Five Ways The Jets Could Blow The 2004 Draft
By Paul Kastava
Jets Fan Contributor
April 21st, 2004
Ohio State CB Chris Gamble is just that at the 12th pick. (AP)
Ohio State CB Chris Gamble is just that at the 12th pick. (AP)
With the all the depth in this year’s draft, it is going to be difficult for the New York Jets to botch it up. Then again, this is the same organization that drafted Lam Jones, Browning Nagle, Blair Thomas, Johnny Mitchell and...well, let’s just stop there. The way I look at it, here are five ways Terry Bradway and Co. could mess things up.

1.) Trading Up
Ok, this wouldn’t be the worst thing they could do, but it definitely wouldn’t be smart. Bradway has a history of trading up and this is not the draft to do it. It is a deep draft, so if wherever a team picks in the top 15, they will likely get a quality pick. The team has no second round pick, so giving up another draft pick to move up would not make sense. This team needs to add a lot of depth, and by gaining a bigger impact player at the cost of more future depth is not prudent. Bradway made his big move-up last season for Robertson; doing it this year would be a big mistake.

2.) Drafting Ohio State CB Chris Gamble
His name basically describes what this player is: A big gamble. The problem is this guy is he is like gambling on a junk bond: On the surface it looks great, but you will most likely end up wasting your money. Gamble had a terrible game against Michigan, and has had a lot of hype around him because he is an Ohio State man. Keep in mind that Gamble plays in the Big Ten, so the efficiency of OSU’s opponent’s passing game is not too good. Big Ten is generally a power conference, and Gamble didn’t have too many opportunities to show what he can do against the top passing games. However, when he got the chance against Michigan, he definitely blew it. The guy sounds enticing, but will end up being one of the low points of Bradway’s draft resume if Gamble is decked out in Green and White.

3.) Drafting Wisconsin WR Lee Evans
I really doubt the Jets will pick Evans, but it could happen. Evans is the third rated WR on some draft boards because of his speed. He appears to be a Santana Moss clone, which is the last kind of WR this team would need. If the Jets go after any WR it should be Washington’s Reggie Williams, or maybe Texas’ Roy Williams if he somehow falls down this far. Even though WR is not a major need, if the best available player is a WR besides Evans, the Jets should make the pick. If Evans is there, trade down and add defense. Again, it is doubtful this happens, but you really never know with the Jets.

4.) Trading down without gaining a second round pick
I am all for trading down, but it doesn’t make sense to lose a tremendous impact player just to gain a 3rd round pick. Trading down appears to be a really good option for this Jet team, but again they need to get a second rounder in return. For once, I would like to see this team get the better end of a deal. With the 12th pick, there is a great chance the Jets will be in the catbird seat regarding teams wanting to trade up with them. Bradway needs to use this as leverage and get as much as possible. The only thing worse than trading down and not getting a second round pick, is not getting a third round.

5.) Drafting a kicker or quarterback in the First Round
If this were to somehow happen, then this would definitely be worse then the other four. But being this is seemingly so insane, it shows how hard it really would be to mess up this draft. Since there is no kicker at the level of the Raiders Sebastian Janikowski in this year’s draft, us fans don’t have to worry about this happening. But if an elite quarterback is still available, the Jets should definitely use this pick as leverage to trade down and gain more picks. Taking a quarterback, however, would be an example of someone taking the best available player philosophy way to seriously.

There are so many ways that this draft could go well for the Jets. Miami LB’s Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams, Virginia Tech CB DeAngelo Hall, South Carolina CB Dunta Robinson, Miami DT Vince Wilfork, and even Washington WR Reggie Williams to an extent are guys that will help this Jet team out a lot. The ideal situation would be to trade down, get a second round pick, and still manage to get a Robinson, Vilma, or D.J. Williams. With that in mind, let’s hope the Jets War Room is on the ball and takes control of this draft. Bradway cannot allow other teams to mess with his head and change the way the Jets are going to pick. Let’s put the history of bad drafts behind us, and make this one for the ages!