After months and months of buildup, the 2012 NFL Draft came and went in a flash. The grades are being given out, but we won't have a final verdict on how each team did until a few years from now. Here's our immediate take on how the New York Jets did.
Peter Schifani: Since the Jets had opportunities to pretty much address all needs with 10 draft picks that dropped to eight after the trade up for Stephen Hill I would have to give them a C+. On the upside they definitely got faster, but on the downside it doesn't seem to me, at least on paper, that any pick was a solid home run. Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, Demario Davis and more have great upsides but none are complete and will need coaching and work.
Chris Tripodi: I would give the Jets a C-. The only real good pick they made was Stephen Hill in the second round and it's not that far outside the realm of possibility that they only drafted one player who will make a long-term impact. It's also not far-fetched to think that Quentin Coples and Hill can be two of the better players from this draft but for as much upside as the Jets drafted, they acquired just as much downside.
Mario Scipioni: I'd give the Jets a B+. The reason for this grade is that they addressed everything they needed this past weekend and picked up some promising talent. Even though it was a great draft, I wouldn't call it A-worthy.
Don Lappe: B. If they hit on the first two picks and they live up to their potential, they got two steals. The issue is that the bust potential is also there. The Jets took some risks in a draft they needed to nail. The fates of Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum ride on Coples and Hill producing.
Do you think the Jets are definitively better as a team after the draft?
Peter Schifani: As with any draft they certainly did their best to get speed at any position they picked someone, with maybe the exception of road grader Robert Griffin. Overall the eight picks help the Jets to be a better team than before the draft.
Chris Tripodi: I wouldn't say the Jets are definitively better this season. I like Hill but he's not likely to come in and make a huge impact right away and unless Rex Ryan does some serious motivation on Coples, I'm not sure they drafted a player who will come in and make a huge difference on either side of the ball. I could be wrong, but the Jets may not see positive returns on this draft until 2013.
Mario Scipioni: I definitely think the Jets are already a better team. Not only did they draft good players, but they have now created depth at several positions. If players get hurt or underperform, there will be someone ready to go and fans won't have to get nervous.
Don Lappe: I think they are better. They can challenge the field vertically on offense with Hill's pure speed and they have added athleticism to their front seven.
Any late round picks stick out to you as a steal?
Peter Schifani: Antonio Allen in the seventh round, which may be a consensus, considering he was considered a fifth round talent. He may blossom nicely in one to two years to complement Landry at free safety.
Chris Tripodi: Antonio Allen graded out as a fourth-round pick and to pick him up in round seven has to be considered a steal. I also liked Jordan White as a college receiver, but he's nothing more than a third or fourth receiver at the NFL level. Demario Davis in the third round is just another boom-or-bust choice for the Jets, who could see this draft go many different ways for them.
Mario Scipioni: Call me crazy, but I think Terrance Ganaway could end up being a steal. He is like more athletic version of Shonn Greene. Only time will tell what his role will be, but I have a feeling he could really be something. I could also see Antonio Allen becoming a steal. He seems to be a complete safety. Allen is pretty quick, has great awareness, can tackle well, and is a menace when it comes to forcing turnovers.
Don Lappe: Everybody nailed it, Antonio Allen.
Did any picks really bother you based on other players available that the Jets missed out on? Any complete whiffs?
Peter Schifani: It is still my belief that with number 16 they should have taken Melvin Ingram to address their biggest need, pass rush, and also the aging complement of linebackers. They would have gotten younger and faster on the edge still with the potential to be a run stopper as well.
Chris Tripodi: I wouldn't say any of the Jets choices were complete whiffs, but I would have preferred Melvin Ingram over Coples. I even preferred Chandler Jones or Courtney Upshaw, but the player I really wanted at that spot when he was still available was Ingram. I know the Jets are trying to shore up their defensive line, but I think Coples is a better fit as a 4-3 end than a 3-4 end. If he can hold his own in the running game, however, he should give the Jets the pressure from their three-man front that's been lacking for a few seasons.
Mario Scipioni: The Quinton Coples selection definitely bothered me because I thought there were better players available. Other than that, I saw no big issues.
Don Lappe: At first, I had the same feeling on the Coples pick. I've warmed up to it after hearing how the Jets plan to use him, but there were "safer" picks on the board as mentioned above. In the end, I think Rex gets him to make a big contribution.
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