Hit reset on the Jets?

Not so fast. With an improved offense, New York could be a 10-win team

Originally Published: December 1, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Rex RyanAP Photo/Bill KostrounRex Ryan's Jets teams have been strong defensively prior to this season.

Rex Ryan has been head coach of the New York Jets since Jan. 19, 2009. In the two drafts that followed, the Jets drafted an obscenely low total of seven players.

Think about that: In a two-year period, the Jets drafted exactly half of what other teams drafted on average. This isn't the recipe for a personnel disaster, but it can be a problem for roster depth if you're not finding consistent value. It's hard to say the Jets have.

Of those two drafts, the biggest piece has been Mark Sanchez. He is, depending on what side of the aisle you're on, the player who is either holding the franchise hostage because he hasn't developed or being held hostage by the franchise because of the lack of help in his development.

As you question the state of the 2012 Jets, remember that among two drafts that could have a big impact on the roster, the greatest contributor is Sanchez. And among every pick from 2008-2011, there are exactly zero Pro Bowl seasons. The 2012 draft won't offer one in the short term.

The team has played great defense for the entirety of the Ryan era until injuries and the lack of a pass rush diminished it this season. But New York has never truly found consistent success on offense, through both a lack of growth from Sanchez and a total lack of offensive firepower.

The issue, as the Jets head down the stretch, is identifying whether this is a team that needs to hit reset or one that can fix its problems quickly.

I'll look at what I see as the five biggest questions facing the Jets and whether it's an area where the draft can help.

1. The quarterback
If the Jets want to be clearly better at quarterback in 2013, it will happen in one of two ways. Either Sanchez experiences a leap in performance or a quarterback who isn't currently on the roster beats him out for the position.


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst