frame the Jets are looking for and with time will develop into a solid starter. Ellis may have been drafted higher if not for a few character concerns. I have a feeling Rex will be put him in his place and at 6’5, 340 lbs, he will be a load to block in the middle.

With LT getting up there in years, the Jets sorely needed some depth in the backfield. Powell was a one year wonder at Louisville. In his first three seasons, he rushed for a combined 933 yards and 8 TD’s. In his senior season, he exploded for 1,405 yards and 11 TD’s. I’ve never been much for one year wonders, but Powell certainly has the skills to be a difference maker at the next level.

I expected the Jets would possibly look for a WR a little earlier with the possible departure of both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, but they waited until the fifth round to pick one. Kerley has all the makings of a slot receiver in the NFL, at 5’10, with good hands and good underneath speed. Scotty McKnight was a childhood friend of Mark Sanchez and possibly the only reason he got drafted by them. He did the best he could given the QB situation at Colorado. He doesn’t have blazing speed but could help in the underneath game as well as on special teams.

Out of the four teams in the AFC East, the two without quarterback needs were the one to take QB’s in the draft. Greg McElroy ended up with the Jets after a long wait. You won’t find another quarterback who studies the game as hard as McElroy or who works as hard. He is unbelievably smart and will be a valuable asset to the team, regardless of if he is on the field or not. I expect he’ll be in the league for a long time, whether it be as a player or a coach. Chad Pennington anyone?

The Jets certainly filled some needs. They had a solid team to begin with and they biggest hole they had on the defensive line, they filled with the first two picks. Rex Ryan I’m sure is a happy man right now, as he should be. The only thing I would change about the draft is maybe taking a receiver earlier, but I like this draft and Jets fans should be happy for the time being.

Grade: B+

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Tags: Bilal Powell Braylon Edwards Chad Pennington Greg McElroy Jeremy Kerley Kenrick Ellis Muhammad Wilkerson New York Jets NFL Draft Rex Ryan Santonio Holmes Scotty McKnight

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