Between now and the 2007 NFL Draft, THN will be taking a look at all of the NFL teams' off-season needs. Up next is the team with the 26th overall pick in the draft, the New York Jets.
2006 Results: 10-6
2007 Projected Cap Status: $93,000,000 or $16,000,000 under the cap
2006 Season Recap:
The Jets opened the 2006 season by splitting their first eight contests. They continued that trend, albeit briefly, after their week nine bye, beating the Patriots and losing to the Bears. The team hit its stride the next week, beating Houston en route to winning five of their remaining six contests to secure a wildcard berth. The team's resurgence was fueled by its defense; with the exception of a late season hiccup at Buffalo, the team's defense began to gel under rookie head coach Eric Mangini. The unit allowed just over 24 points per game in the first half of the season but became much stingier in the second half, holding opponents to just under 13 points a game.
Chad Pennington returned from shoulder surgery and, reminding some fans of the magic he worked in 2002, started all 16 games, and completed nearly 65% of his passes. He won the 2006 Comeback Player of the Year award.
The team has already moved to address one of its more pressing needs by acquiring running back Thomas Jones from the NFC Champion Chicago Bears. The team struggled at times with the run, averaging only 3.5 yards per carry, third-worst in the league. The team hopes pairing Jones with Leon Washington will improve their 20th ranked rushing attack. The team holds the 25th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
1. Defensive line: Despite the solid play of the defense, the team struggled against the run, allowing 111 rushing first downs and surrendering 4.6 yards per carry and just over 130 yards per game. Mangini's 3-4 defense requires a run-stopper and the Jets will likely look to grab one in the draft.
2. Defensive back: Andre Dyson had a solid season but needs some help on the other side of the field where the team used a number of starters. Only six secondaries were tested more often as opponents completed nearly 60% of their pass attempts. There is reason to believe the team will use its first round pick to try and snag a shut-down corner.
3. Tight end: The team would like to see some more production from its tight ends. Chris Baker and Sean Ryan combined for only 37 catches last season.