The New York Jets moved up 12 spots to select USC QB Mark Sanchez with the Browns fifth pick. Sanchez threw for 3,204 yards and 34 TDS for the Trojans last season. The 6’3″ 225-pound QB was also was named the MVP of the Rose Bowl throwing for 413 yards and four TDs against Penn State. Even though he started one year in college, Sanchez will be given the opportunity to win the Jets starting QB gig for Week 1. He just has to beat out QB Kellen Clemens to win the job since QB Brett Ratliff was traded to the Browns in the draft day deal. The Jets will be paying Sanchez like a starter and team brass hopes he turns out to be their franchise QB. Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan said he has no problem starting a rookie considering his former team , the Ravens did it with Joe Flacco last season.
Sanchez has the tools around him to succeed with WR Jerricho Cotchery who has averaged 78 catches for 983 yards his past three seasons. TE Dustin Keller had a productive rookie season catching 48 balls for 535 yards. RB Thomas Jones led the AFC with 1,312 rushing yards behind an improved offensive line. However, the Jets did not find replacements for WR Laveranues Coles or TE Chris Baker who were both salary cap casualties. But receivers David Clowney, Chansi Stuckey and Brad Smith should be more involved in the offense this year. Sanchez has the confidence, charisma and aheltic ability to succeed in NY and will help sell PSLs.
The Jets traded up for the first pick in the third round (65th overall) in exchange for their their third, fourth and seventh round selections. Greene won the Doak Walk Award as the nation’s top running back last season. He is a good blocker and has the speed and size to run in between the tackles effectively as a complimentary back. The 5’11” 235 pound bruiser finished second in the nation with 1,850 rushing yards. He rushed for at least 100 yards in every game for Iowa in 2008. The New Jersey native also scored 20 TDs and averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
RB Thomas Jones is turning 31 years old before the season and is in a contract dispute. Jones skipped the teams mini-camp and will count for over $7 million against the cap in 2010. RB Leon Washington has also been been complaining about his contract status in the off-season. The Jets needed to get younger at the position and drafted a punishing back who is bult like Jones that could eventually replace him. Trading up to select Greene should be a wake up call for both backs.
The Jets selected the verstaile Slauson in the sixth round. He is a 6’6″ 315-pound guard who played for Jets OL coach Bill Callahan, the former coach at Nebraska. Slauson is tall enough to move to either tackle position and recorded a a 34 inch vertical leap at the combine.
Overall grade: B+
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