The Zionist Conspiracy
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Day One Draft Thoughts
Day one of the draft has just ended with the Jets selection of Eric Smith. Here are my quick thoughts. A full analysis will be posted on Monday, after the full draft is completed:
The Jets did a terrific job in the first round. D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold will be the team's long-term fixtures at left tackle and center, and Ferguson should be ready to start in 2006.
The second round strategy was risky. First, the Jets traded down, sending the #35 pick to Washington for the #53 pick, a late 6th rounder, and the Skins' second rounder next year. While I can live with this trade, the Jets did pass on a number of very talented players who were available at #35, such as Chad Jackson, Winston Justice and LenDale White.
Then, the Jets moved up from #53 to #49. To do so, they gave up the 6th rounder they had just received from Washington and their seventh rounder. Giving up two extra picks - even late rounders - just to move up four spots seems to be too much.
With the #49 pick, the Jets selected QB Kellen Clemens. Clemens is a bit small, and wasn't expected to be drafted until the 3rd round. I can live with the pick, but it's a risky one, since talented players remained available. Ultimately, is Clemens the Jets starting QB of the future? Is he a significant upgrade over Patrick Ramsey and Brooks Bollinger? It will likely be a few years before we have any idea. If it turns out the answer is no, this pick will haunt the Jets.
I absolutely hate what the Jets did in the third round. First, they traded down five spots from #71 to #76, but only got a mid-7th rounder in return. They then picked linebacker Anthony Schlegel, who was projected as a fifth rounder and almost certainly would have been available later on. Then, with the #97 pick, the Jets chose Smith. Not only do the Jets have little need for more help at safety, Smith himself expressed doubt that he'd be drafted at all, with most projecting him as a 7th rounder. (See the article linked to Smith's name, above.) The Jets have a history of falling in love with certain players and picking them way too high, and appear to have done so with Schlegel and Smith.
Overall, while I'm pleased with the immediate improvement to the Jets offensive line as a result of their first round picks, I have doubts about their second round maneuvers, and see their two third round picks as reaches. The bottom line is that the Jets have many needs, but haven't really seriously addressed any other than offensive line.
In the long-term, the big question will be whether the Jets were right to pass on Matt Leinart in favor of Ferguson. The Jets could have drafted Leinart, Mangold and tackle Winston Justice with their first three picks, instead of Ferguson, Mangold and Clemens. Will Ferguson be a much better tackle than Justice? Will Clemens be nearly as good a QB as Leinart? When this draft is evaluated years from now, those will be the questions to ask.