The New York Jets are now in a rebuilding phase, but they weren't big players in the free-agent market due to cap constraints. Instead, the theme of this offseason has been cutting excess salaries and preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft.
With the No. 9 overall pick in the first round, the Jets have an opportunity to address one of their many needs. They need all kinds of things, including a quarterback and a true play-maker on the defensive line. Given the relatively weak quarterback class, picking the latter might make more sense.
On Monday, Matthew Fairburn put out the latest SB Nation mock draft and he has the Jets doing just that, taking LSU Tigers defensive end/outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo at No. 9:
The Jets are sure to be interested in a quarterback at some point on draft weekend, but the pass rush should take priority given the value on the board. Barkevious Mingo has the length and first step to be a dominant edge rusher in a 3-4 scheme. Rex Ryan desperately needs to infuse some life into his front seven.
Mingo would be a strong get for the Jets, as he'd be able to come in and immediately upgrade the pass rush as a starter. New York is lacking those big play-makers in their front seven and, as you can see from SB Nation's scouting report, he has all the tools needed.
Given that the mock draft was a three-round mock, it should also be noted that the Jets potentially got their starting quarterback at pick No. 39 with the selection of Arkansas signal caller Tyler Wilson and then a young, talented cornerback in Darius Slay out of Mississippi State in round three.