Making the selection for the New York Jets in the Sports Media 101 2012 NFL Mock Draft, there was a major issue. While the Jets have clear needs that must be addressed, none of them were really in the conversation if drafting in terms of best player available. With the ability to trade off the table, the choice was either to reach for a need position or take the most talented prospect. That being the case, we went with what has almost always proven to be the best NFL Draft strategy: take the best player. At No. 16 overall, that was Trent Richardson of Alabama.
Despite Trent Richardson's obvious talent, this was a tough, tough selection to make for the New York Jets. Leaving the 2012 NFL Draft without a first round talent at one of their top need positions definitely hurts. Add in to that the drawbacks of using a first round pick on a running back, and you know that there was some back-and-forth going into this choice.
Ultimately, the upside is that Richardson is a special running back prospect, one that has the potential to be an All-Pro. With Tony Sparano in town and ready to run a Ground and Pound offense, adding Richardson to the mix in the backfield would give the Jets a bevy of talented rushers. Trent Richardson, Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight is a very good trio to hand the ball off to.
It seems very unlikely that Richardson ends up being on the board next week when the New York Jets are on the clock. If he were to be passed on by the Cleveland Browns, expect other teams to look into moving up to select him. He's a Top Five talent, so in terms of value, getting him 16th overall is an absolute steal.
Taking this as the first selection, the Jets would still have nine picks at their disposal to shore up need areas and there are some scraps left in free agency if necessary. It's not the ideal situation as the Jets would definitely prefer to leave with one of the coveted pass rushers in this year's draft, but acquiring a special offensive talent is nothing to complain about.
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