The 2013 NFL draft is over, which means it is time to take a look at the New York Jets draft class and break it down. It was not the draft that many Jets fans had in mind, and maybe not what they wanted, but the decisions have been made.
The Jets have holes at almost every position, so no matter who they picked, they were filling a need. They drafted the top rated cornerback, arguably the top defensive tackle, and the top rated quarterback, so although many have scrutinized their draft, the Jets walked away with three top players at their respective positions, that is something to be excited about.
1) FB Tommy Bohanon- Wake Forest- Round 7, pick 9 (No.215)/ 6’1”, 245lbs
I don’t think anyone expected the Jets to draft a fullback, but like the rest of their draft, they surprised many with the pick. Bohanon is a unique player, and is not your average fullback. To start, he has great hands, and can be a threat to catch the ball out of the back field; he had five touchdowns through the air his senior season. He doesn’t have the speed (ran a 4.88 40-yard dash), but he does have the strength to both block, and run the ball right up the middle.
Bohanon had the most bench press reps out of any back in the draft, with 36. His ability to run, block, and catch could allow him to steal the starting job from Lex Hilliard, and if not, he may even make the team as a tight end. Bohanon is a serious competitor and is one of the toughest kids in the Jets draft class, the battle between Hilliard and Bohanon should be one to watch during camp.
2) OL William Campbell- Michigan- Round 6, pick 10 (No.178)/ 6’5”, 311lbs
Campbell is built like a tank, but unfortunately he does not have a set position and there are questions about his motor. Even though Campbell has not played guard since his sophomore year at Michigan, that is where the Jets want him to play. His last two years in college, Campbell played defensive tackle, and was, at best, an average college d-lineman. There is no chance that the Jets will put Campbell on defense, so he will be groomed to play guard.
Campbell is about as raw as any o-lineman can be coming out of college, but with his size and athleticism, the Jets will see what they can do with him. It is highly unlikely that he will be a starter this season, but they may keep him on, to develop and put him on special teams. This was a very questionable pick for the Jets, as they used their 3rd and 5th round picks on o-lineman. The Jets could have taken a shot with a wide receiver or tight end, with this pick.
3) OL Oday Aboushi- Virginia- Round 5, pick 5 (No.141)/ 6’6”, 308lbs
The last time the Jets took a offensive lineman out of Virginia, they found a perennial pro-bowler in D’Brickashaw Ferguson. I don’t think they can have the same expectations for Aboushi, but they might be able to find a spot for him on the line, in a year or two. At Virginia, he played left tackle, but if he hopes to stay with the Jets he will have to move to either guard or right tackle. Aboushi has the intangibles and size to play tackle, but scouts have questioned his athleticism and balance. He has the right attitude and believes he can play anywhere on the line, but his skill say otherwise.
Guard would probably be the best spot for Aboushi, but he will compete with Austin Howard during mini-camps and training camp. If he doesn’t make the roster, the Jets may try to keep him on the practice squad if he can clear waivers, and develop him, that way if Howard leaves for free-agency in 2014 they will have a replacement for him.
4) HB Chris Ivory- New Orleans Saints- trade in Round 4
This was not a draft selection, rather the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints completed a trade. The Jets traded their 4th round pick to the Saints, to acquire Ivory. He should be viewed as an upgrade to Shonn Greene, and will likely be the starting back for the Jets. With a 5.1 career average YPC, and an impressive rookie season in 2010, Ivory has shown he has the ability to be a 1,000 yard rusher. Going into the 4th year of his NFL career, Ivory does not have much wear on his body, and should not expect to take all of the carries, as the Jets have Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell, who will be fighting for playing time.
In my opinion, I think Ivory was worth trading for, as he has a great deal of potential and some valuable experience. If Ivory can stay healthy, I fully expect him to run for over 1,000 yards and to be a key contributor to the Jets offense.
5) OL Brian Winters- Kent State- Round 3, pick 10 (No.72)/ 6’4”, 320lbs
Winters could be a steal as a 3rd round pick. The former ALL-MAC conference left tackle came into the draft with a chip on his shoulder. He has the size and athleticism, but his two big “flaws” are his small arms, and the fact that he played at a smaller school. Winters has the balance, footwork, technique, and strength, to excel at both run and pass blocking. The big question for Winters is, can he switch to guard and beat out either Willie Colon or Vladimir Ducasse.
The Jets will, almost definitely, keep Winters on their roster and do not be shocked if he ends up starting week 1. My prediction is that by the end of training camp, Winters will take Ducasse’s spot at guard and end up being a significant part of the Jets o-line.
6) QB Geno Smith- West Virginia- Round 2, pick 7 (No.39)/ 6’2”, 218lbs
The pick that everyone is talking about… GENO. Is he the next Joe Namath? No one really knows, but time will tell. The Jets came close to drafting Smith with their 13th overall pick, but decided on Sheldon Richardson instead, which in the end worked out for them. This pick has been both, scrutinized and praised. The way I look at it is, he was only a 2nd round pick and if he doesn’t work out, it’s not going to set them back much more than they already are. Smith was the top rated quarterback coming out of college, and at one point was thought to be taken #1 overall. There have been different opinions on his competitive nature and his leadership, but the two things no one can question are his arm strength and mobility.
Smith will compete for the starting job with Mark Sanchez and David Garrard. The Jets have said that they expect Garrard to mentor Smith, and help him along in his progression, whether he’s the starter or not. Although it is not known, who will be the starter for game 1, Smith will start at least half of the season, unless the Jets make some miracle run with Garrard or Sanchez.
7) DT Sheldon Richardson- Missouri- Round 1, pick 13/ 6’2”, 295lbs
This was the biggest surprise pick for the Jets, until they drafted Geno Smith. Many thought the Jets might draft an OLB, such as Jarvis Jones, at 13, but then again no one ever really knows what the Jets are going to do. Richardson was the 3rd best DT on Mel Kipers board, but was high on the Jets draft board since day 1. Richardson is probably the most athletic DT in this years draft and has been compared to Warren Sapp. Coming out of high school, he was the top rated defensive lineman in the country, but did not have the grades to attend a major university, so instead he went to junior college for a year.
Richardson only has one full year of major collegiate football under his belt, but that was enough for people to realize his potential. He has the size, speed, and versatility to play anywhere on the d-line; at Missouri he even played at the stand up, pass-rush position. Richardson will replace the loss of Mike DeVito, but hopefully at a higher level. This pick also means that the Jets might be moving to more of a 4-3 defense and hope that their d-line and secondary can make up for their lack of skill at the linebacker position. Richardson will start this season, baring injury, and with the help of Rex Ryan, could have a special year.
8) CB Dee Milliner- Alabama- Round 1, pick 9/ 6’, 200lbs
It was somewhat surprising that Milliner fell to the Jets. With Tavon Austin off the board, he was the Jets highest rated player. Milliner has more pressure on him, than any other cornerback coming out of college, due to the Darrelle Revis trade. Although he will not take over Revis’s coverages, that will be Antonio Cromartie, everything he does will be compared to Revis. There is no question that this guy has talent, the questions are, can he remain healthy after having five surgeries in college, and how good can he be? He was awarded First Team All-SEC last season, and was the best defensive player on the field during the National Title game, which he won.
Milliner is a physical player, who is a good tackler, and has all the qualities you want in a corner back (good speed, timing, hip movement, and leaping ability). There are not too many negatives on him, besides for his previous surgeries and the fact that he has trouble tackling bigger running backs. Milliner will compete with Kyle Wilson for the starting job, and even if he doesn’t win, he will still get time in the nickel and dime packages. Milliner, if healthy, will have a big impact on the Jets defense and could even lead to them having the best corners in the NFL.