Here are some possible candidates that the New York Jets should target with their first and second round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.
First Round (16th overall)
Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
Upshaw is a hybrid OLB/DE from the National Championship Alabama squad who absolutely terrorized college offenses last year. Upshaw would fit into Rex Ryans’s 3-4 scheme and has the ability to create havoc off the edge. He is 6’2” 275 lbs. and he played in the SEC which is probably the closest competition to the speed of the NFL. He will be able to use his strength and leverage to put pressure on the QB. Ryan will be able to use Upshaw on different sides of the field and will look to create problems for offensive lines. This pick would immediately help the Jets defense and Courtney is a guy who could come in and play right away.
NFL comparison: Cameron Wake
Next Best Choice:
Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College
Kuechly is probably the best pure inside linebacker in the draft and most people have never heard of him (because BC football has not been relevant since Doug Flutie). He plays sideline to sideline and seems to always be around the ball. The combination of Kuechly and Harris would be scary against the run.
Second Round (47th overall)
Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
With the Jets picking up Laron Landry, a hard hitting oft-injured safety, and with the uncertainty of Jim Leonhard the Jets best choice is to go with Harrison Smith. Smith really boosted his draft stock this season by being a ball hawking safety for the Golden Domers. He then burst onto the combine scene showing both speed and explosiveness. Either way, Eric Smith is not getting it done in the secondary, and Smith would be a nice upgrade at that position.
Next Best Choice:
Mohammed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
One of my favorite players in the draft who I believe has tremendous abilities as a WR. I think of him like a Donald Drive type with great game speed and play making ability. Would compliment Holmes and give Sanchez a reliable target with great hands. This will give Sanchez a weapon that will not cause problems, but will come in and work hard to get his touches on the field.
The NFL Draft will take place April 26-28 at Radio City Music Hall