The draft is over. The players have once again been locked out, so football will have to wait. But that won’t stop me from rating the Jets draft picks. The Jets addressed some needs, did their homework, and came away with a successful haul. I told you last week that the Jets didn’t have many needs to address, but a few picks stood out to me.
Pick #30: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple: This is a name that we’ll be hearing about for a long, long time. The 6’4″, 315 pound Wilkerson is an absolute beast and gives the Jets what they’ve been desperate for, a five-technique that can rush that passer and make plays outside the tackle box. Let’s not forget value, either. ESPN ranked Wilkerson as the 12th most talented player in the draft. Getting a talent like that at Pick 30 is a no-brainer for the Jets.
The Jets’ biggest need coming into this draft came at DE/OLB and they filled that need with Wilkerson. Shaun Ellis won’t be back, Mike DeVito isn’t elite, and Vernon Gholston is looking for work. Wilkerson is an immediate starter for the Jets’ front seven.
Pick #94: Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton: The Jets didn’t have a second round pick this year, but added some much needed depth in the third round. Ellis is a big, big man (6’5″, 346 pounds), but has dealt with some character issues in the past. When Ellis played for South Carolina, he was suspended for three games for violating substance abuse policies and was later dismissed from the team for violating team policies. Ellis has had multiple drug-related problems and was arrested on assult charges in 2010. I’ll keep my ClasslessJets jokes to myself.
Physically, there are some concerns about Ellis’ weight and conditioning. However, he has the potential to be an impact player for the Jets. Sione Pouha played well last season, but there’s virutally no depth behind him. If Ellis can clean his act up and keep his stamina up, he’ll have a strong impact.
Pick #126: Bilal Powell, RB, Lousiville: Patient running back with good vision. Great in pass protection. The 5’10, 207 pound Powell isn’t a burner and doesn’t have great lateral movement, but he should be a decent backup for 2011.
Pick #153: Jeremy Keley, WR, TCU: Good route runner, should help the Jets on special teams.
Pick #208: Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama: Intangiables are off-the-charts for McElroy. Proven winner at Alabama. He will be a great backup.
Pick #227: Scotty McKnight, WR, Colorado: Good route runner. He will also help special teams.
Overall Grade: B
The Jets didn’t have a second round pick and only had two picks in the Top 125, so they didn’t have a lot to work with. The Jets don’t have a ton of needs, but filled the most pressing ones with Wilkerson and the volatile Ellis.
Jet fans: Are you happy with the 2011 Draft?