Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The last few seasons, the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills have all acted, building solid wide receiver groups. Now it’s time for the New York Jets to react to all this maneuvering by drafting a defensive back.
The New York Jets Need to Draft A Cornerback
There is no better proof of the Jets need at corner than a simple glance at the receiving talent that their divisional rivals possess. In the AFC East, there is no a surplus of high-end pass-catchers, and the Jets simply must do something to combat this. Looking at the Jets’ rival franchises, it’s clear they all have different amounts of talent at the position, so lets look at each of their situations.
Buffalo is the least imposing threat to the Jets, in terms of wideout talent. Leading the Bills receivers is former fourth overall pick Sammy Watkins. Since being drafted in 2014, Watkins has led the Bills in receiving yards in two of his three years on the team. Watkins’ only problem has been staying healthy, as he missed three games in 2015 and half of last season due to injuries. The Bills don’t have any threats behind Watkins on the depth chart, but a healthy Watkins is more than the Jets can currently handle.
The Dolphins are the Jets second biggest problem. Their division rivals have been quietly building one of the league’s better receiving corps. Leading the charge for Miami is LSU graduate Jarvis Landry. Landry, who just completed his third season, has posted back-to-back 1,000 yard campaigns while piling up 13 touchdowns in that time span. Landry’s 3,051 yards over the past three seasons ranks 12th among all receivers.
Landry is joined alongside third year receiver DeVante Parker. Although Parker isn’t at Landry’s level, he is a viable and young compliment. Parker piled up over 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns through his first two seasons.
The Dolphins also have newly re-signed receiver Kenny Stills, whose role has increased the past two seasons. After recording just 27 receptions and three touchdowns in 2015, Stills almost doubled his receptions in 2016 and scored nine touchdowns. New York will have a hard time slowing down Miami’s offense in 2016.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have the most dominant receiving corps in the division, and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time slinging the ball. The Patriots number one receiver Julian Edelman has eclipsed 90 receptions and over 900 yards in three out of the last four seasons.
Joining Edelman on the field is newly-acquired receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks, who the Patriots traded for earlier this off-season, has recorded over 1,000 yards in each of the past two years. A deep threat, Cooks averaged 15 yards per reception in 2016.
The problem for New York is all of the receivers mentioned above are young and could be in the division for a while. Edelman is the only receiver that was drafted before 2014. Over the past few seasons the other teams in the AFC East have acted, and now its time for the Jets to react.
What can the Jets do?
New York has the perfect opportunity to take action on April 27 in Philadelphia. The Jets have been linked to cornerback Marshon Lattimore in this year’s upcoming draft. Lattimore, a cornerback coming out of Ohio State, ran a 4.36 at the combine at the 40-yard dash. Lattimore’s speed and physique is perfect for the AFC east, which is full of smaller and faster receivers, and he would be a great pick at six for New York.
These receivers will be in this division for a while and the Jets need someone to lock them down. Marshon Lattimore is the man for the job.