It does not take the most brilliant football mind in the universe to know that the Jets had visually and statistically one of the worst receiving groups in the NFL last season. Jeremy Kerley, who missed 4 games, led the team with 523 receiving yards, which ranked him 86th in the NFL.Sammy Watkins is the consensus best receiver in arguably the best class of wide receivers ever.
Eric Decker alone is not enough to improve this putrid receiving group heading into next season. This group was so bad that there were times where Geno Smith dropped back to pass, and it looked like he literally shrugged while going through his progressions as if he didn't know who to throw to because everyone was blanketed off. I recall announcers using the line; "come on, somebody's got to get open!" on many occasions throughout the season.
No really, last year's New York Jets wide receivers couldn't get open in a desert. Then of course, the countless drops in which we witnessed last season. It was almost like these guys had baby oil on their gloves.
So yes, do they need Sammy Watkins? Like hell they do...Like burning red hell.
Sammy Watkins is 6'1 and about 210 lbs., and seemingly any credible person who you ask will tell you that this young man is the total package. In his 3 years at Clemson he registered 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 touchdowns; this includes a junior season in which he caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. Watkins displayed his top notch route running ability, superb hands, and excellent speed while at Clemson. At the NFL combine he did not disappoint either while doing exactly what draft experts expected and more; and highlights of which include a 4.43 40 yard dash time, one of the best recorded times of the entire wide receiver group.
Sammy Watkins is the consensus number one wide receiver in the NFL draft and is believed to be a surefire top 5 overall selection, and the New York Jets have the number 18 overall selection, so it's needless to say that a trade up is the only way the Jets can acquire someone who is believed to have an immediate high level impact in this league, similar to previous top 5 overall selections at wide receiver like A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Larry Fitzgerald. Also needless to say that it would cost the Jets a lot, although it is something in which they can afford since they do have 12 picks in this NFL draft.
New York Jets General Manager John Idzik hasn't actually shown any evidence that he'll be a big time gambling man in the front office, but being that he's acquired such a "ninja" like persona, maybe he's been saving his best act for the NFL draft, which is totally possible. The Jets were present at Sammy Watkins' pro day at Clemson and head coach Rex Ryan himself uttered the following statement: "There's no way that Sammy Watkins falls to us at 18," which added further confirmation to what we already knew.
Now on to the big question of the day; what will the New York Jets have to give up in order to get Sammy Watkins? I have a few scenario's but first it's important to note that the St. Louis Rams, who are wide receiver needy, own the 2nd--as well as the 13th--overall selection(s). The holders of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th overall selections have a level of interest in Sammy Watkins as well, and these teams are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, and Oakland Raiders respectively.
By the way, history tells us that Sammy Watkins will absolutely not fall past the Oakland Raiders because of their affinity for speed. So what I'm telling is that the Jets would probably need to move up all the way to 2nd overall in this NFL draft, which again is not impossible to fathom.
Here is the outlook of the blockbuster trade from the 2012 NFL draft in which the Washington Redskins acquired the 2nd overall pick from--ironically--the St. Louis Rams:
- 6th overall pick (moved to Dallas, whom selected Morris Claiborne)
- 39th overall pick (used to select Janoris Jenkins)
- 2013 first round pick (later revealed as 22nd overall pick, moved to Atlanta, whom selected Desmond Trufant)
- 2014 first round pick (later revealed as 2nd overall pick in this upcoming draft)
- 2nd overall pick (used to select Robert Griffin III)
Well damn, that's a hell of an offer from the Redskins. In my estimation the Jets would not have to give up three first round picks and a second rounder like Washington did, but Sammy Watkins is going to come at a hefty price.
An offer from the Jets could possibly look something like this:
- 18th overall selection, 49th overall selection (2nd round), a current 4th round selection (they have three), 2015 2nd round selection.
- 18th overall selection, 80th overall selection (3rd round), a current 5th round selection, 2015 first round selection.
- 18th overall selection, 49th overall selection, 80th overall selection, 2015 2nd round selection.
You get the idea, it's going to cost a lot, but if the Jets could draft Sammy Watkins, and perhaps also acquire a late round selection--a 5th rounder for example--they could wind up with the consensus best and most complete wide receiver in this year's draft, along with a possible key situational late round piece who can develop into a solid NFL player, like a Jerick McKinnon, a LaDarius Perkins, a Joe Don Duncan, or even a Michael Sam.
Although I personally would be content with staying put at 18 for a Marqise Lee, an Odell Beckham, or a Brandin Cooks if I were John Idzik, it may be worth it to make the move, especially if he does live up to the hype.