Every year as the draft approaches the classic debate emerges, should you draft the best player available or draft for need. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan is a proponent of the best player available strategy – also the correct strategy – and he should be even more so this year.
With the Jets having so many needs and so clearly a couple of years away from being able to field a truly competitive roster it makes even more sense to simply stick the team with as many good players as possible, position be damned. Part of the best player available strategy involves using free agency to fill needs, but Maccagnan is slow playing that as well and they certainly don’t have enough draft picks to fill all of their needs. But the good news is, this year most of their needs – excluding quarterback and left tackle – also happen to be the deepest positions in the draft class.
The Jets basically need an entire new secondary, luckily for them this draft class is heavily stocked with excellent cornerbacks and safeties. Need a pass rusher? This draft class has them by the bunches. What about tight ends? The Jets haven’t had a decent tight end since Dustin Keller, well this year’s draft class has plenty of quality options to choose from.
The defensive back, pass rusher and tight end class are all as deep as any class in recent memory, which means the Jets could draft the best player available in every round and still fill a bunch of needs. None of these needs have been filled in free agency and despite the urgency to do so felt by the fans and the media there’s no huge rush to focus on those needs because the design of this year’s roster will be more to build for the future.
With so many needs on a team so devoid of elite talent Maccagnan needs to maximize his opportunity more than ever to find the best possible player available with each pick. This year though, most of the best players and deepest positions just so happen to be the Jets biggest needs (again with the exception of quarterback and left tackles).
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