Its no secret that the Jets need to add quality and depth to the safety position in the upcoming draft. Eric Smith is the only starter left on the squad from last year with Tracey Wilson as backup! (Brodney Pool signed with the Cowboys).
The addition of LaRon Landry on paper looks like a good move, but question marks remain regarding his overall durability. Some depth has been added with the recent signing of DeAngelo Smith, but its hard to see him making the 53 man squad based on his past performances, I see him more of camp body that anything else if I'm being honest.
Jim Leonhard...for me its a no brainer sign the guy up, its no coincidence that after losing Jim Leonhard in consecutive seasons through injury the Jets give up 45 points in their next game (Monday night massacre against the Pats and the Eagles this year).
The thought of entering the 2012 season with Eric Smith, injury prone Landry and possibly Leonhard, plus the inexperienced DeAngelo Smith and Wilson scares me stiff.
Onto the draft, we've all read and know plenty about the top safety prospect Mark Barron (Alabama), but with rumours that the Jets are set to add the best available talent at the time I feel we'll miss out on Barron, looking beyond the first round here's a closer look at a couple of prospects that have caught my eye.
Harrison Smith 6ft 2" 213 lbs Notre Dame
I'm a fan of Smith and he'd be my choice should we add Upshaw or Ingram in the first round. He plays hard, posses good break up skills, very consistent/smart recognises plays early, has the power and strength to defend the against the run. Has the ability to play either safety position. (protected 2nd rd pick).
Markelle Martin 6ft 1" 207 lbs Oklahoma State
Martin is a big hitter, posses good speed/athletic ability solid against the run. Experienced, has performed well against the likes of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Matches up well against slot receivers, tight ends and running backs out the back field. Shoulder and hip injuries in the past. (projected 2-4th rd pick).
Brandon Taylor 5ft 11" 209 lbs LSU
In the mould of a strong safety with all the free safety traits. Very smart player reads the QB well, posses natural coverage ability. Natural leader was a permanent captain. Fast, physical like to make the big hits. Need to work on wrapping up when tackling, takes unnecessary risks. (projected as a 3rd rd pick).
Trenton Robinson 5ft 10" 195lbs Michigan State
Versatile can play cornerback as well as free safety, reads the game well. Respected on and of the field by coaches and team mates. Despite his size leaps well, comes into his own when playing the deep safety role. Tackling skills need work, lacks the initial burst of speed. (projected as a 4th-5th rd pick).
Folow me on twitter @nyjoverthepond and visit us again at www.nyjetsoverthepond.com