Early draft primer: New York Jets

The 2012 season has reached the stretch run, and it appears the New England Patriots are the only team on solid ground for the postseason.

Therefore, the AFC East blog recently began its first look at the offseason and what teams must address in 2013. Let’s continue Tuesday with the Jets.

New York Jets

Key free agents: TE Dustin Keller, S LaRon Landry, S Yeremiah Bell

2013 draft picks:

Needs: RB, RT, LB, WR, S, QB

Analysis: New York restructured a lot of contracts the past two seasons, which makes it tough on the upcoming salary cap. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan have tough decisions to make to improve this team and make it younger. The biggest in-house free agent this season is Keller. He's a solid tight end when healthy. But Keller is suffering through injuries and having a down year. That could make him a bargain for the Jets. But if another team overpays, he could bolt. Safety also is a need if the Jets do not re-sign their aging veterans: Landry and Bell. An educated guess is at least one of these players won't be back. New York is in a tough spot at quarterback. Starter Mark Sanchez and backup Tim Tebow are both under contract and have plenty of combined guaranteed money next year. The Jets will have to stick with one of those players -- most likely Sanchez -- but both will be on the roster barring an offseason Tebow trade. Therefore, New York will probably invest in a top college quarterback prospect when they have plenty of other needs. Maybe a developmental rookie quarterback in the middle rounds is an option.

Possible draft targets: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia; Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas; Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan