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The Jets need to get better and upgrade the defensive side of the defensive side of the ball. Looking at Rex Ryan’s pressure scheme, there are needs at the safety position and at LB. Move down the list and you will also see a need at the WR position to replace the production of Plaxico Burress in the New York offense. Here are the prospects we feel best fit the Jets roster heading into the draft.
NEW YORK JETS
2011 RECORD: 8-8
FIRST ROUND POSITION: NO. 16
TOP PRIORITY: S
ICONAlabama SS Mark Barron.
Mark Barron SS, Alabama: Has the makings of a heck of a special teams player who can also attack downhill vs. the run game, play inside the box and drive on the football in front of him in the pass game. Isn't going to be a major threat turning and tracking the football, but his improved instincts makes me think he can start in the league early on.
Harrison Smith SS, Notre Dame: Isn't a guy you want to trust to run with receivers down the field. However, because of his solid natural range and instincts, I can see him getting over the top and making plays in a center field type role as an NFL strong safety.
SECONDARY PRIORITY: LB
Courtney Upshaw OLB, Alabama: We like him as a 34 outside backer who can play on the strong side, take on linemen at the point and also rush the passer. He's at his best attacking downhill, using his strong hands to disengage and always is around the football. Looks like a year one starter to me at the next level with scheme versatility.
Dont'a Hightower ILB, Alabama: Looks like a potential impact caliber 34-inside linebacker who has the skill set to win inside vs. the run and create pressure on third down as a savvy rush guy as well.
MID RANGE PRIORITY: WR, RB
Brian Quick WR, Appalachian State: Exhibits natural athleticism, coordination and some burst as a route runner. Has some upside to his game, but reminds me some of a Ramses Barden type prospect. A big guy who can adjust, but is never going to separate much out of his breaks in the NFL.
B.J. Cunningham WR, Michigan State: Isn't real dynamic of an athlete and it takes him a bit to build speed. However, he can box out defenders, go get the football and break tackles after the catch.
Dan Herron RB, Ohio State: He runs with a strong base, has impressive short area quickness and a natural feel between the tackles. Can certainly contribute early in his NFL career in a rotation and will create for himself if he has to.
Daryl Richardson RB, Abilene Christian: Looks like a late round/priority free agent type who could quickly earn a spot on a roster as a third running back and return man.
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