Friday, April 29, 2016

Jets and Giants stink it up with first round selections

It has been a pretty bizarre off-season, at least for one of the two teams in New York.

In one corner, Giants GM Jerry Reese is under the gun to get the G-Men back on track, or else face the wrath of John Mara and company at the end of the upcoming season. In the other corner, the Jets continue their kamikaze off-season. It has not been fun for either team this Spring.

It didn't get any better after the first night of the NFL draft.

The Giants pretty much panicked with their first pick in the draft when the selected Eli Apple, a corner back out of Ohio State with the 10th pick. A lot of people had defensive end Leonard Floyd falling to the Giants at 10, but the Bears traded up to nine to get him. The Giants could have tapped Shaq Lawson, the talented pass rusher out of Clemson, but surprisingly passed on him.

Yes, the Giants needed a cornerback, they had one of the worst pass defenses in the league last year, but Apple is a guy who is extremely raw, and was kind of a reach at the 10th pick. While he has good size, 6-foot-1, he is extremely young, only 20-years old, and was a pass interference machine in college. He loves wrapping himself around receivers, which means teams in the NFL will pick on Apple all day long.

This is not the impact defensive player that the Giants needed to get. They needed an edge rusher more than anything, and totally dropped the ball here. Reese called Apple, a "value pick." But, in the first round, your objective as a NFL team is not to get a value pick, but to find an immediate impact player. The Giants didn't get that in Apple.

As for the Jets, they totally underwhelmed with their first round selection of Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee. Lee is an undersized inside linebacker, who while he has good speed, might be an odd fit in Todd Bowles defense. Lee had only four sacks last year for Ohio State, and is more of a sideline-to-sideline linebacker. The biggest knock on him is that he gets beat way too often against the run. This pick was a huge gamble, and one that may not produce instant results for Gang Green.

While the Jets were smart to avoid taking a quarterback, such as Memphis' Paxton Lynch, they really could have been more aggressive and bold and taken a flyer on Myles Jack from UCLA. Yes, Jack has an injury history, but he was the better player on the board when the Jets were picking.

As for the Lynch to the Jets stuff, I will say this, it might be the best for both worlds. The Jets would have thrown Lynch into the kerfuffle that is their quarterback situation.  They are still trying to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick to a long term deal, and are not sold totally on Geno Smith and Bryce Petty. Lynch, by all accounts is a developmental quarterback, and the pressure cooker of New York probably would have been too much for him.

 Lynch instead goes to Denver, where there is little question that he will be the starter at some point this season. There is no way in H-E-L-L that John Elway is going to live with Mark Sanchez under center for the Broncos. Lynch is going to be his guy, and watch him flourish in Denver. The Broncos have a good system and know what they are doing ... unlike the Jets.

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