Chris Burke of SI.com predicted both the first and second rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft in his latest mock (Feb. 11).
Burke has the Jets selecting Ohio State OLB Darron Lee in the first round (20th overall).
In the second round (51st overall), Burke predicts the Jets will draft Michigan State DE/OLB Shilique Calhoun.
Considering that the Broncos just willed their tepid offense to a Super Bowl victory with the best pass rushing outside linebacker duo in the league, it will be popular for analysts to pick OLB help early for the Jets. After watching Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and then Cam Newton get knocked to the turf, many will see pass-rush as the new NFL salvation. Remember when everyone was looking for athletic defensive ends just like the Giants? Good times.
That doesn't make grabbing an OLB early the wrong pick for the Jets, as they could desperately use some help at rushing the passer. But to chase the trend is never a smart move.
Also, consider that the Jets have one of the best defensive lines in football with Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson. While grabbing a first rounder at linebacker would be a nice feather in the cap of the defense, I think the Jets will have to consider how they marshall their resources moving forward. What can a first rounder provide that a second rounder can't when paired with that line?
The Jets will take whoever the best player on the board is, but if given a choice, I'd love to see them shore up the offensive line first.