Both Bradway and Edwards did a great job in the 2004 draft.
Anyone who visits this site regularly knows that we have taken liberty to bash Jets general manager Terry Bradway every chance we get. For obvious reasons.
That said, we would personally like to commend Bradway, Herm Edwards, director of college scouting Jesse Kaye, and the entire scouting staff for a job well done in last weekendís NFL Draft. Bravo!
We grade the draft a B+, only because we expected to see a guard selected. But we will give an A for effort.
Bradway and Co., like a championship-caliber quarterback in the two-minute drill with the game on the line, came through in what was clearly a make-or-break draft. They did their due diligence, didnít panic, and reaped a bounty of players who will have a long and lasting impact on the organization for years to come.
Linebacker and corner back were obvious needs for a back seven that was void of youth, leadership, and speed. In Jonathan Vilma and Derrick Strait, the Jets got two outstanding players from college programs that are used to winning and expect to win. Both are tremendous people on and off the field.
Vilma has star quality written all over him. Whenís the last time the Jets had a linebacker with the skill sets that actually scare opponents and have offensive coordinators up at night trying to scheme against? In Strait they drafted a player with first round value. A guy who rose from poverty and has beaten the odds to be an All-America player with upside galore. Heís always had something to prove. Do you think falling to round three will supply just a bit of incentive?
When you factor in the trade of a second-round pick for Justin McCareins, the team now has three players who will provide immediate dividends. That could not be said of previous drafts from the Bradway-Edwards regime. Plus, the additions of Eric Barton, Reggie Tongue, and David Barrett via free agency have done wonders to erase the nightmare offseason of 2003.
Fourth round pick Jerricho Cotchery of NC State is the prototypical slot receiver who loves contact. Kansas OT Adrian Jones is a player on the rise. The two safeties, Erik Coleman and Rashaad Washington, should be keepers as well. Especially on special teams. Cal-Sacramento OT Marko Cavka is an intriguing prospect, who, at 6-foot-7, has the frame to bulk up to 320 or so. Thatís a big boy. Miami LB Darrell McClover is the sleeper of the bunch. A player Hurricane coach Larry Coker has called a ďsteal.Ē
We must confess that we donít know a whole lot about RB Derrick Ward from Ottawa- Kansas, but he has the size-speed ratio to stick around. Some have called him a Lamont Jordan clone. All in all, we expect at least seven or eight of the 10 selections to make the team.
Although you cannot judge a team on paper, it appears the Jets are a much better team than the one that lost to the Miami Dolphins in Week 16. In the end, thatís all that matters.
Nice job, Terry!