Monday, April 13, 2009

Miles Austin news, why the Jets Should Pursue Braylon Edwards, and a Draft Preview.

Miles Austin will not be a Jet, at least not least not this year.

The Jets have ended their pursuit of the restricted free agent from Dallas, according to Rich Cimini.

It was too high a price to pay, both in terms of the 2nd round pick compensation as well as the salary the Jets would need to offer to get Dallas not to match.

A name I would like the Jets to consider is Braylon Edwards. Reportedly, he could be traded for a package of at least a first round pick by the draft, and with Eric Mangini's obvious relationship with the Jets, it would seem to be a good fit. Cimini proposes a 2nd round pick and Brad Smith. I don't think that's enough to get it done. Smith would be a good guy to throw in because it would allow for Clowney to get a chance as the #3 or #4 guy, and Mangini does seem to like him. Would you move #17 and Smith for Edwards and a 5th rounder? I sure would.

He dropped a lot of passes last season; everyone has written about that. But he would likely be the most physically gifted receiver the Jets have ever had, and his big play ability would be an excellent fit opposite Jerricho Cotchery. The physical specimen, the possession receiver, and the quick slot receiver (Chansi Stuckey), it's perfect. And then David Clowney can get some chances as the #4 receiver.

Let's face it, there don't appear to be any great options in the first round for the Jets. If Mark Sanchez, Jeremy Maclin, B.J. Raji, or Andre Smith somehow fall in their laps, the team will jump at the opportunity. But if they're all gone, and chances are they will be, you're looking at a second tier quarterback (Josh Freeman), second tier receivers (Darrius Heyward-Bey, Percy Harvin, Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks), and unsexy picks (Tyson Jackson, Brandon Pettigrew). With the possible exception of Jackson, whom I would consider the favorite if the draft were held today, all of those guys have substantial risk or questionable ceilings to them. Any of those guys would be helpful, but I doubt any would have the impact that Edwards would have.

By the way, if I were handicapping the draft, here are the six guys I think the Jets are most likely to take.

1. Tyson Jackson - DE - LSU
Would give the Jets a young d-lineman, someone they wouldn't have. The one guy I wouldn't mind with this pick.
2. Knowshon Moreno - RB - Georgia
So you want to play hardball, Mr. Thomas Jones? The Jets have two good runningbacks, but Jones is holding out of voluntary workouts, while Leon Washington's contract situation is still up in the air, even though Washington has said he hopes a deal will get done. The Jets will probably draft a runningback at some point, and it may end up being where the value is.
3. Josh Freeman - QB - Kansas State
I don't think the Jets will go quarterback at the 17th pick. Trading down and grabbing Freeman a little bit later would be a more likely option in my opinion as he is raw and wasn't very accurate in college. I believe the Jets would love a stud quarterback, and if Mark Sanchez slipped, the Jets would grab him in a heartbeat, but Freeman likely wouldn't be that guy, at least not yet.
4. Brandon Pettigrew - TE - Oklahoma
First round tight ends in back to back years would be a tough pill to swallow for Jets fans, but it would be a creative way to run the type of smash mouth offense Ryan wants. He's a heck of a blocker, and could be like a sixth lineman. He also has good hands. His skillset compliments Dustin Keller's quite well, and it would allow Keller to focus more on becoming the team's new number one or two receiver.
5. Jarron Gilbert - DE - San Jose State
Gilbert has good size and athleticism (see him jump out of a pool here). He's a little raw, but he broke out his senior season. He is projected as a 2nd round pick by a lot of people, but he's the type of guy who could be taken higher than expected. Still, he might not rise all the way to 17.
6. Kenny Britt - WR - Rutgers
I can't make this list and not include a receiver. And assuming Michael Crabtree and Maclin are both gone, Britt would be the third receiver on my board. He's got a size-speed combination only matched by Heyward-Bey, and he is a much purer receiver. Britt is immature, but the local product would make sense for the Jets.

Update (2:50 AM): You know what, let's just embed this Gilbert video here.

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