Of the six teams that finished 8-8, only the Miami Dolphins had a tougher strength of schedule than we did. Since that’s the tiebreaker, the Jets are left with the 18th-overall pick. Since 2000, some notable selections from that draft slot include former Jets QB Chad Pennington (’00), current Jets LB
So what positions generally and which players specifically might Jets Nation expect to cheer (or boo) come draft day? Here’s the first round of insight about our future first-round selection:
“Several receivers enjoyed better 2013 seasons,” Brooks wrote, “but the memory of Lee dominating the Pac-12 for two full seasons could prompt the Jets to pull the trigger on the explosive playmaker.”
NFL.com’s Matt Smith didn’t see Lee making it past the St. Louis Rams at No. 13. Still, he sees the Jets going that same direction with Texas A&M WR Mike Evans.
“It’s been a long time since they had a No. 1 receiver on Gang Green,” Smith wrote. “Evans is a bit raw, but still a huge target that
With tight ends
“Geno Smith certainly took his lumps as a rookie,” Rang wrote, “but considering the weapons surrounding him, his struggles aren't surprising and he appears likely to return as the Jets' starter in 2014. The Jets have invested heavily in receivers with less than inspiring results. Adding a legitimate mismatch in the incredibly athletic Ebron makes more sense given the conservative offense head coach Rex Ryan prefers.”
“The Jets," Burke wrote, "would love to nab one of the top three receivers in this draft — on paper, [Sammy] Watkins, Evans or Lee. Short of that, they could turn their focus to one of the two new-breed tight ends: Ebron or Amaro. With Ebron off the board [to the Buffalo Bills at No. 9], the Jets here nab Texas Tech’s standout. Amaro bamboozled defenses as a matchup problem all season, and Geno Smith would learn quickly to love him as a target.”
Not everyone’s prediction was skill-position-centric though. Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, for instance, sees the Jets going with UCLA guard Xavier Su’a Filo.
Admittedly, “Jets fans may cringe at the thought of a big offensive guard being the pick over a wide receiver,” he wrote, “but the Jets' interior offensive line is in as much need as the wideout spot. I've seen Su'a Filo, the 305-pound road-paver, slotted as a third- or fourth-round pick on some lists. Nonsense. If he's not the top offensive guard in this draft, he's right up there as No. 2, a bit behind Stanford's David Yankey. The man can run-block. Toss on the tape. I can't get enough.”
Finally, NFL.com’s Charles Davis stands alone among our limited sample size in thinking that the Jets will use their first-round selection on defense for the sixth year in a row.
“The Jets' defensive line is very good,” he wrote, “but they could use some playmakers on the edges.” His mid-January prediction? OLB Ryan Shazier out of Ohio State.