Jets target substance over sizzle in NFL Draft

Idzik was introduced at a press conference on Thursday morning.
Idzik has a tough task facing him in this year’s draft.
Credit: Kristian Dyer/Metro

Don’t expect the big names or headline grabbing moves from the Jets this NFL Draft. Instead, the franchise will look to add quality depth instead of sizzle.

What will likely be the Jets’ most important draft in the history of the franchise took an interesting turn on Sunday when they acquired the No. 13 overall pick as part of a deal that sent Darrelle Revis to the Buccaneers. It could also allow them the flexibility to trade down in the first round and accumulate picks in a draft that lacks top playmakers but has depth.

In his first draft as general manager of the Jets, John Idzik is open to any move that might help the roster. His favorite term when talking about team-building is “competition” and trading back in the draft and accumulating more picks could be a part of that philosophy.

“When we develop our roster, it’s a continual process. It’s not just free agency. It’s not just the draft. It’s not just post-draft free agency. It’s not just training camp transactions. These are all part of it. A trade is certainly a viable option, so yes, we would definitely look at any trade possibilities and see if they benefit the Jets,” Idzik said. “We’ll have open discussions on potential trades. A lot of them may be our own what-if scenarios. We’ll explore all avenues to try to better our roster, to try to increase the competition on our roster and thereby make us better. We will hold firm to exploring any type of transaction that can help us out.”

The Jets have a number of holes on both sides of the ball this year and will need a home run to address the balance issues on this team. As a whole, they are a top-heavy, veteran unit that doesn’t necessarily need more superstars but must add depth and youth at virtually every position.

Outside linebacker, safety, defensive end, wide receiver, guard and tight end could all be considered pressing needs right now, not to mention running back and perhaps even quarterback. Idzik’s first draft will face no shortage of options and Jets fans must hope he has no shortage of answers.

Pragmatic and methodical, Idzik is the type of a leader who will carefully study a situation and create contingency plans for every plausible circumstance.

“I don’t think it is more pressure with any one decision. It’s just an axiom in football, we’re all grinders at heart, and part of the grind is being prepared. When you’re going through the final stages of draft preparation, this is a culmination of over a year of evaluating these guys,” Idzik said. “It’s a culmination of evaluating your roster [and] the status of certain players on the roster. When you feel like you’ve thoroughly researched everything, I don’t know that it’s pressure. It’s kind of like game day, ‘Let’s go, let’s get it going.’ As long as we’re prepared, then we’ll be ready to respond appropriately to anything that comes across our desks. Again, it’s our job to maximize those alternatives as we go through. Part of the preparation is being ready to decide on various things that may come across your desk. I think we’re excited about that.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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