With the possibility of up to 12 draft picks in the 2014 draft, the New York Jets have a lot of options. The Jets have been given four compensatory draft selections for free agent loses, three of which are in the fourth round. With those selections the Jets can add depth to areas of need in both the defense and offense, however, the team’s brain trust will need to draft an immediate impact player in the first round.
Before the combine, the new York Jets were slotted to receive the services of Eric Ebron with their first round selection in many mock drafts. However, Ebron was very impressive at the combine and his stock rose ahead of the 18th. Unfortunate for the Jets as it is highly unlikely that Ebron will still be available for them unless they find it worthwhile to trade up. The best alternative for the Jets will be with texas tech standout Jace Amaro, a dominant tight end in his final collegiate season.
3. Jace Amaro, TE
In his pro day, Amaro had the company of representatives from 20 different teams including Jets general manager John Idzik according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com. Standing at 6’5″ and 265 pounds, Amaro is a big downfield target that can make it very difficult for opposing defenses. With 1,352 receiving yards and seven touchdowns with 106 catches in 2013, he certainly deserves first round status. He was also the top performer on six drills at the combine and can be a difference maker for the Jets and their anemic receiving offense.
2. Darqueze Dennard, CB
The issues at cornerback for the Jets is primarily due to stiff negotiations with recently acquired free agents that were available in the open market. Idzik was stubbornly conservative, refusing to offer up multi year contracts worth in his words “an excess amount of money”. The result was the loss of stability in the defensive backs, leading to the signing of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie by the New York Giants.
Darquese Dennard in my opinion is the best available corner in this years draft, eve though he is expected to be taken after Oklahoma State Justin Gilbert. Dennard is not the large sized defender but he makes up for it with strong instincts and tremendous body control. What he brings to the table is his excellent man-to-man coverage skills that fit very feel with the Jets style of defense.
1. Brandin Cooks, WR
With Erick Decker already on board, a speed threat is what the Jets need to complement the former Denver Bronco. Cooks will bring a balanced tandem attack to the offense as well as speed, something the Jets have lacked over the past several seasons. Cooks features the straight line speed and was top of his class at the combine on that drill. An electrifying 4.33 second 40 yard dash lead all of his competitors at wide receiver.
The New York Jets showed extreme interest in drafting Tavon Austin, now with St. Louis, in last years draft and he possess a skill set very similar to Brandin Cooks. Viable playmaking ability on offense is something the Jets are desperate for which makes Cook very attractive. With 128 receptions for 1,730 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns, Cooks senior season brought a lot of interest to this young prospect. A dynamic offensive weapon that shows off his breakaway speed he also averaged 6.8 yards per rush attempt on 32 carries. He will immediately improve the Jets 31st ranked offense and should be on Idzik’s radar and atop of his big board come draft day.