Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa.
Once Phil Taylor got snagged, this draft went from being a no brainer to a head scratcher. I didn't have a plan B, so I had to make one up on the fly. I started with analyzing the offense, and quickly realized there is no one on the board, that plays an offensive position, that is worthy of a first round pick. So.... On to the D, where there are several viable options left in positions of need for the Jets.
Even with the strength the Jets D was in 2010, it is no secret that they need more playmakers all over the defensive side of the ball if they want to compete with the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning every year. That brought me to my first of several options:
Brandon Harris - small, extremely quick, playmaking safety out of Miami. When you're playing against the 2 best QBs in the league every year, you need as many good cover corners as you can get. Assuming Antonio Cromartie is re-signed, the Jets will go into 2011 with the best CB in the NFL, a top 15 CB, and a highly touted 2nd year CB who didn't really get a chance to show what he could do in his rookie year. If I was certain Cromartie was leaving, this might be the pick. Since I have to assume he's staying, I'll pass. Plus, cover corners can only cover for so long. Without a relentless pass rush, wide receivers will get open eventually, and Tom and Peyton will find them.
With the Top 3 OLBs already drafted (Houston was my plan B after Taylor!), this brings me to the 3 DE's still on the board: Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Heyward, and Muhammad Wilkerson. I could really select any of these 3 and be happy.
Clayborn is a beast who could be considered a "tweener" DE-OLB in the 3-4 at 270-280 LBs. Little too small for a 3-4 DE, and a little too big for OLB. He is fast, relentless, emotional, and a fiery leader... would fit in well with the loudmouth Jets
Cameron Heyward failed to impress scouts his senior year, and looked lazy and slow at time. But, when his mind is right and he feels like playing, can be an absolute force on the field. This is a true 3-4 DE as far as size goes. My only turnoff with Heyward, is his lack of pass rush skills. He is considered more of a run stopper. The Jets can stop the run already. They need a pass rush.
Wilkerson is "high risk high reward" type player all you Giants fans love taking in the first round. A "raw" guy with tremendous upside. An overpowering force at 315 lbs, can play 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE. He could turn into a monster over time. But, the Jets are built to win now, they need someone who can help them immediately.
So.. without any further adieu... we, the Jets, select.... Adrian Clayborn out of Iowa. As much as I wanted to select Wilkerson, I just couldn't pass up on the value of Clayborn at the 30th pick. We will play him at DE, OLB, MLB, Rover, everything.... Adrian Clayborn will play all over the field. This, IMO, is BPA and fills a huge need.
My take: This guy might not be the pass-rushing beast the Jets would really like to have on the outside of their 3-4 defense, but this is a solid selection. Clayborn is expected to be a good NFL player, and this is a safe choice.
-- Two picks left in our first round. Let's get those done on Friday, then maybe we will take the weekend off and start the second round on Monday. Green Bay is up next, putting 'stephen_ross' on the clock.
|19||N.Y. Giants||Akeem Ayers
||The Blood Of Eli
||Illinois||You're my boy, Blue|
New York Jets
|48||Oakland||G Fan In England
|52||N.Y. Giants||Ed Valentine|
||The Blood Of Eli|
||You're my boy, Blue|