This week the AFC East blog will look at three potential prospects for each team leading up to the NFL draft. Sunday we start with the New York Jets, who have the No. 16 overall pick.
Prospect No. 1: Alabama S Mark Barron
Why: Despite the free-agent signing of LaRon Landry, the Jets still need safeties. Barron is, by far, the best safety in this draft. Eric Smith struggled last year as a starter and Landry's health is not reliable. Barron has all the tools to make an immediate impact, but he may not make it to No. 16, because other teams are hot on him. The Dallas Cowboys, for example, reportedly are intrigued by Barron at No. 14. But if Barron does land in New York, a secondary of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie paired with Barron and the hard-hitting Landry (if healthy) would make head coach Rex Ryan smile.
Prospect No. 2: South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram
Why: For all the strengths of New York's defense, rushing the passer is not one of them. The Jets lack a true elite pass-rusher that opponents have to double-team and game plan for. Ingram potentially can be that player. The Jets like Ingram, but he probably is a top-10 pick. Are the Jets, who have 10 picks in this draft, willing to move up Thursday for a player they really like? Staying at No. 16 probably will not get the Jets the top-end pass-rusher they need.
Prospect No. 3: Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd
Why: The Jets were unable to fill their gaping hole at receiver in free agency. Veteran starter Plaxico Burress didn't return, and New York needs someone opposite No. 1 receiver Santonio Holmes. Floyd is an intriguing prospect who could be there for the Jets at No. 16. Some scouts feel Floyd has the most upside at receiver in this draft. Floyd could fit in well as New York's No. 2 option. This is a huge year for New York quarterback Mark Sanchez, and he needs all the weapons he can get.