The New York Jets’ desperate need of playmakers on offense has been the biggest weakness this franchise has endured over the last two seasons. The Jets passing offense ranked at the bottom as the second worst in 2013, only managing a mere 183 yards per game. If the Jets are going to contend for anything at this point that needs to change in 2014.
GM John Idzik has seemed to adopt a bargain-price approach to free agency, even with large amount salary cap space. They recently acquired Jacoby Ford from the Oakland Raiders, a receiver that has the speed burst ability but enters the gang green nation with injury prone issues. Rich Cimini of ESPN New York stated earlier that Ford is not necessarily a lock for the starting spot. He also mentioned the move by the Jets as “typical” commenting on Idzik’s conservativism when it comes to free agency.
The Jets will look to the draft to fill holes in multiple spots along the depth chart but, they have expressed serious interest in Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro. Manish Mehta of NY Daily News stated that the Jets have it on their schedule to visit the down field target in the upcoming week, meaning he is a serious draft possibility for the Jets. Amaro is not generally thought of a top 20 talent in the draft, where incidentally the Jets have their pick. The interest the Jets have shown in Amaro could signify an Idzik trade down, even with other WR like Brandin Cooks and Marqise Lee being available at their current first round slot.
With the number 18th pick overall, the Jets will most certainly miss out on many offensive players noted on their big board, like Eric Ebron and Sammy Watkins. If the Jets interest in Amaro is substantial enough to address an upgrade to their receiving corps in later rounds, it would make a lot of sense to trade down in the first and ideally add another high quality draft pick to their portfolio, maybe in the third round?
After the loss of Dustin Keller a season ago, the Jets are in dire need of a high quality tight end to bolster their offense. Amaro would fit that spot nicely; in his final college season he recorded 106 receptions for 1,342 yards and 7 touchdowns. At the combine he was the top performer in six different drills among the tight end class. His talents and skill set would automatically change the Jets anemic offense but would be somewhat of a reach at number 18th.
A trade down by Idzik would allow the Jets to still nab their target in the first round while adding to their draft pick arsenal. However, there remains a slim chance that Amaro might be available with the 49th, one of two picks in the second round, it is somewhat illogical not to go after a player they seem to show a lot on interest for.
The decision to be aggressive with Amaro also becomes stronger due to the division rival New England Patriots, as they are also looking at the draft to replace ex-Pat Aaron Hernandez with the 29th pick overall. Amaro could certainly be someone the Patriots would want as he can easily fit their offensive scheme as well. If the Jets don’t trade down while keeping themselves ahead of the Patriots in the first round, they will risk losing a player they covet to a team they find themselves chasing every year in the AFC East.