NFL Draft: EWB’s Picks For The Jets And Giants


Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

On the eve of the 2014 NFL Draft, teams are still working hard to find the best ways to fill in their roster’s holes. The New York Jets and Giants are no exception, as they have each made significant additions this offseason, but still have glaring weaknesses.

Gang Green has been relatively busy this offseason, signing star wide receiver Eric Decker to a five-year contract worth an average annual salary of $7.25 million. Though Decker is a nice addition, they will still need another solid option at the wide receiver position.

They didn’t stop there, as they inked four-time pro-bowl quarterback Michael Vick to a one-year, $5 million contract. His main role will be to provide a helping hand to fellow quarterback Geno Smith and to serve as a viable back-up option

The Jets also boosted their running game with the addition of veteran running back Chris Johnson, who is best known for his 2oo9 season, in which he rushed for 2,006 yards.

Johnson, along with Chris Ivory, will hopefully allow the Jets’ running game return to elite status.

Big Blue has signed a few nice players so far this offseason such as cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who made three interceptions and thirty-three tackles for the Broncos last season. He will likely be covering the each opponents best receiver.

Other notable signings include the return of wide receiver Mario Manningham on a one-year deal and the addition of former Oakland Raiders’ running back Rashad Jennings.

Here are two of our experts’ picks for the Jets and Giants.

Carson Coudriet 

New York Giants: Zack Martin, OT Notre Dame

Essentially, the New York Giants have four major team needs that have to be addressed during the NFL Draft: linebacker, wide receiver, tight end, and offensive line. However, out of those four positions the offensive line is the only one that will have a player worth taking available at the 12th pick.

At linebacker, there is a good chance that Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr will have already been selected, and reaching down for C.J. Mosely or Ryan Shazier is too much of a stretch.

The same could be said for the wide receiver position, as aside from Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans (who will likely not be available) lacks any other talent worth taking 12th overall.

At tight end, the only player worth taking in the top 20 is Eric Ebron, although he will likely be snatched up by either the Buffalo Bills or Detroit Lions.

This leaves offensive line. Zack Martin would be a perfect fit for Big Blue with his incredible talent and versatility, as he is learning how to play guard along with offensive tackle. The Giants do not know how Justin Pugh will develop or how much longer Will Beatty will be on the team, so having someone like Martin who can play tackle and guard is extremely beneficial. He

Martin possesses quick hands and excellent footwork which will help him succeed at the next level. Although his 6’4” frame isn’t the ideal body size for an offensive tackle, his amazing intangibles and natural leadership more than make up for his less than stellar size.

Fellow OT Taylor Lewan might also make sense with this pick, although his lack of versatility, off-the-field problems, and the possibility that he might not even be available makes Zack Martin a much more enticing and probable pick.

New York Jets: Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State

The Jets desperately need offensive fire power to help support sophomore quarterback Geno Smith.

Last year, they ranked 31st in the league for passing offense, and if they wish to make it to the playoffs next year, it must improve. Perhaps the solution lies in Oregon State product Brandin Cooks.

He possesses a unique combination of blazing speed and reliable hands, which is a rare and dynamic tandem. Although Cooks has a smaller build (5’10”, 189 lbs.) which results in less strength and a smaller target, he makes up for it with his amazing ability to make plays on the ball.

Cooks can adjust to all kinds of inaccurate passes, a gift that will be more than beneficial for a developing quarterback like Geno Smith.

Though his inadequate size and strength may serve as a problem for him in the NFL, the pros of drafting him easily outweigh the cons.

Other feasible draft picks include tight end Eric Ebron and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., although both have the potential to be drafted ahead of the 18th pick. On the other hand, if both Beckham Jr. and Cooks are available, John Idzik and the Jets will be faced with a difficult decision. However, Cooks serves as the most plausible and beneficial draft pick for the New York Jets.

Brian Sausa

New York Giants: Zack Martin, OT Notre DameIf the G-Men decide to keep their pick at Number 12, they should go with Zack Martin of Notre Dame, so long as he’s still on the board.

After starting 50 games at tackle for the Irish, it looks as though Martin is more suited for guard at the next level due to his lack of size and length against NFL defensive lineman. He’s at the top of most draft boards in terms of guard prospects and can play there most of the time, but he’s still a rare “plug and play” type of guy that can help all along the offensive line if need be.

After a disappointing injury-riddled season for left tackle Will Beatty and right guard Chris Snee coming off major surgeries, the Giants desperately need more depth on the line to protect Eli Manning.

The Giants would get the most value for their pick here while addressing arguably their biggest weak spot at offensive line.

New York Jets: Brandin Cook, WR Oregon State

The Jets have upgraded their offense with the additions of Eric Decker, Michael Vick, and Chris Johnson this offseason. However, that doesn’t mean John Idzik should stop there. Brandin Cooks of Oregon State is a blur and the Jets would do well to get the 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner into a green uniform come Thursday night.

It’s well known that Rex Ryan is defensive minded, but the Jets can’t continue to draft in the first round to Ryan’s liking only (despite question marks on that side of the ball as well).

This Jets offense has been inept for far too long and Cooks’ explosiveness in Marty Mornhinweg’s west coast offense is a match made in heaven. It’s an opportunity to use this wide out’s speed and skills in a variety of ways from end-arounds to reverses to screen passes and beyond.

The more weapons for Vick or Geno Smith, the better and with a talent like this, gang green’s offense could be one to reckon with in not only 2014 but the future. The 5′ 10″ 189lb Cooks reportedly also has a strong work ethic and football character that he’ll need to overcome what disadvantages he’s already facing due to his size.

Editor’s Note: I’d like to thank Carson Coudriet and Brian Sausa for making this Mock Draft possible.