COMMENTARY | With the four obvious heavyweight teams left in the playoffs, and the Super Bowl right around the corner, the 2013 NFL season is, sadly, coming to an end. If they're not already, NFL fans will find themselves scouring the internet for the latest analysis and/or rumors around the league. And with a plethora of articles dissecting and analyzing each and every NFL team's needs, they will not be disappointed. So, that being said, let's start with the New York Jets and the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.
With the draft four months away, and with the 18th overall pick in the draft, the Jets have a chance to select an explosive player on offense. Question is, will they do it? Yes, the Jets have holes throughout their roster that they need to address: from offensive line issues, cornerback issues and linebacker issues. But their most glaring need lies in the wide receiver department.
The Jets' playmaker, Santonio Holmes, will most likely be cut, and with their Stephen Hill experiment not working out, the Jets are left with Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson -- who are serviceable receivers, but not exactly the explosive, play-making No. 1 receivers the Jets need. But that can change if the Jets select one of the following with the 18th overall pick:
Marqise Lee, USC Wide Receiver
Lee won't be the biggest receiver, standing at 6-foot-1, but he can still be dominant and make some big-time plays . Lee is as explosive as they come. He is a gifted athlete who can get down field in a hurry, and has the quickness to break ankles underneath; with his great leaping ability, he is capable of getting those jump balls and making the tough catches. Lee is also a tenacious run-blocker, which suits the Jets' offense.
In his first two seasons with USC, he was dominant, putting up video game-like numbers, hauling in 191 catches for 2,864 yards and 25 touchdowns. He slowed down a bit his junior season, finishing with 57 receptions for 791 yards and four touchdowns, but he was dealing with nagging injuries throughout the season, and also dealt with instability at the quarterback position.
Eric Ebron, UNC Tight End
Regardless of who the Jets' starting quarterback is next season, the Jets need to provide their quarterback with a good, playmaking tight end that can cause mismatches. Eric Ebron, the North Carolina product, is a standout prospect at the tight end position and would be a great pick for the Jets. At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Ebron can be a big weapon in the passing game; the tight end has good, reliable hands, and is quick off the line; with 4.6 speed, he can blow past coverages and make plays down field. Ebron is a good route-runner that can line up either in the slot or on the line, but can also run-block.
The tight end wasn't surrounded by a lot of talent at UNC, including the quarterback position, but he still made plays. He finished his junior season with 62 receptions for 973 yards (15.7 yards per catch) and three touchdowns.
Jace Amaro, Texas Tech Tight End
Being one of the most productive players in the nation in 2013, Amaro is a beast, and his stats show it. The tight end has the production and physical tools that make him one of the top tight ends in the draft. At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, he is a big and athletic target that can be a matchup nightmare. Although he still needs work at the position, namely blocking, he is still a receiving threat. Amaro finished the 2013 season with 106 receptions for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns.
Allen Robinson, Penn State Wide Receiver
There is a lot to like about the young receiver. At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Robinson is the prototypical wide receiver. Clocking in at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Robinson has the speed; he is athletic and can get yardage after the catch with his elusiveness. Robinson also isn't afraid to get physical and make the tough catches across the middle.
Robinson proved he is an explosive playmaker, breaking many single-season school records and Big Ten records, finishing the 2013 season with 97 receptions for 1,432 yards and six touchdowns -- this despite playing with a true freshman at quarterback and constantly facing double coverage.
(All stats via ESPN.com)
Jonathan Peralta is a proud New Yorker that has been covering the New York Jets and the NFL on various sports websites the past few years. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, the Star-Ledger, Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports Yardbarker. For sports news and updates, follow @itsJPeralta on Twitter.
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