Saturday, February 09, 2008

Team Needs: New York Jets

1. Right Tackle
After a serviceable 2006 season, Anthony Clement struggled in 2007. No one on the roster could step up when the Jets tried to replace him late in the year. Like any other team in their position (huge need on the o-line, cap room to spare), the Jets should make a play for Stacy Andrews in free agency. He can step in as either the right tackle (preferable given his likely cost) or left guard, leaving the other spot to be filled through the draft.

2. Nose Tackle
Although at times he made plays, Dewayne Robertson isn't a good fit in the Jets 3-4 defense and is a key reason for the poor run defense the past two seasons (last year they ranked 30th against the run in DVOA). 2005 third-rounder Sione Pouha finally started to show something, but it's not enough for the Jets to go into next season counting on him as the starter.

3. Outside Linebacker
Bryan Thomas had a career year in 2006 and turned it into a five-year, $25 million extension. In 2007 he basically disappeared, losing his starting job to backup David Bowens. The Jets should look to converting end Shaun Ellis to outside linebacker and hope he has as much success as the Dallas Cowboys did with his namesake Greg Ellis. That would at least take care of one spot. Victor Hobson is a free agent and is not at his best on the outside in a four-backer scheme.

4. Defensive End
Yes, there's a theme here. If Shaun Ellis moves to linebacker then someone has to step up and start at end in the base 3-4. Is either C.J. Mosley or Kareem Brown that guy? Not likely. Kenyon Coleman played well enough to retain his starting spot, especially if Mosley and Brown can step up and help out more in rotation.

5. Guard
One of the worst moves in the league last off season was the Jets refusal to rework Pete Kendall's contract, and his subsequent trade to the Redskins. The move created a domino effect on the offensive line. 2006 first rounders D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold regressed, tough Mangold less so that Ferguson. Brandon Moore is tolerable at right guard, but left guard is a gaping hole.

6. Cornerback
First round pick Darrelle Revis looks like he'll be an All-Pro in another couple of years. But the Jets have nothing besides him: If the Jets open next season with Hank Poteat, Andre Dyson, David Barrett, or Justin Miller starting opposite Revis, they're just asking for it.

7. Wide Receiver
Laveranues Coles is 30, missed six starts last season due to injury, and has only two years left on his contract. Jerricho Cotchery is a great number two receiver, but may or may not be a true number one. Brad Smith is a versatile player, an asset to the team, but his skills as a receiver are limited and he shouldn't be more than the number four. Justin McCareins will be gone, except in the nightmares of countless Jets fans.

8. Fullback
Darian Barnes was released mid-season, while Stacy Tutt spent most of his second year on IR. A traditional lead-blocking fullback would go a long line way to helping the Jets run game.

9. Safety
Kerry Rhodes is an All-Pro caliber player who can play either safety position equally well. Abram Elam is a great special teamer who, barring improvement (which is possible given his limited experience), is ideally suited to a backup role.

No comments: