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Mel Kiper 2012 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Mark Barron, S, Alabama To New York Jets

Alabama strong safety Mark Barron has been a popular choice for the New York Jets in early mock drafts. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper apparently agrees with that sentiment as Kiper selected Barron for the Jets with the 16th overall selection in his first 2012 NFL Mock Draft, released Wednesday.

Related: Kiper Mas Mohamed Sanu Of Rutgers Going To Houston Texans With 26th Pick

Kiper says:

Last year the Jets targeted help up front in the first round, and while the pass rush still needs some work, the secondary is a big concern because of the way the Jets’ safeties got abused this year. You’d see teams lining up bigger receivers in the slot to target New York’s smaller safeties and force Rex Ryan to make some tough decisions in coverage. In Barron, the Jets would get the best safety in the draft, a big, rangy talent with big-game experience and the ability to match up against taller receivers and tight ends. The Jets have schemed around a weakness at safety, but it’s time to put a better talent back there.