Once again, it’s time for our weekly Q&A session with a blogger. Continuing our trend of interviewing supporters of the Patriots’ AFC East Rivals, we’ve interviewed Jon Presser from JetsReport.com.
1. Let’s start with your 1st round pick. What do you make of Muhammad Wilkerson? Pats fans wanted him, but how does he fit Rex Ryan’s defense?
I love the Wilkerson pick. He seems like a versatile piece for the future of our defensive line, as he’s able to pretty much play anywhere on the defensive line. I believe Rex will use him as a 3-4 end on most downs, but move him inside at times, similar to how the Ravens use Haloti Ngata. Wilkerson and third-round pick Kenrick Ellis, who is a true nose tackle, will allow the Jets to get pressure on the quarterback from the inside out, in the absence of a pure pass rushing OLB/DE threat.
2. One of the picks I found interesting for the Jets was taking Bilal Powell, the RB from Louisville. Can he eventually become the top back in Sanchez’ s offense or is that Shonn Greene’s to lose?
It was an interesting pick for sure. Not many people saw it coming. Each year, Rex gets one pick that he asks general manger Mike Tannenbaum for, and it appears Powell was his guy. Last year it was “the Terminator” John Conner, a fourth-round pick who will start at fullback this season. I think the Jets plan this year is to give Greene more carries, but mix in all three of their other backs as well, including second-year back Joe McKnight.
Essentially Greene and Powell are the “Thunder” and LaDainian Tomlinson and McKnight are the “Lightning.” The Jets like having a bruiser back like Greene healthy and productive in January, so it would not surprise me to see Powell getting decent carries if he picks up the offense quickly and can prove to be a good pass blocker, something Greene still struggles with. It’ll be very interesting to see how the Jets rotate their backs, but it appears Greene will get the first crack at being the starter.
3. Who is the guy that was the perfect steal/value pick for the Jets?
It’s hard not to like the value of Kenrick Ellis at 94th overall in the 3rd round. The Jets had him rated as their 36th-best player overall in the entire draft, and were thrilled to get him with their second pick. He has gotten a lot of attention for his legal matter (he is due in court to defend an assault charge) but the Jets did their homework and believe he does not have any character issues going forward. He is a true nosetackle and should be able to take over in place of the oft-injured Kris Jenkins, allowing underrated stars Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito to move around the line.
4. You told me on draft day that Greg McElroy will be a better pick for NY than Ryan Mallett for the Pats. Care to explain your reasoning on that?
I really like the value as far as where they were drafted more than anything. The Patriots used a third-round pick on Mallett, while the Jets used a 7th on McElroy. Obviously both will be sitting on the sidelines learning for awhile, and I don’t think any quarterback in this entire draft is better suited to learning the intricacies of an NFL offense than McElroy, who aced the Wonderlic and was nearly a Rhodes scholar during his college days. I’m not sold on either one of them ever being an above-average starting quarterback just yet, as both have concerns. Mallett had character concerns coming out of college, as well as questions about his mobility in the pocket. That said, no better place for him to be than with Bill Belichick and that offensive line. McElroy seems like he can be a coach on the field (or sidelines) for the Jets, and I really think is destined to succeed in the league in some capacity. Maybe he’s the next Matt Cassel, or Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s a low risk, potentially high reward pick for the Jets.
5. Who in the division had the best draft? the worst?
This is easy. The Buffalo Bills did a terrific job this April, they definitely were a big winner in my eyes. The Dolphins on the other hand, made a lot of questionable picks and didn’t do anything at all that really scares me as a Jets fan.
6. With the lockout still on till at least June, will we start the season on time?
Sadly, I’m starting to think it won’t. I really hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think it’s going to start on time. This legal mumbo-jumbo needs to get taken care of as soon as possible. I know all the fans want football.
7. What did you think of Rex Ryan’s new book? Should even Patriots’ fans read the book?
It’s tremendous. It’s a must read for any football fan. It transcends the Jets for sure. It’s a great book. I definitely recommend it. It gives a good perspective into who Rex Ryan really is, and how he go to where he is now. Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him. He’s given not just the Jets, but the entire NFL, a breath of fresh air.