2014 Draft Depth: Where could the Jets draft a cornerback?

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

A few weeks ago we were asked where the depth of the 2014 NFL Draft class aligns with the Jets needs.  Our intent was to write a two-part article.  The first would address the generalizations learned from a survey of the depth of the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft class, while the second took a more practical player-level approach.  The more we wrote, the more we realized this was going to turn into a series.

Since we’ve already surveyed the depth of this draft,  it’s time to talk about the talent that’s contained in this class.  First up? Cornerback.

CORNERBACK

Bassett’s Baseless Projection: One pick before fifth round, who then is starting before the end of the 2014 season.

Three Names of Note: Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6’3′ 218 lbs, Nebraska), Keith McGill (6’3″ 11lbs, Utah), Bashaud Breeland (5’11″ 197 lbs, Clemson)

Analysis:  Drafting Dee Milliner with his first pick of the 2013 NFL Draft proved straight away that John Idzik is not just copying John Schneider’s blueprint for success. While Schneider did draft safety Earl Thomas (along with Russell Okung) in the first round of Schneider’s 2010 (first) draft, all of Seattle’s cornerbacks have come in the fourth round or later. With names like Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simpson, it’s hard to argue with Seattle’s results; there’s value in drafting system cornerbacks deeper in the Draft. The quality prospects in the second, third and fourth rounds is impressive. The corners might need some molding before becoming an every down player, but by drafting in that window, the Jets have the chance to “sustainably succeed” by controlling the salary of yet another starting quality cornerback for years to come. Like the Seahawks, the Jets have a turbocharged defensive line and have already used two first round picks on corners in the last five years; putting a premium on the NFL’s top corner prospects might be on the wane for the Jets.

After losing Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in back-t0-back seasons, no one will say the Jets secondary is Mr. Right. Even so, their group currently constitutes more than enough of the qualities to be Mr. Right-Nows to make it work in the short-term paired with the strength of their defensive line. The Jets still don’t have a proper second cornerback on their depth chart and with six draft picks prior to the end of the fourth round, the Jets picks match up nicely with the sweet spot at cornerback in the coming the NFL Draft.

Name Dropping: The Jets could easily add an elite cornerback at the top of the draft like Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard. While Gilbert has more athletic upside, both project well at the next level as longtime starting players on the outside with the fluidity and physicality required. Dennard and Gilbert could be gone by the time the Jets pick at 18, but drafting either would be an easy boost to a defense in which adding a solid second starter at corner would tie up all the loose ends. If those players are still on the board when the Jets pick comes, it might be hard to turn either down but the Jets have pressing needs on offense.

Pierre Desir (projected 2-3 round) might be one of the most intriguing prospects of this second tier. He played at Lindenwood and will need time to adjust to the NFL, but is the most athletic, physical and of course raw player in the group. He might need the most time to adjust and transition and come with the most risk, but upside. Stanley Jean-Baptiste (3rd round)  is loaded with physical talent and can play both press-man and off-man coverage equally well, but would need to be a more physical cornerback to play for the Jets. Similarly, Keith McGill (3rd round) has all the fluidity and can play in press coverage but needs to play with a little less hesitance.  Having close ties to Clemson football through his son Seth, we expect that Rex Ryan will lobby on Day Two for Clemson’s Bashaud Breeland. Breeland had a bad pro day due to an issue with his shoes, but is an athletic, fluid, and aggressive cover corner with range and the willingness to play the run. While Breeland could benefit from an NFL strength program and some technique refinement, he might be a nice fit for the Jets in either the second or third round.

The trio of Florida defensive backs is interesting. Marcus Roberson is the best of the group (2nd round) with the fluidity, patience, recovery speed and physical aggression. Roberson looks the part of the prototypical rangy, athletic NFL cornerback.  Still, Roberson’s technique needs refining; he can get grabby in coverage and tends to be more hesitant against the run. Louchiez Purifoy (3rd round) is something of a jack-of-all-trades master-of-none. While he has athleticism and has worked on offfense, defense and special teams, his projection to the NFL is something of a mystery. Jaylen Watkins (4th round) is moving quickly up draft boards, but likely as a projected switch to safety. Similarly to Watkins, Virginia Tech’s Antone Exum (4th round) might be asked to transition to safety in the NFL.

As a last ditch effort at upgrading their secondary, the Jets might draft Deion Belue from Alabama early on Day Three. While Belue might lack prototypical size, he comes out of an excellent program (see Dee Milliner, et al) and has the aggression needed to play at the next level … it’s just that his upside is substantially less then the previously mentioned players.

Be sure to add your thoughts about the depth of the cornerback position in the comments!




387 comments
bklyndude
bklyndude

This kid Phillip Gaines from Rice is a CB to keep an eye on.  I think he is going to get drafted earlier than he is being mocked, not sure how high he will wind up going.   I read the Jets had some interest,  like a bunch of other kids,  but check out his highlights from 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY5uFG16O4E


bob
bob

I'm thinking Chris Johnson will be released this week by Tennessee. So look for the Jets to pounce all over Chris Johnson and be the strongest suitor in the market. I really think the Jets all ways had reservations to try and sign Chris. Reason why they had little interest in  DeSean Jackson.


Now you guys have Chris Johnson and owner Woody Johnson. So you guys should be good in your Johnson Department.

lagoo
lagoo

I still believe we're going with bradley roby in the first. It doesn't make sense to draft a receiver when that's this drafts deepest positions. Get amaro or asj in the second then go receiver safety ect in later rounds

Ed House
Ed House

Jets have been in need for many many years,  jets draft a few good players and build nothing additional around them. Patriots lose many good players over the years and are always in playoffs.. TIME TO STEP IT UP MR RYAN.

BEEN A JETS FAN SINCE NAMATH..   J- E- T -S   JETS JETS JETS THE SOUND IS DEPRESSING AFTER SO MANY LOSING SEASONS

Kirk Michael
Kirk Michael

We must draft odb n trade back into the first round for Amaro.

Will Taylor
Will Taylor

Pretty clear the Jets will take a CB in round 1 and the fans at the draft (as well as this board) will explode.

Kirk Michael
Kirk Michael

hes signing receivers which I don't like becuz I don't want te to be the first pick. ODB is my guy n I think hell step right in and be a game changer but will idzik draft him or wait to draft a wr in third sumone like landry, odbs teammate n I wouldn be able to deal. ODB AT 18.hop back in the first n trade what we have to out of the 12 picks to get amaro. We need both of them if rex gets a corner n safety this season idc I think well be a top 5 defense with the front 7 n rex etiher way. But ODB N AMARO i think Marty can make us formittable for being young

blackwood1
blackwood1

Had an interesting convo with friends earlier & I thought it would be an interesting question for you guys...


If the Niners offered both their second rd picks for our first would you be for or against it?

bradysucks
bradysucks

Interesting fact........Odell Beckham Jr who is 5'11 with 4.43 speed (at the combine) actually has BIGGER HANDS than Mike Evans who is 6 foot 5....


Having watched the tape I'd rate ODB as a guy who has some of the best hands in this draft. He always reaches for the ball and snags it out of the air which is what a WR is supposed to do and what WR's like Stephen Hill need to learn.....In other words he doesn't catch it with his body. The guy also has killer moves and runs great routes......Some of his one handed catches (big hands) are awesome....


ODB Jr would be a great pick for the Jets at #18.....I think he could be a legit #1 WR for us.......He isn't gonna be Megatron but he can certainly get open and be relied upon to catch the ball consistently and gain yards after the catch (in my opinion)

Frank Monastra
Frank Monastra

1st rd: WR Cooks (trade down add a 3rd rd pick)

2nd rd: OLB Attaochu

3rd rd: TE Jenkins CB Breeland ILB Christian Jones

4th rd: FS Dontae Johnson RB Crowell

5th-7th rds: take best available players

add another O-Line men in free agency, add more competition elsewhere 


lagoo
lagoo

I like stanley jean baptists the most out of the group

supert
supert

OT: But just saw that D-Jax's deal with the Redskins is 4 years for $32M.  Wow, can't believe Idzik wouldn't top that.

Brendan
Brendan

@bob  His agent went on some Sirius show and said he expects CJ to be cut this week. It's happening. 

Pat d
Pat d

If Evans or Lee are there at 18 it makes perfect sense to draft a WR because they would most likely be BPA

NJJDB
NJJDB

@jenkins not much of a ball hawk, is he? He blitzes well and plays the run fiercely though.

Hazard2012
Hazard2012

@Kirk Michael  


ODB is a nice receiver, but there's not much separation between him and at least a half-dozen other guys in this draft.   Watkins and Evans are the only two WR's I'd have a hard time passing on in the first round.    


Ebron's another guy I'd have a hard time passing up.   He's the most NFL ready of the top four TE's, any of which would be tremendous additions to the O...at least as valuable play-makers as any receiver.   MM & Co need weapons, and more than just one out of this draft.     


But Ebron's the only TE likely to be taken in the first round.   All the others will probably be there when the Jets pick at 49, so there's no need to trade up to get them.   


If anything, you want to try and trade down a few spots in this draft, getting extra 2-3 rounders, while still keeping a first rounder to ensure you get a top talent.   But you have to be flexible who that talent is.   Jets have lots of needs...it won't be hard to get a BPA in an area of need.   



Hazard2012
Hazard2012

@Will Taylor  


I'm not sure of that.   It depends on who's there.   Dennard and Gilbert are the only clear-cut CB's worthy of that high a pick...maybe Fuller, too...but other than those three you're not using a first rounder on any other CB.   


That's what's interesting about this draft...it can go any number of ways.  The Jets are guaranteed to get a top quality talent, regardless...but they have to keep their options open.   Expect lots of surprises in how this draft unfolds.    

Hazard2012
Hazard2012

@blackwood1  


Why would you even consider doing this?   I'm all for Jets moving down a few spots to collect additional 2-3 round picks, but not out of the first round entirely.   You lose too much value in the exchange.   The idea is to get an extra 2 or 3, perhaps one of each, while still keeping a first rounder.  That's the way to get several immediate impact players and still have some late round picks to work with.   

MPTG_Frank
MPTG_Frank

I think if the Jets were a 4 win team instead of an 8, I might consider it. But with 12 picks already, I'd rather try and score an elite 1st Rd talent instead.

Kirk Michael
Kirk Michael

@bradysucks I believe he has bigger hands and got a stocky frame and plays bigger then he is with the catches we make. ODB is the guy we need n hell be out d jax. I think he can step In and turn heads along with getting big plays for us all yr.

Kirk Michael
Kirk Michael

@Frank Monastra We don't need more picks we need certain talent, Perfect draft 1. ODB. 2 AMARO trade up. N trade picks or next yr pick for J,JOSEPH. We have a few wholes n safety I think we can get away with what we have for a year n get the players we exactly need, Then  next year a safety n big time back that can make the big play

WW85
WW85

@supert  Only $16mm guaranteed as well. Idzik dropped the ball

Paul Samuels
Paul Samuels

@supert  He can beat it, but he doesn't want another Santonio Holmes situation. He's bringing in high class guys. 

bob
bob

@Brendan @bob

Yep Brendan I'm thinking the Jets where allotting money for Chris all along and that's the reason why the Jets where reluctant to get into derby  trying and sign Jackson.

They will have a homerun threat  in Johnson and a bruising running back between the tackles in Ivory. Not bad..

lagoo
lagoo

Evans yes lee nooooooooooooo

bradysucks
bradysucks

This is the best WR draft in years. There are at least 5 WR's with 1st round grades.....Evans & Lee are not the only 2 WR's who can help the Jets....

The Jets should take a WR with the 18th pick unless Ebron is there. Evans & Lee are not the only 2 guys worth picking there.

Don't get me wrong....I like Evans & Lee....but there are other talented guys who can help out the Jets....

ODB by the way has bigger hands and better moves than Evans. He also has better speed and a nice vertical.

lagoo
lagoo

He's way to small to take in the first we already have one kyle Wilson don't need another

jenkins
jenkins

@NJ libertarian @jenkins  He's covering guys like Beckham like a blanket. Only knock I hear on him is size. Kid's a player.  Reminds me of Aaron Glenn. I understand guys preferring Fuller, but they'll both go around #25, I think.

Pat d
Pat d

You like many on this site under estimate Lee

Kirk Michael
Kirk Michael

@Frank Monastra alittle small 3rd down guy. Instead of drafting all 12 guys I rather get 3 guys n fill the wholes that way but look at cooks v. odb much bigger frame yes cooks is a tiny bit faster in 40 that doesn't much matter when ur that fast. odb has huge hands nn makes plays much bigger makes catches that are out of this world for being 5'11. ODB also has an inch on him not much but stockyer frame. Odb reminds of a back that can make the huge play with great hands n speed of a receiver.

Brendan
Brendan

@WW85 That's more guaranteed money than Decker got in a 5 year deal, that's a very high % of guaranteed contract for just a 3 year deal. 

Pat d
Pat d

It's not only about high class guys but a divided locker room

HarthorneWingoStarr
HarthorneWingoStarr

@bob @Brendan I wrote this late last night in response to t_k's bemoaning the fact that Idzik has not spent enough money:

"And as far as the state of the team, I'm excited over what the Jets are doing. Did I hope for some big signings by now? Yes. But until I see what Idzik does with the team over a few years I will not bash him as if I know more about football than he does."

"Idzik has not offered anyone more money than he thinks they are worth. Makes sense to me. I grew tired of the Jets always being right at the cap with little financial flexibility as the season neared. Remember, we have some young studs on defense that will require big contracts in the future. And how do any of us know that Idzik will not spend a substantial amount of the available cash before the season starts? Prior to a week or two ago how many people knew that DeSean Jackson would be available to the highest bidder? No one on this board. Similarly, none of us know who might come available in a few months on cut down dates. There just might be a day prior to the beginning of the season when we all are ecstatic that Idzik held onto so much cash. Great players often get cut for totally unforeseen reasons."

Well it looks like Chris Johnson might be one of those great players Idzik was waiting on. And who knows how many other solid players might shake-free and become available in the near future as well as down the road?

greggreen
greggreen

@gusto  thats too much money for a guy that we are hoping a reduced workload will improve his under preforming numbers

gusto
gusto

Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory gives us a great 1-2 punch at running back, and Powell and Goodson (barring any legal issues) give us a good 3rd down back whenever either is in the game. I'd pay Chris Johnson $12 million over three years to see him and Ivory in the same backfield.

Brendan
Brendan

@bob As long as he's cool splitting the reps, I think he and Ivory are near-perfect complements for one another. Plus, CJ is a pretty dangerous receiver out of the backfield. 

bradysucks
bradysucks

You should watch some film on ODB & Cooks.....big upgrades over Hill etc

Pat d
Pat d

In my opinion Watkins, Lee and Evans are the three best WRs in this draft. If they are gone I don 't think WR will be the BPA. There will be an excellent player waiting for the Jets at 18. This is a deep draft. Mid rounders from last year wouldn't make the cut this year.

Pat d
Pat d

The Pats very likely could get a WR in the first.

bradysucks
bradysucks

Idzik? Mr cheap....move up in the draft? Idzik is a HORDER!!! He hordes his cash and draft picks. This cheap GM isn't moving up....would be shocking if he did!!!

Evans & Lee most likely gone when we pick....

Lots of good WR's in this draft....Cooks & ODB can both help the Jets and you should pray neither of them end up on the Patriots...!

Pat d
Pat d

I think it is more realistic that the Jets may move up and get Evans or Lee.

jenkins
jenkins

@lagoo  He's either a 1st rounder or he isn't. He'll go in the first-probably SD. But I think he's much better than Wilson coming out.


Actually, I think the Jets will trade up for Watkins or Evans, which would be a great move. Then draft Niklas in the 2nd and you have your playmakers.

jenkins
jenkins

@lagoo  true, but I haven't seen him on anyone else's highlight tape.

lagoo
lagoo

It's a highlight tape he's covering everyone like a blanket

Hazard2012
Hazard2012

@Will Taylor @Hazard2012  


You're probably right about that...Jet fans have a history of not being happy on draft day.    We were all scratching our heads when Boss Hogg was picked last year...but that didn;t turn out so bad, did it?  

Hazard2012
Hazard2012

@Will Taylor @Hazard2012  


Hey, if more pressing areas of need are already off the board then I'd love a Zack Martin....but that's the thing about this draft...its so deep, in so many areas, that it's virtually impossible not to strike gold with the early picks.     

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Kirk Michael @bradysucks  


ODB and Decker would be a legit #1 and #2 WR.........They would compliment each other very well.....(in my opinion)


Hakeem Nicks also has huge hands like ODB......kind of interesting

WW85
WW85

@Brendan Djax is a lot better than Decker as well. Any way you slice it, Idzik should have at least made the call. Honestly, I would not have whined if we had brought Djax in, interviewed him & decided he wasn't a fit. But to not give him a shot really irks me.

Monty
Monty

@Brendan @WW85Desean is more proven than Decken the contract was fine. Idzik just wanted no part of him