Over the last month, we've been taking a brief and early look at some of the potential solutions that could provide offseason upgrades for the Jets in each position. Today, we continue with a look at cornerbacks - looking at outside cornerbacks this morning and slot corners this afternoon:
The cornerback position definitely needs to be upgraded, even if the Jets are able to re-sign Morris Claiborne, who was good for half a season, but banged-up and inconsistent down the stretch.
Buster Skrine, who has one year left on his contract, seems miscast in a starting role and should probably move into the slot full-time.
The Jets have a lot of young guys who play on the outside and seemed to be banking on one of them becoming a reliable starter. However, none have.
Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts had their moments and the Jets obviously like Rashard Robinson's potential to have traded for him at the deadline. It remains to be seen whether last year's rookies - Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones - can make an impact.
It would be surprising if the Jets didn't end up with one of the top free agents this offseason, even if Claiborne is brought back.
Many regard Trumaine Johnson as the jewel in this year's free agency crop. He was franchised twice in the past and is a solid starter, although PFF warns that he's not worth elite money. Johnson has links to Jets defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson.
Malcolm Butler is another big name, although there are doubts surrounding him after he was mysteriously benched for the Super Bowl. Maybe he will have to take a short term deal to prove his value, in which case he'll definitely be motivated.
Rashaan Melvin fits the criteria for the sort of free agent Mike Maccagnan has targeted in the past, as he had a breakout year right before entering free agency having been a journeyman in the past.
Veterans Johnathan Joseph, Tramon Williams and Brent Grimes would be stop-gap options at this point of their career. Grimes still showed he had something in the tank last year and Williams had an outstanding season. Byron Maxwell is another one who is perhaps past his prime at 30, but could still be good value at the right price.
Players like Prince Amukamara and Ross Cockerell are in the next tier down but would provide an immediate upgrade based on last season.
Last year's cornerback class was good at the top end and extremely deep and yet the Jets didn't select one in the first five rounds. Will this year be different?
If other needs are addressed, then it's not out of the question that they'd take the top cornerback, which could be Iowa's Joshua Jackson or Ohio State's Denzel Ward. We've already written about how if the Jets felt Minkah Fitzpatrick from Alabama could play on the outside, he might be a possibility too.
Isaiah Oliver from Colorado and Louisville's Jaire Alexander are also trying to sneak into the top round. Oliver has excellent length, which the Jets typically covet.
Greg Stroman from Virginia Tech, Anthony Averett from Alabama and Mike Hughes from UCF are all talented but may have concerns over some of their measurables following the combine.
Carlton Davis from Auburn and Christian Campbell measured up well though, solidifying their chances of being a high selection. Holton Hill from Texas also showed good length but wasn't close to his listed height of 6'3" so that may hurt his stock.
Other possibilities include Kameron Kelly from SDSU, Levi Wallace from Alabama and Quenton Meeks from Stanford. Kelly is a productive tackler, but Wallace may need to add some weight.
Isaac Yiadom from Boston College, who is also an excellent punt gunner, stood out at the Senior Bowl while JC Jackson from Maryland has talent but off-field issues.
Tulane's Parry Nickerson is a good playmaker who could be a late round sleeper but lacks ideal length. His stock is up after running a 4.32 40-yard dash at the combine.
How would you approach this position? Is there anyone out there you'd target who we didn't mention? Let's have your thoughts in the comments.
BONUS LINK: Cornerback prospects breakdown