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Preview: Pre-Combine, Pre-Free Agency

draftdaddy_nuBy Matt Bitonti

2009 New York Jets

Favre, Favre, Favre! The school children say if you say his name three times he goes away forever.  Aside from that drama – what else is there to talk about? Well I’m glad you asked.  Here is the top 10 top NYJ roster questions no one’s really talking about:

1) CB situation. Ouch. Barrett’s gone, who’s next? Let’s be real there’s a lot of bummy players besides Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes. CB is a sign and draft situation, they have to reload that badly. The Jets could sign former Raven Jim Leonard or whoever for safety but wouldn’t stop em from draft another defensive back. New secondary coach Doug Plank is an interesting guy that could work with guys like Elam, E Smith but CB cupboard is really bare, even with Lowery, who might work better as a nickel or at FS.

2) OG Robert Turner if they cut Brandon Moore? Who provides OL depth? Is upsetting continuity really worth it? Moore is a very solid performer but has no real incentive to renegotiate with the team. Tannenbaum has to tread lightly in this area because of the Kendall debacle of 2007. This strikes me as fixing something that isn’t broken and favor playing it safe and paying Brandon Moore his money. But of course it’s namby pamby thinking like that why I’m not in charge of an NFL team. They run these things like factories and as they say great game, terrible business.

3) FB Tony Richardson not under contract, no obvious replacements is it Quinn Johnson time?  Brennan Southerland in the 4th round? They have to resign Trich right? For those that say don’t draft a FB I say BJ Askew did make a pro bowl in TB.  He was beleaguered in these forums as an abject failure. Is the team considering Jehuu Caulcrick in that role? They still list him as a running back.

4) DT CJ Mosley young player with pass rush upside apparently going to walk. C’mon. Review that film, the team had talented guys who did not get stats, Mosely was one of those guys. He was only a one down player in the Jets rotation but was still among the best pass rushers on the team. He has a slew of moves and rare foot speed. Not the type of player easily replaced in the draft or free agency.

5) LB Eric Barton old player with downside, ok but on the films he’s the heart of the defense, apparently going to walk. Can Jason Trusnik help replace him? Again, don’t be surprised if LB is a position they might have to sign and draft players.

6) DE/LB David Bowens had a lot of real snaps not a lot of production – what is his future or upside? Ditto Kenyon Coleman and as much as it pains me to write this, Shaun Ellis.  The D needs to get more rush on 3rd downs, and it can’t all come from creative blitzes.

7) PK Mike Nugent young player with upside apparently going to walk. PK Jay Feely might be better and cheaper. Can the Jets sign em both and ask for a competition? I guess you’d have to be a bad agent to accept that situation. Feely was reliable but his situations were managed very well – didn’t have too many huge kicks to make. My prediction: Nugent makes a-lot of those types of kicks before his career is up. Feely doesn’t scare me signing with another team, Nuge does. Westoff likely has the final call.

8) RB Roster distribution: Will there be another running back on the roster besides RB Thomas Jones and RB Leon Washington? The gut says yes because Jones is getting up there and never could get tough yards. While Marcus Mason is interesting they need a real short yardage option.

For the record, there is likely to be legit 1st round tailback value on the board at 17. LeShon McCoy, Knowshon Moreno, Beanie Wells – Say what you will about the logic of such a move, but drafting for value when the other option is reaching for early second round names at need positions isn’t such a bad option… no one would call the pick a reach. If the Jets do take need later in the draft there are good sleepers (Rashad Jennings and Andre Brown). and free agency could get semi-interesting with Larry Johnson shooting his way out of town and Lamont Jordan always on the verge of the waiver wire.

9) WR situation, Coles is likely one and done, Cotch is here long term, what else is there? Clowney is a nice deep threat, Stuckey is a nice slot option. Brad Smith is supposed to be versatile on offense but he tends to be a liability taking care of the ball, might be just a ST guy. Marcus Henry and Paul Raymond on the taxi squad but the team needs more at the position. As far as the first round goes Jeremy Maclin is nice to talk about but pre-combine strikes me as a player who doesn’t get past Al Davis at 7. If he runs badly that changes his stock. Darrius Heyward Bey is interesting and could prove himself worth the selection at the combine.

10) DE Vernon Gholston jury is still out, DE Marques Murrell interesting guy but could just be a ST’er. Calvin Pace is here long term, Bryan Thomas is not, could the Jets draft pass rush? Again? with other needs, it’s a long shot. Robert Ayers or Larry English at 17 might be a “who?” moment in Radio City; John Abraham was one of those moments as well.

Bonus, the topic everyone IS talking about – QB situation: Currently a 2nd rounder, a 4th rounder and a UDFA that might be better than both of them. Hey, what’s the worry? Add a vet to the mix it could be an interesting summer competition. I’ve seen Rocky and Rudy and maybe “Ratty” has a nice ring to it. Get the screenwriters to tell the story of the underdog who wins it all. The other two probably have a better resume but resume’s don’t throw footballs, let’s see what they got.

Go Jets!

Matt Bitonti NFL Draft site is DraftDaddy.com, it is an excellent source of Draft news.

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