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Instant evaluation of the 2007 NYJ Draft

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By Matthew Bitonti

Round 1: CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh. In a league where former Bills CB Nate Clements is the highest paid defender in league history, commodities such as Darrelle Revis are highly prized. Coming into the draft, Revis was considered the best cornerback in the nation by many well-respected sources, including N.F.L. insider Gil Brandt. Revis is nearly six feet tall, has an NFL pedigree, world-class measurables and is routinely described as a quality person, one with especially high character and work ethic. He will ballhawk and score points and can contribute instantly as a punt returner. Revis will also contribute to first team defense quickly. Day of the selection, rumor had the Jets disappointing teams such as Pittsburgh and Jacksonville when Revis came off the board. According to the Jets shop, Revis will wear #24 for the jets, like fellow Aliquippa, PA native son Ty Law.

Round 2: LB David Harris, Michigan. Harris was a well-coached and polished player who was regarded by many big names as a first round player in pre-draft mock projections. Mel Kiper Jr. had Harris at 12 in his pre-draft mock. Harris stood out at the Senior Bowl as an impact run defender who routinely made plays behind the line of scrimmage. In a personal observation, the impact from these collisions would loudly resonate as severe cracks throughout the stadium. The addition of Harris will liven up the competition between several average options (Kassell, Schlegel, Barton) at ILB, and he should also be a contributor to first team defense early on in his career.

Looking at rounds three, four and five unfold, it was even more apparent that GM Mike Tannenbaum and HC Eric Mangini knew what they were doing on day one by getting two potential defensive starters. This was a shallower crop than in years past, overall.

Round 6: OT Jacob Bender, Nichols State. Bender is another captain of his team, hard working player but also a legitimate athlete with the frame to add weight without impacting quickness. Bender is fleet footed running a 5.03 at 6’6� 316 pounds and projects to all four positions along the offensive line besides center. Bender is known for his impact run blocking. Interesting side note, Joe Linta, an agent who specializes in underrated off-the-radar offensive line prospects, represents Jacob Bender. Linta’s other clients include Will Shields, Matt Birk, Todd Herremans, and Willie Colon. Bender is an underrated sleeper who could have been picked two or more rounds earlier and is a better bet than other late rounders to contend to start in the future.

Round 7: WR Chanci Stuckey, Clemson. Another Senior Bowl participant, Stuckey is a raw but explosive deep threat receiver. He has good hands, room to improve but the upside is there to be a poor man’s Deion Branch. There are real durability concerns, but if there weren’t, maybe Stuckey isn’t available that late.

News broke of the Randy Moss to New England trade early and as day 2 selections began, the best CB on the board was A.J. Davis from North Carolina State. Imagine if the Jets had a full compliment of picks after addressing OG, NT, TE or wherever else in day one, how will that help when when Randy Moss appears in the division? The team needed a cover corner, and got the best one out there. Also of note they did not give up too much to move around, other franchises were paying heavy prices to get back into the draft. The Jets got premium players, didn’t mortgage the future to get them, we as fans can’t expect more than that.

When considering RB Thomas Jones as an addition to the four picks, this draft was low risk and will better allow the Jets to compete with the Patriots for the AFC East, not only in the years to come, but in the present day.

One final note the draft is over but the Jets will be targeting undrafted free agents with increased vigor this year, due to the sparse selections of the draft proper. As Mike Tannenbaum stated: “We’re the land of opportunity. If you weren’t drafted, you’ll probably be hearing from us.â€? For all breaking UDFA news in the coming days, please visit draftdaddy.com.

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