The New York Jets are a wild card now. Whether it be the Jets pursuing Peyton Manning or any other situation, you simply can't count them out of anything. The Jets have shown a willingness to trade draft picks in the past and with the team in line for quite a few compensation picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, they will have the ammunition to make a move and trade up. Whether that means trading up in the first round, getting a second first round pick or standing pat and using all of their picks remains to be seen.
The first question on everyone's mind is: When will the 2012 NFL Draft compensation picks be announced? The NFL announces compensatory picks at the owners meeting at the end of March, March 26-28 this year. That's when we will officially know how many compensation picks the Jets have. For now, we can predict how many they will get.
There's some different criteria that goes into awarding compensation picks, but it essentially comes down to the team losing a free agent and how that free agent performs for his new team. The other selection in play for the Jets is the draft pick they acquired in the Dwight Lowery trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In addition to the current picks the Jets hold(one in each round), the Jets are line to receive up to five more selections between rounds 5-7. Here's how the potential picks breakdown, by the player that left to make it possible:
Shaun Ellis: This is safely a sixth round pick, possibly a fifth. Ellis was signed by the New England Patriots for over $4 million and didn't produce much.
Brad Smith: This should be a sixth round pick. Smith left the Jets to join the Buffalo Bills and was used in a limited capacity.
Braylon Edwards: This had the potential to be a much higher pick if Edwards stayed healthy and played well for the San Francisco 49ers.Instead, this should be a seventh round selection.
Drew Coleman: Coleman was signed by the Jaguars and the Jets should get a seventh round pick in return.
Dwight Lowery: This is the wild card in the bunch. The terms of the trade with the Jaguars was never announced, so we don't know if the draft pick is based on performance, team-based performance or Lowery being re-signed by the Jaguars. Worst case scenario, the Jets should come away with a seventh rounder. They could get a sixth round pick if they're lucky.
The Jets may owe a pick for the Caleb Schlauderaff trade If so, it will simply cancel out one of the picks that they are set to get.
Best case scenario, the Jets end up with a fifth round pick for Ellis, a sixth each for Smith and Lowery, and a seventh round pick each for Edwards and Coleman. That would give them quite a bit of firepower late in the draft, picks that could be used to move up in the first round round or parlay their second round selection and a few of their later picks to jump back into the first round.
Worst case scenario, the Jets get a sixth round pick each for Ellis and Smith, seventh round picks for Coleman, Lowery and Edwards. They would also lose out on one pick due to the Schlauderaff trade. Still, that would give them an additional four draft picks in the last two rounds, giving them some flexibility to make some noise during the 2012 NFL Draft.
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