NFL Mock Draft 2013: Jets slated to pick OLB

Jamie Squire

The New York Jets' offense is an issue after a 10-point, five-turnover outing that saw the team eliminated from playoff contention Monday night, but many expect the team to take a linebacker in the 2013 NFL Draft.

With their season effectively over, New York Jets fans can begin looking towards the 2013 NFL Draft, although many mock pickers see the team picking a linebacker, a move the fanbase might not get behind.

The first question on every Jets fan's mind is how the team will resolve its problems at quarterback. Mark Sanchez regressed in his fourth year in the league, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, culminating in a one-touchdown, four-pick effort against the Tennessee Titans in a game that saw the team eliminated from playoff contention. Now, he's been benched in favor of Greg McElroy. But getting rid of Sanchez isn't as easy as cutting him: he's owed $8.25 million next season, and his cap hit would be more than $12 million, essentially guaranteeing he won't be cut. If the team wants to improve at quarterback, it'll need to trade him, and it will be a tough sell.

So a quarterback isn't the likely choice in the first round for New York. Many project the team will take an outside linebacker, one of the weaker spots in a defense that held its ground for the most part in 2012. With two games still to be played to determine their exact draft order, they'll pick somewhere around the middle of the first round. Walterfootball.com projects they'll take Dion Jordan out of Oregon, while CBSSports' two pickers, Rob Rang and Dave Brugler, project Barkevious Mingo of LSU and Jarvis Jones out of Georgia respectively. It seems unlikely those two would drop to the Jets' position, and if they're there, they'd be silly to pass with no quarterback option there.

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