March 5, 2008
<H2 class=asset-name>Ayanbadejo could be next Jet</H2>The first phase of free agency is over, with nearly all the top players off the board. Right now, the board looks like a turkey the day after Thanksgiving, picked clean, as Bill Parcells used to say.
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum made it clear Monday night that he’s still hoping to sign a few players. Next up (just speculating here, folks): Bears special teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo, a 6-1, 228-pound linebacker. The Jets have a connection, as a newly-hired special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea spent two seasons as the Bears’ special teams assistant.
Ayanbadejo visited the Jets on Monday, the Ravens yesterday and he’s mulling offers from both teams, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He could make a decision by today.
League insiders, observing the Jets’ plan of attack in free agency, say it’s looking more and more like the team is plotting to pick RB Darren McFadden - if he’s available with the sixth overall choice. I’m not totally convinced of that, but I do know this: This draft is going to be all about upgrading the team speed.
Like I wrote recently, they’re buying bulk and will draft for speed.
Here’s a list of the top seven players in the draft (a consensus of various scouting services), followed by a quick analysis of their chances of being picked by the Jets:
RB Darren McFadden: A definite possibility. They could be tipping their hand if they sign Dolphins RB Jesse Chatman (visiting today). With Chatman, Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, they’d be well stocked in the backfield.
DE Chris Long: Too small to play end in the Jets’ 3-4 scheme. He probably could stand up and play outside linebacker, but they just signed that guy, Calvin Pace.
QB Matt Ryan: This would mean rebuilding and, based on the mega contracts they’ve been doling out, the Jets do not see themselves as a rebuilding team.
OT Jake Long: He’d be hard to pass up at No. 6, but it would be a tough sell. They couldn’t play him at left tackle because that would be admitting D’Brickashaw Ferguson was a mistake. They’d have to play him at right tackle, but they just signed Damien Woody.
DT Glenn Dorsey: Two reasons why they won’t pick him: He’s too small to play nose (see Dewayne Robertson) and they just traded for Kris Jenkins.
DT Sedrick Ellis: See Dorsey.
DE/LB Vernon Gholson: Too small to play end. He’d have to play linebacker, but this brings us back to the Chris Long/Pace issue. Then again, after the year OLB Bryan Thomas had, maybe they feel they need two new outside ‘backers.
By Rich Cimini on March 5, 2008 11:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)