It’s that time again, your woefully premature draft grade round-up!
Mel Kiper: ESPN
Summary: Once you can divorce yourself from the reality of what Geno Smith is headed into, you take a step back and realize the Jets just took the guy I think is the best quarterback in the draft, and they did it at No. 39 overall. We’re grading a draft, not the QB situation they have. The Jets really needed a corner now that Darrelle Revis is in Tampa, and they got the best one in the draft at No. 9. I wanted them to get a pass-rusher, but they might have done it in another way. With Sheldon Richardson, I expect them to do some new things up front, potentially shifting Quinton Coples to the edge. This is the makings of an extremely good defense up front, and Rex Ryan is a master at creating pressure with whatever he has. Brian Winters is a starter at guard, and Oday Aboushi could play either right tackle or guard. Tommy Bohanon (T-Bo!) should stick. I wanted the Jets to get a safety, but I still think they deserve a pretty good grade for hitting a few big needs. Now, they need to be patient with Smith. OVERALL: B
Floyd Engel: (B) Anybody who thinks the Jets’ objective should have been getting help for Mark Sanchez did not watch Mark Sanchez last year. They needed a QB, and Geno Smith in the second round is solid. If he fails, get another next year.
Alex Marvez: (C+) The talk of this draft wasn’t the two first-round picks (Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson) but Smith, who took an unexpected tumble deep into the second round. Even with their awful quarterbacking situation, the Jets must mitigate pressure to prematurely play Smith because he may need a year of seasoning while adjusting to a West Coast-style offense after playing in a spread system at West Virginia.
Peter Schrager: (C+) They wanted Tavon Austin and didn’t get him. Smith, to me, is not a good fit for this team and situation, either. The Jets had a circus already and I’m not convinced Geno can start in Year One. Other than Geno Smith, the Jets did add guys who can help the defense on Day 1 in Milliner and Richardson and an offensive lineman I really like in Brian Winters out of Kent State.
Sports Illustrated: Chris Burke
The first round was disappointing. DT Sheldon Richardson is kind of miscast in the Jets’ current defense, and CB Dee Milliner broke the rule that you don’t try to replace a player you just traded away by drafting someone at the same position. G Brian Winters has a nasty streak and Rex Ryan will like that. But, of course, the spotlight will shine brightest on QB Geno Smith. Is he the answer New York needs at that position? Or are there ample reasons to justify his drop into Round 2? Grade: C
Questionable move: Taking Dee Milliner in the first round. Milliner has a lot of injury concerns and they had other needs.
Third-day gem: Fifth-round guard Oday Aboushi is a college tackle who will have to move inside on the next level.
Analysis: They took solid players with their two first-round picks and then came back to takeGeno Smith in the second round. Smith will push for a job as the starting quarterback, so he will be the key to grading this down the road.
USA TODAY: Nate Davis
New York Jets: If you purely judge this draft off the selection of QB Geno Smith in Round 2, alarm bells sound — though given Smith’s talent, at least they didn’t overreach. Still, his presence creates yet more distractions, and his arrival came at the cost of patching other holes on offense. But he wasn’t the only player new GM John Idzik picked. Two potential impact defenders came via Round 1 (CB Dee Milliner, DT Sheldon Richardson), and needed O-line depth was selected in Smith’s wake. Idzik also acquired 25-year-old RB Chris Ivory for a fourth rounder then signed him to a very reasonable three-year, $10 million deal — all things considered, a fairly deft stroke. GRADE: B
Rotoword: Evan Silva
Overview: The fact that the Jets surrendered Hall of Fame talent Darrelle Revis for the 13th pick (and a 2014 third-rounder) is factored into their grade. GM John Idzik was still savvy enough to pull off a productive trade of his own, sending pick No. 106 to the Saints for new feature back Chris Ivory. Rather than adhere to a position-specific strategy, Idzik made selections working straight down his board. Milliner and Richardson upgrade the pass defense. Smith was the Jets’ No. 1-rated quarterback and figures to start over David Garrard as a rookie. (Mark Sanchez will be released.) Winters is a highly impressive prospect and probable Week 1 starter at right guard. Aboushi, Campbell, and Bohanon may amount to mid- to late-round throwaways, but the Jets got better in this draft with five starting-caliber talents, including Ivory. Revis’ loss still keeps their grade in check. Grade: C+
Sporting News: Vinnie Iyer
New York Jets: Their entire draft will ride on just how good West Virginia’s Geno Smith will be as their starting quarterback, and there’s reason to believe the pairing will be quite bumpy. In essence, they swapped out Darrelle Revis for Alabama’s Dee Milliner at cornerback, but wasted the No. 13 they got for Revis by taking Sheldon Richardson, a tackle better suited for the 4-3, not Rex Ryan’s 3-4. It was a shaky start for John Idzik. Grade: D