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New York Jets 2003 Draft Preview

By Bryan McGovern, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - The New York Jets enter the 2003 draft on the heels of an unsuccessful first phase of the offseason. GM Terry Bradway chose not to match the outlandish offer sheet given to Laveranues Coles by Washington. The Jets decided a $13 million signing bonus simply wasn’t appropriate for Coles, whose departure as a restricted free agent forced the Redskins to surrender their first-round pick (#13 overall) as compensation.

The Jets and Redskins, who open the NFL’s regular season in a highly- anticipated matchup in Washington, added to their new rivalry when Daniel Snyder continued to raid New York’s roster. Washington also signed unrestricted free agent OG Randy Thomas away from the Jets along with restricted free agent RB/KR Chad Morton and veteran kicker John Hall. The Jets saved face by adding a pair of veteran free agents to fill the holes -- WR Curtis Conway (San Diego) and OG Tom Nutten (St. Louis).

With two of the top 22 picks in the draft, the Jets are armed with enough trading power to make a big move on April 26. Bradway could move up into the top 10 to grab Miami WR Andre Johnson, who would be an excellent fit in the team’s offense. However, the team is downplaying its need for a receiver after the addition of Conway and might wait until the second or third round to add one.

New York values the two big defensive tackles in this draft -- Penn State’s Jimmy Kennedy and Kentucky’s Dewayne Robertson. Neither player will be available to the Jets at 13, but the club could move up if one of those players slips down to the back end of the top 10.

Based on need the Jets should select OLB Boss Bailey (Georgia) at 13 and take the best-available defensive lineman at 22. Head coach Herman Edwards wants an infusion of youthful talent at the linebacker position, and Bailey would fit the bill. He’s a physical specimen with the football skills to match. At 22, the Jets could have a shot at William Joseph (DT, Miami), Kevin Williams (DL, Oklahoma State) or Johnathan Sullivan (DT, Georgia). New York might go for a defensive lineman at 13, but it shouldn’t expect Bailey to be around at 22 in that scenario.

The team can address its needs at wide receiver in the second or third round. Potential targets include Bryant Johnson (Penn State), Anquan Boldin (Florida State) and Tyrone Calico (Middle Tennessee State). The Jets want a receiver with size and could find one like Missouri’s Justin Gage, Illinois’ Walter Young or San Diego State’s Kassim Osgood in the middle rounds.

New York will use its four picks on day two to add a guard prospect, depth to the secondary and possibly another receiver, linebacker or defensive lineman.

DRAFT NEEDS: Wide receiver, linebacker, defensive tackle, offensive guard, secondary depth.

DRAFT PICKS: 1st round (#13 overall from Washington); 1st round (#22); 2nd round (#53); 3rd round (#85); 4th round (#116); 5th round (#153); 6th round (#189); 7th round (#237).

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2002 - Bryan Thomas (DE, Alabama-Birmingham); 2001 - Santana Moss (WR, Miami); 2000 - Shaun Ellis (DE, Tennessee), John Abraham (DE, South Carolina), Chad Pennington (QB, Marshall), Anthony Becht (TE, West Virginia); 1999 - none; 1998 - none; 1997 - James Farrior (LB, Virginia); 1996 - Keyshawn Johnson (WR, USC); 1995 - Kyle Brady (TE, Penn State), Hugh Douglas (DE, Central State-OH); 1994 - Aaron Glenn (CB, Texas A&M;); 1993 - Marvin Jones (LB, Florida State); 1992 - Johnny Mitchell (TE, Nebraska); 1991 - none; 1990 - Blair Thomas (RB, Penn State).

04/22 14:34:35 ET

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