Offseason review: New York Jets
DE, NT, WR, OLB, CB, FS, OT, G
Round 1: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT
Round 3: Kenrick Ellis, DT
Round 4: Bilal Powell, RB
Round 5: Jeremy Kerley, WR
Round 7: Greg McElroy, QB
Round 7: Scotty McKnight, WR
Potential free agents of note
Kellen Clemens, QB
Tony Richardson, FB
Brad Smith, WR
Santonio Holmes, WR
Braylon Edwards, WR
Wayne Hunter, OT
Shaun Ellis, DE
Antonio Cromartie, CB
Drew Coleman, CB
Brodney Pool, S
James Ihedigbo, S
Eric Smith, S
Steve Weatherford, P
Nick Folk, K
DE, WR, OLB, CB, FS, OT (depth), G (depth)
The Jets, under general manager Mike Tannenbaum, don’t seem to worry about not having a lot of draft choices. Although they’ve made only 13 selections total the past three drafts, the front office executive has added several key contributors and projected starters.
The Jets had numerous needs, mostly on defense, because of many key players are unsigned for the 2011 season.
They addressed a huge need with Muhammad Wilkerson, who will line up mostly at end in the Jets’ 3-4 defensive scheme. But even with Wilkerson in the fold, the Jets still need more depth on the defensive line since ends Shaun Ellis and Trevor Pryce are unsigned. Third-round pick Kenrick Ellis will compete for time at nose tackle behind projected starter Sione Pouha. Depth at the position became an issue after the team released veteran Kris Jenkins a few months ago.
The Jets also will need to add depth at outside linebacker after releasing veteran Jason Taylor earlier this year. His role as a nickel pass rusher still needs to be filled.
The Jets' biggest defensive needs remain in the secondary, where five key starters and backups are unsigned. If the team winds up not re-signing veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie, second-year pro Kyle Wilson, who participated in roughly 32 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie last season, would be expected to start for him. But that would leave a depth issue at the position. Three of the Jets’ top four safeties are unsigned. However, just like at cornerback, several of those players could be restricted free agents depending on the free-agency rules.
On offense, three of the top four receivers are unsigned. Although fifth-rounder Jeremy Kerley is capable of playing the slot and also should contribute on special teams, depth potentially could be a huge issue at the position. It remains to be seen if the team will be able to re-sign veterans Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards.
Depth on the offensive line is looking like a problem.
With second-year offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse projected to start at right tackle for Damien Woody, who was released earlier this year, that leaves depth as a big issue at tackle. Key backup offensive tackle Wayne Hunter is unsigned. Depth at guard is also an issue.