All offseasons are important, so it would be hyperbole to say that this offseason, which really gets off and flying today through Sunday at the NFL Combine in and around Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, is the most crucial for the Jets in a long time.
Yet the combine workouts help each team identify players it will be most interested in selecting in the draft two months down the road, and it’s not exaggerating to say that the Green & White have just a little more at stake at this combine simply because they have more draft picks than they’ve had in a while.
The Jets at the moment have one selection in each of the draft’s seven rounds. In the first three rounds they are slotted to select 16th overall, then 47th, then 78th, based on their rotation among the seven teams that finished 8-8 this past season.
From there the overall positions are not set because the NFL has yet to allot this year’s compensatory draft picks. But the Jets do have their own picks in Rounds 4-6, and a pair of trades have enabled them to retain a Round 7 pick (Jacksonville’s in the Dwight Lowery trade) as well.
If the Jets use all seven picks to select players in the draft, it will be their most selections since they spent 10 picks in the 2006 draft.
They could also get one or more compensatory selections this year, but that won’t be revealed for another month. The league traditionally has announced its distribution of compensatories in the last week of March. Last year it awarded 32 compensatory picks to 23 teams, with those picks falling at the end of each round from Rounds 3 to 7.
Compensatories aside, the Jets’ personnel team, headed by general manager Mike Tannenbaum, and head coach Rex Ryan’s coaching staff have all left North Jersey on Tuesday and today for Indy, where they will observe the more than 300 top prospects who’ve been invited to get poked and prodded, measured, tested and interviewed at this year’s combine.
Tannenbaum and Ryan are scheduled to speak with the assembled reporters from the NFL’s media workroom podiums around 3 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The information gleaned this week will be folded in with the college scouts’ game reports and all the other data on hand to formulate the team’s big board, which will inform the selection of those seven, maybe more, maybe fewer, players who will become the Jets’ 2012 draft class.
My partner, Eric Allen, and cameraman Chris Ubbens will also be on hand for the combine festivities, interviewing all the Jets staffers in Lucas Oil, plus a healthy number of those top prospects and more than a few of the reporters who have also made their annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis.
EA’s and Ubbs’ work will be processed by Rich Gentile’s broadcasting & multimedia staff here at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center to provide you with great video content this week and then in the weeks from the end of the combine through the draft, set this year for April 26-28.
You can also follow the combine proceedings on NFL Network, Sirius XM NFL Radio and NFL.com. To help you keep tabs on the players who might be featured on those platforms, here is the schedule for the different position groups that will be available for interviews each day:
Thursday — Offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long-snappers, tight ends
Friday — Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Saturday — Defensive linemen, linebackers
Sunday — Defensive backs
Tags: Chris Ubbens, Eric Allen, Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium, Mike Tannenbaum, NFL Combine, Rex Ryan
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