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New York Jets Should Stop Winning to Improve Chances in 2014 NFL Draft

Top-Heavy 2014 NFL Draft Features Key Positions New York Jets Need

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COMMENTARY | If I could offer the New York Jets one piece of advice for the rest of the season, it's would be this: Please, Gang Green, stop winning in 2013.

With three games to go, the Jets sit at 6-7, an extreme longshot to make the playoffs considering the teams above them in the standings have beaten them during the season. At best, the Jets are looking at an 8-8 finish (assuming the Carolina Panthers take care of business like they should next weekend).

While 8-8 is a moral victory for a team picked to finish near the bottom of the league, it leaves them in no-man's land: Not good enough for the playoffs, not bad enough for a valuable top pick in what looks to be a very top-heavy 2014 NFL draft. And let's face it: There are a lot of needs on this Jets team.

Improving the secondary, finding another starting offensive lineman and improving at wide receiver are the top three needs on this team. And we haven't even addressed what to do with Geno Smith. With a middling pick - which I'm currently projected between 10 and 16, based on either a 7-9 or 8-8 record - the Jets have to hope some dominos fall to get a top prospect at one of their critical need areas.

Who's #1? The Jets first round selection has to be more Sheldon Richardson and less Dee Milliner. Based on their projected slot, all of their options might be on the table: a top offensive lineman like Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan; a clear-cut number one receiver in Texas A&M's Mike Evans; or the best safety in college football, Alabama's Ha'Sean "Ha-Ha" Clinton-Dix.

If Lewan - or one of the other four top offensive tackles in the 2014 NFL draft - is on the board, that's the choice.

Secondary or Wide Receiver? These might be the two most glaring needs when watching the 2013 New York Jets. So the question boils down to this: Which do you go after first?

Based on the early (and we mean early) draft projections, there's an abundance of top wideouts who will be available through the second round. Meanwhile, many of the cornerbacks and safeties rate between late second and fourth round prospects. So who's the selection?

If he declares (and he lasts until the second round), Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin has the size (6-5, 235) and the big-play ability to become a front-line, WR1 in the NFL. They Jets can fill out the secondary in the middle rounds, where they're expected to have multiple compensatory picks to add quantity, if not quality.

Is Geno Smith still our quarterback? If I have a say, no. But at the very least, I'd get some competition going. And no matter what anyone says, Matt Simms is and will never be real competition. In an extremely deep quarterback class, I'm going to wait and grab the diamond in the rough - Georgia's Aaron Murray.

Even before his injury, scouts weren't rating him higher than a third round pick. Maybe because we've seen too much of him, given he's a senior. Maybe because he doesn't have that magical word attached to him - "upside". I mean, he's only the SEC's all-time leading passer, a 6-1, 208-pound classic drop-back quarterback with a big arm and plenty of experience.

If the Jets keep putting together performances like Sunday's win against the Oakland Raiders, they're going to hurt the team's chances to get the guys the Jets need to actually win - and compete - in 2014.

James Moffat (@JetsWriter on Twitter) has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications. Check out his other work on the New York Jets here.

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