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ROTB Community Mock Draft: With the 17th Overall Pick, the New York Jets Select...

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Darrius Heyward-Bey WR, University of Maryland

6'2", 210

At first glance, this looked like a no-brainer...go for the high profile QB and be giddy that Matt Sanchez is still on the board. But after deeper thought, I think it plays out like this:

  • The Jets need a blocking TE. But it's far too early to reach for that.Darrius_heyward-bey_medium
  • They could always look at a top RB, especially given Thomas Jones's recent whining. Very intriguing as Moreno and Wells are still on the board. But realistically they are set with Jones and Washington, and they can add depth at RB later in the draft.
  • Rex Ryan is a defense guy, and they also need a pass rushing DE. Tyson Jackson may be a good fit here, but he lacks explosive speed.
  • And of course, after the Brett Favre Experience they may want to grab the QB of the future, and Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman are both quality picks here.
  • In the end, let's face it, WR is the Jets' biggest need...so they need to consider Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks, and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey is the best deep threat of the bunch, and an exciting play-maker, so....

With the 17th pick in the 2009 draft, the New York Jets select Darrius Heyward-Bey, University of Maryland.

Positives: Heyward-Bey has great size and bulk to compliment blazing speed. He's explosive off the snap which makes him hard to jam and he's his long strides top end speed a bit deceptive. He's got amazing leaping ability and will snag the ball at it's highest point. He's shown the toughness to work the middle of the field and has the field presence to set up blocks after the catch to gain yards. He's also a threat on reverses and could contribute as a return specialist early in his career.

Negatives: He's still very raw as a receiver and some still consider him more of an athlete than a football player. He'll have to improve his route running, especially on shorter routes to create separation from defenders. He's not much of blocker and wasn't overly productive at any of his college career, although much of that is blamed on the Maryland offense and QB play. He doesn't have the best hands and doesn't have a ton of elusiveness in the open field.

Overall: Heyward-Bey's a classic 'boom or bust' prospect because he's got all the physical tools to be great player but to this point (for whatever reason) he hasn't played up to those skills. Whatever team drafts him will have to be patient as he develops into a more complete receiver which may take more than a full season. He'll have to work extremely hard to become a football player instead of just an athlete.

Many thanks to our very own RedbirdsRule for submitting this pick. The Bears and KDean75 are now on the clock (e-mail to revengeofthebirds@gmail.com), with the Bucs and hevchv on deck. If anyone needs to refresh their memory on the draft order, check it here....