Now that we're a week away, it's time to mock the 2013 NFL draft for the New York Jets. This is the most important draft for the New York Jets franchise since 2006, so there's not a lot of room for error. Let's take a look at the best case, likely and darkhorse scenarios for each of the Jets' seven rounds:
Round 1 (No. 9 overall)
Best Case: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Likely: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Darkhorse: Barkevious Mingo, DE/LB, LSU
Notes: If Fisher falls to number 9, the Jets have plenty of options -- they might be able to get a king's ransom for trading the pick. Warmack seems like the pick, but with the need for a pass rush, Mingo is a likely candidate, too.
Round 2 (No. 39 overall)
Best Case: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Likely: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Darkhorse: Alex Okafor, DE/LB, Texas
Notes: Werner's name has come up anywhere from the top 5 all the way down to Day 2. If he fell, it would be a coup. I don't expect him to last until the second round. Eifert would be penciled in as a starter immediately.
Round 3 (No. 72 overall)
Best Case: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
Likely: Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
Darkhorse: Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers
Notes: Ryan has a second-round grade from many scouts. Plus: if the Jets do trade cornerback Darrelle Revis on Day 1 of the draft as rumored, don't be surprised to hear his name called in Round 2. Reports have the Jets enamored with Glennon, which would allow the team to finally drop Tim Tebow off the roster.
Round 4 (No. 106 overall)
Best Case: Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama
Likely: John Simon, DE/LB, Ohio State
Darkhorse: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Notes: I see this pick on defense, and Simon (the 2012 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year) would be a good selection. Calling Mathieu's name would be a huge risk-reward pick.
Round 5 (No. 141 overall)
Best Case: Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida
Likely: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
Darkhorse: Sean Renfree, QB, Duke
Notes: Nixon needs to be coached on technique a bit more, but he's got the skill set and size to be a decent starter. I could see Barner playing the same role David Wilson did for the New York Giants last year after being selected in the first round.
Round 6 (No. 178 overall)
Best Case: Zeke Motta, SS, Notre Dame
Likely: Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas
Darkhorse: Braxton Cave, C, Notre Dame
Notes: Motta would give the Jets depth in the secondary following the departure of last year's starter, LaRon Landry. Hawkinson, a four-year starter for the Jayhawks, is labeled by scouts as a better "football player" than an athlete (i.e., no "upside"). That's not a bad thing, especially this late in the draft.
Round 7 (No. 215 overall)
Best Case: Conner Vernon, WR, Duke
Likely: Eric Herman, OG, Ohio University
Darkhorse: Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon
Notes: Vernon might have the best hands in the draft, something that would be a great asset. Herman was the NFL Scouting Combine's "Strong Man", doing 36 reps on the 225-lb. bench press -- most among all linemen invited.
James Moffat has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications.
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