On ESPN, Rich Cimini is reporting that Rex Ryan has made it known that he’s looking for a premiere pass rusher this year.
If Jets sign a veteran safety in free agency — Reggie Nelson? — it will give them more flexibility in the draft. The No. 1 item on their wish list is pass rusher. Rex Ryan has told friends he absolutely wants to add a blue-chip rusher to his defense, sources said. They really like Courtney Upshaw (Alabama), Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) and Andre Branch(Clemson). This is a must-get for the Jets, who have ignored the pass rush for too long.
It’s just seems an odd statement to me. Yes, I’ve wanted the Jets to draft another OLB since Rex came to New York, but at this point it’s like I’m so jaded by their disregard for the spot. Rex also made it clear that cornerbacks and run-stoppers were vital to his defense. Maybe now he feels like it’s the time to grab a pass rusher since everythingbe else is mature enough to support it? OLB is a luxury for him, not a cornerstone.
I guess I just look to what they did last year in the draft. The Jets had Texas DE/OLB Sam Acho, dead to rights, and they picked Kenrick Ellis instead, a player who might be good one day as the heir apparent at the Nose Tackle spot for Sione Pouha, but the bottom line is that they passed on Acho, who going into the draft process had some questions, but whom most people agreed would prove a solid mid-round pick as a pass rusher. Acho of course went on to a seven sack, four forced fumble rookie season for the Cardinals.
Maybe Rex just wants the super-stud type like Terrell Suggs, or nothing. The Jets have never had that versatile three down pass rusher in a long time, so getting one would be a big upgrade for the Jets.