The 2012 NFL Draft begin Thursday night at 8 p.m., and the dust is starting to settle. All of the evaluations and the hype and speculation will be coming to an end soon as we will actually get to hear the names called that we have all been debating for the past few months. NFL careers will be kick-started and the fates of franchises will be decided. It's time for us to take a final look at what will be on the table for the New York Jets in round one.
Melvin Ingram, South Carolina: Melvin Ingram looks to be the main target of the New York Jets' draft efforts. The Jets are buying his superior athleticism and pass rush moves, willing to look past the questions about his arm length and where he actually fits best in a defensive scheme. The Jets appear to be willing to trade up to get Ingram, although some have speculated that he is in for a fall on draft night.
Courtney Upshaw, Alabama: Despite all the talk about how Courtney Upshaw is falling out of the first round, I'm not buying. There's been talk of the Jets loving Upshaw going all the way back to last fall, and Upshaw is exactly what the Jets are looking for. He's stout at the point of attack against the run and produced a bunch of sacks in college. For all of those that knock his foot speed, watch LSU pitch off of Upshaw in the video below at the :45 mark and watch him still have the speed to make the play on the running back for little to no gain. He doesn't play slow. Some have suggested that the Jets will pass on Upshaw at No. 16 overall. If they do, there's a good chance we will be looking back at that decision a few years from now and talking about how big of a mistake it was.
Mark Barron, Alabama: The Jets would rather come away with a pass rusher and Mark Barron might not be a perfect fit next to LaRon Landry, but if the pass rushers are off the board he might be the best player available. Barron is a tough safety who won't get embarrassed in coverage.
Quinton Coples, North Carolina: If Quinton Coples falls, as many suspect he will, it's going to be tough to pass him up. Coples has a body type similar to Julius Peppers, but has been criticized for a drop in production his senior season at North Carolina. Coples switched over from the left side of the defensive line to the right and saw a slight drop in his sack numbers. Still, he's a physical specimen with a boatload of potential.
Trade Down: The Jets can talk about "best player available," all they want, but is anyone going to be happy about a team based around its defense, with an offense rooted in running the football, selecting a wide receiver in the first round? For a win-now team with holes to address in playing the style it's committed to, if the best player available is Michael Floyd or another wide receiver, the Jets would be better-served to trade down, collect more picks and look to address their needs. Need is a terrible talent evaluator, but turning a player that doesn't fit your style into an extra pick in the first three rounds is an extension of the "picks over players" theory.
It's 2012 NFL Draft week, and Jets 101 has you covered. Stay with us all week as the draft coverage ramps up and once we finally do get to Thursday night, be sure to check in here to get the scoop on who the Jets pick.
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