GM John Idzik: First Draft with the New York Jets

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The New York Jets’ new general manager really has his hands full in cleaning up the Jets roster. Ex-GM, Mike Tannenbaum, left it quite a mess. Strapped for money and with a lack of talent, John Idzik comes to the Jets from the Seattle Seahawks, who are stacked with talent on both sides of the ball right now. He didn’t build the Seahawks by himself, but he certainly had a vital hand in it. He was teamed up with general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll.

In New York, Idzik now runs the show, but being a general manager for a sports team in New York is a huge task. The media preys on you and constantly makes judgements on every move you make. They are going to meticulously grade him on his draft selections with a fine comb. The fact is that they may not have the knowledge to do so, but a fight to get the story first is always present in the Big Apple.

In the first round, the Jets had the No. 9 and No. 13 overall picks. The pressure of the Draft on Idzik was much stronger after trading the Jets’ best player, Darrell Revis, to Tampa Bay.

Idzik already had to make serious cuts in order to trim the cap so that they could afford the drafted players. Out of the Jets’ top 25 cap hits, 14 players are no longer on the roster. Revis also had to pay 1 million for his departure and 1.5 million towards Tebow’s departure.

The Jets selected cornerback Dee Milliner with the No. 9 pick. This pick came with great value, as Milliner was the No. 1 ranked cornerback out Alabama. He is a great potential replacement for Revis, even with large huge shoes to fill – he will likely be compared to Revis much of his early NFL career. Revis is getting $16 million a season, while Milliner is expected to make around $2 million a season. If he performs well, New York’s great salary move will be confirmed.

The Jets selected defensive tackle, Sheldon Richardson, with the No. 13 pick. Richardson comes out of Missouri, weighs 308 pounds, is 6-5, and has a great motor. The Jets have been drafting defensive linemen for the past 4 years, but have yet to see a solid pass rush. Still, I like this pick, as it allows the Jets to build on their strengh of the team. If this unit works out with the other studs on the line – Coples and Wilkerson were the Jets’ past top draft picks – they should be able to push any offensive line backwards. This is very important in a division with pocket passers, and should help the new secondary.

Nevertheless, the stubborn New York media is already questioning these picks. They are accusing that the Jets’ picks are the work of head coach Rex Ryan, and that overall, Ryan has had too much to do with their draft picks. The reasons for the questioning: with a team having little talent on offense, why are the Jets using the first round explicitely on building their defense?

Idzik stuck to his scouting board. He drafted players by a term called BPA, which stands for “best player available,” that his scouts have worked on for a year.

In the second round, the Jets selected quarterback Geno Smith out of West Viriginia. The young gunslinger was scouted out as the best quarterback in the draft, and yet Idzik was able to patiently wait until the second round to pick him. His salary will not be overwhelming, in part due to the round he was selected in. Idzik feels he is an exceptional talent, and plans on devoping him for the starting quarterback position.

When Smith fell to the second round, it worked out perfectly. The value was great and worth it: Smith is low risk and could be high reward.

This pick will create a rubble in New York as it will also number the days of starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. The New York Jets’ rebuilding phase is off and running. They have released Tim Tebow and will try to work a departure deal for Sanchez as well. Sanchez will take some time because of the team’s investment with him, but it is time to reorganize and give Smith a solid supporting cast.

In the third round, the Jets selected offensive guard, Brain Winters, from Kent State. Winters is scouted as a starter, and would be another great value if this rings true in the NFL next season, or perhaps in 2014.

The Jets made a trade with the New Orleans Saints in the next round, obtaining RB Chris Ivory for their fourth pick. Ivory is a young, physical running back who averages around five yards a carry. He simply provided added depth on the Saints team, however, the Jets will use him as their starting running back.

The Jets selected offensive guard, Oday Aboushi, from Virginia in the fifth round. Aboushi could potentially play either tackle or guard.

In the sixth round, the Jets picked up offense lineman, William Campbell, from Michigan. Campbell will be used as depth on the offense line, and he can also play defense as well.

The following seventh round pick was used on fullback Tommy Bohanon from Wake Forest. The Jets were in much need of this position on their roster for next year.

Overall, the New York Jets seem to be moving forward in the right way.

 


 

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