SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 22: Curtis McNeal #22 of the University of Southern California Trojans tries to hold off Harrison Smith #22 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on October 22, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Representing the New York Jets, jmcgoblue with the 47th pick in Arrowhead Pride's 2012 NFL mock draft...
The Jets are in a bit of a tough spot here. They have several huge holes on the roster, but didn't have the salary cap space to make an major moves in free agency, so they have to rely on the draft to bring in several immediate starters.
By far, the three biggest needs for these guys are at WR (even if Santonio Holmes is back, they have nothing across from him), right tackle (Wayne Hunter can thank our very own Barry Richardson for not being known as worst RT in the NFL...11 sacks and 11 penalties, ouch) and pass-rushing OLB.
The team took care of the latter need with it's first round pick of Courtney Upshaw, so I really wanted to take a WR or OT with this 2nd round pick. Unfortunately none of the top WRs fell, and there aren't any day-one starters at OT still on the board (Zebrie Sanders was an option, but he doesn't really fit the Jets power blocking scheme).
With all this in mind, I had to find the BPA available at a secondary need, and that player is....
While it's not the highest need, this is only because the holes at WR, OT & LB are so bad...the Jets really have nobody who can be counted on at Safety. Jim Leonhard is good, but he's a free agent who is coming off a torn patellar tendon & may never play again. They signed LaRon Landry, which should help, but again he's an older player with a recent history of serious injuries. Beyond Landry the Jets have nothing. Smith is the best player still available at a position of need...so welcome to New York City, Mr. Smith.
Strengths: Looks the part with prototypical size and strength for a strong safety ... long arms with a filled-out frame. Extremely strong with natural power to make punishing hits. Physical striker who enjoys contact. Fills the run lanes hard and is a downhill athlete with an aggressive nature at the point of attack.
Weaknesses: An upright athlete who lacks ideal body flexibility and natural explosion to hold up in coverage or space. Has tight hips and struggles to turn and quickly change directions ... plays stiff. Needs to be a more technically-sound tackler, often going for the knockout hit or forced fumble instead of wrapping up ... hits too high and loses leverage, allowing ballcarriers to pick up extra yards.
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