The following is a guest post from Michael Scott, a die-hard Jets fan. @mikeandrewscott
With the 2012 NFL Draft taking place on April 26 the headlines are obviously focused on Andrew Luck, RGIII, the Colts, and the Redskins. What the media sometimes forgets is that there are 30 other NFL teams that need to make their first round selections including the New York Jets! Now it is obvious that the Jets need to address a few key holes in their team including a key pass rusher, a wide receiver, punter, and an offensive lineman. The Jets currently hold the 16th overall pick in the first round and will have nine picks after the first round. The Jets are set to pick in each round of the 2012 Draft excluding the fourth round which was obviously traded in the Tim Tebow deal to Denver.
Below you will see my breakdown of the position the Jets need to address as well as my top picks for the team in each position.
I think most people can agree in saying that Melvin Ingram (University of South Carolina) should be the Jets top priority. Ingram is listed a 6-2/276 and can provide that dominate pass rush that the Jets have been missing. The re-signing of Bryan Thomas will definitely be a big help seeing as the Jets were lacking his talents last season. With newly resigned Aaron Maybin and Sione Pouha on the DL I think the Jets defensive front can develop into a dominant force in the AFC East.
According to most draft experts Bryan Anger out of California seems to be the most talented punter available this year. Anger is listed at 6-4/208 and should provide an upgrade over T.J. Conley who did not have the greatest of seasons. Although I am not exactly versed in college football’s special teams units, it is likely that Anger will be available towards Rounds 5-7.
Now most people know that Justin Blackmon is the most athletically talented wide receiver in this year’s draft. Unfortunately, it is obvious that Blackmon will not be available when the Jets go to pick.I think a solid mid-round pick for the Jets will be Wisconsin WR Nick Toon (son of former Jet Al Toon). Toon is listed at only 6-2/215 but has the skills to be an everyday NFL ready WR. Toon ran a 4.43 “40 YD Dash” at Wisconsin’s pro-day. From watching him play in college Toon is always involved in the big play and can be a nice compliment to Holmes and Kerley. I believe the biggest thing for the development of Sanchez this year is consistency at the WR position. By not bringing in a free-agent WR the Jets give Sanchez to develop further chemistry with Holmes and Kerley and hopefully develop a nice relationship with Toon.
In my opinion Riley Reiff is the ideal OT for the Jets if he can fall to 16th in the first round. Reiff is from Iowa and listed at 6-6/313. If the Jets plan on running a “Wildcat” formation with Tebow they are going to need protection for the ground-and-pound offense they hope to run. Regardless, in order for Sanchez to develop he will undoubtedly need better protection then he received last year. Other OL prospects to look at are Jonathan Martin (Stanford) and Marcel Jones (Nebraska).
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Erik Manassy is the author of this blog and a self proclaimed “Die Hard” New York Jets fan.