For the New York Jets, head coach Rex Ryan is always on the hot seat. After finishing 8-8 in 2013, the Jets decided to bring back Ryan giving him one last chance to make the playoffs in 2014. Well, it didn’t work. The Jets struggled to a 4-12 record, losing Ryan at the end of the season.
After a 19-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 1, the Jets lost eight games in a row. Fans can’t put all the blame on Ryan, however—the team simply failed to finish games, losing four of those eight games by eight points or less, including a 27-25 loss against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in New England because of a blocked game-winning field goal attempt.
The high point of the Jets season came Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. At this point the Jets were 1-8 coming off eight straight losses, and the Steelers were coming off of two wins in a row in which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw six touchdowns in each win. In what should have been an easy win for the Steelers, the Jets played their best football of the season winning 20-13. The only other game that the Jets can really be proud of came in Week 16 against the Patriots again. Once again, the Jets brought the soon-to-be champs down to the wire, losing 17-16.
The Jets have a new head coach to be excited about in Todd Bowles and a new general manager in Mike Maccagnan, and they’re hoping to bring a winning culture back to New York. The Jets have a lot of needs to fill up and a roster that needs rebuilding, so these two newcomers will certainly have their hands full this offseason and in the 2015 season itself. Here are the New York Jets biggest needs heading into the 2015 NFL Draft:
Secondary: Todd Bowles and Rex Ryan run relatively similar defensive schemes, which require a lot of man to man coverage. Well, the Jets don’t have true number one go-to kind of cornerback to work with in this defensive style. 6th overall would be way too early to select any of the corners from this year’s draft; however, the Jets will most likely need to spend their second round selection on a solid corner. The Jets will also need to spend a mid-round pick on a decent free safety. Calvin Pryor was their first round selection in last year’s draft, but he looks much more comfortable as a strong safety. The Jets need to focus on bringing in cornerbacks, but drafting a safety is pretty crucial to their defense as well.
Quarterback: The Jets have to face facts that Geno Smith is not a franchise quarterback. Smith is barely better than Michael Vick right now, and Vick is certainly not a long term solution. So, once again the Jets are left to look for a quarterback in the draft. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are the two biggest names in the draft, and with the 6th overall pick in the draft landing one of them is not totally out of the question. The Buccaneers will definitely be selecting one of them (most likely Mariota); however, the Tennessee Titans seem more interested in improving their defense than drafting a quarterback and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, and Washington Redskins all plan to stick with the quarterbacks they used or drafted last season. As a result, the Jets might just be able to land Winston with the 6th pick in the draft. If not, the Jets will most likely be in the same bad situation this time next year unless they find a franchise quarterback.