Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThere’s a lot of rumors swirling around right now related to Thursday’s NFL Draft. We’ll break down some of the juiciest ones as they pertain to the Jets in this post.
Rumor: It will be a miracle if LSU WR Odell Beckham, Jr. lasts to the Jets at 18.
Analysis: There’s a real possibility that there will be six receivers drafted in the first round. It’s something we’ve been saying for some time now. Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans might both be gone in the top five, but certainly in the top ten. OBD is the next best receiver and to think that he — and potentially Brandin Cooks too — could last all the way from the top ten to the 18th pick seems a long shot. ESPN NY’s Rich Cimini re-iterated the notion that ODB won’t make it that long last night.
Rumor: The Jets are looking to trade up to draft a receiver (See more about this on TJB here).
Analysis: If could be the Jets are working out contingencies should the top two or three receivers get snapped up quickly and teams want to get it out there that teams like the Niners, Eagles and Jets are looking to trade up to sweeten whatever package a team in the early teens could get. Ian Rapoport noted that the Jets targets could be “Beckham, Cooks, Lee” in such a scenario. John Idzik seems like a GM who won’t swing a trade to move up, but if he does, would it be for one of those three? What about trading up into the early teens for UNC TE Eric Ebron? Tony Pauline told us on the podcast last week that there might be some “diva” concerns about Ebron. Is he the type that Idzik would trade up for then? What about making a big splash and going all in for a player like Watkins or Evans? Personally, I think the Jets will stay put. Even so, the Jets are wisely setting up contingencies should players fall a little or get run on early. The latter seems more likely than the former.
Rumor: The Eagles are looking to move up too.
Analysis: After running DeSean Jackson out of town on a rail and looking at Riley Cooper and a rehabbing Jeremy Maclin at the top of his depth chart, offensive guru and Eagles coach Chip Kelly might now realize replacing Jackson might be harder than he thought. Kelly will know what he wants in a receiver and he will have no one in place to tell him “no” if he wants to move up. GM Howie Roseman is already doing his homework for Kelly — probing around the middle of the first round for a likely trade partner — and that might make life harder on the Jets if they are looking at moving up into the same range or at the same pick.
Rumor: Eric Ebron won’t make it to the Jets.
Analysis: The UNC tight end is one in name; Ebron is essentially a receiver with a massive frame. While he can block, most expect that he will play the increasingly popular “F” receiver role in the NFL, flexing out into the slot or further much as Jimmy Graham does with the Saints. With the focus squarely on pass-catchers in the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft, it makes sense that adding a player like Eric Ebron can address the need while not necessarily have the two letters that seem to be in such high demand (WR) this week. Unfortunately for the Jets, it sounds as if the Ravens are serious about adding Ebron if he’s still on the board at 17.
Rumor: The Picksburgh Wrench! Steelers might draft FSU WR Kelvin Benjamin at 15!
Analysis: Benjamin has been talked about as a late first round, early second round talent … but Pittsburgh always seems to do things their own way. There’s been A LOT of talk all offseason about the front office in Pittsburgh wanting to get Ben Roethlisberger a big-bodied receiver again this year after letting Mike Wallace walk a year ago. Would they really draft Kelvin Benjamin at 15 as has been suggested? It’s hard to know just what Pittsburgh might do and if it will have any effect on how the rest of the first round plays out, but he aware that this might actually happen.
Rumor: The dreaded failed drug test list is circulating.
Analysis: That players would fail drug tests at the Combine, where they know for a certainty that they will be tested is troubling … and stupid. LB Christian Jones, LB Telvin Smith, DL Anthony Johnson and DL Timmy Jernigan all have been reported as failing their drug tests from the Combine. In addition, LSU QB Zach Mettenberger provided a “diluted” sample which many teams take as the same thing as a failed test. Mayock believes him to be a first round talent, but how long with a player like Mettenberger last with the urine sample issue? While the media might now start making the necessary adjustments, this is something that teams would have already changed grades on — would the Jets feel like they have the personnel development staff on hand to handle one of these players if they could be had at a bargain on Day Three?