With the 29th pick in the 2010 BGN Draft, Rabbit T selects...
Jared Odrick - DL, Penn State
The Jets' defense was ranked #1 in the NFL last year and Rex Ryan wants to keep it that way. After the front office addressed the secondary by trading for Antonio Cromartie, trading malcontent Kerry Rhodes to Arizona, and signing Brodney Pool, it's natural that the team would focus on the front seven as well.
If one can identify weak areas on a #1 ranked defense, in the Jets' case those would be pass rush (only around 2 sacks per game) and run defense. Other factors to consider: the Jets' defensive ends (with Marques Douglas still unsigned) and NT Kris Jenkins, coming off a year of injuries, are all over 30. Sione Pouha, who filled in solidly for Jenkins, is primarily a run stopper.
While Jerry Hughes would be the exciting pick here (and one I considered seriously), I chose Odrick as a more versatile player who can play end in the 3-4 and tackle in a 4-3. In addition, Hughes' run-stopping ability is suspect, which counts against him. The Jets like to mix up their fronts and use a "misdirection defense", where all players step into their exact position at the last second. A player like Odrick, as well as the possible shifting of Jenkins between end and tackle, adds one more piece (as well as young blood) to the puzzle.
Two other factors make Odrick a good fit with the Jets: one is Ryan's philosophy on defense of using situational players rather than a strict starter/backup division. The other is that Odrick plays the exact sort of game that he would be expected to play in New York. In a 3-4 the defensive line's main role is to occupy blockers so the outside linebackers can be free to make plays. His teammate Navarro Bowman praised that exact aspect of his game as the thing Odrick does best. However, he can clearly provide inside pressure.
He recorded his best numbers in his senior year (when he was already a known player and double-teamed more than in the past): 43 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, and 7 sacks.
Draftboardinsider.com sums up their scouting report on him like this: "Odrick is the kind of player fans and coaches love to have on their team. His technique is sound. He's quick and athletic, uses his hands well, and does a great job in pursuit. Odrick is a smart and disruptive player who's contributions may not always show up in the box score, but he can certainly make a team better." He is also repeatedly praised for never taking plays off, unlike many DE prospects this year (and even some big names in the NFL). While there are aspects of his play that could stand to improve, such as his lateral movement and tackling technique, Odrick has the discipline and willingness to work hard and improve.
This makes him a good fit for the Jets.
Previous picks: #1 Ndamukong Suh, #2 Russell Okung, #3 Gerald McCoy, #4 Sam Bradford, #5 Eric Berry, #6 Trent Williams, #7 Jimmy Clausen, #8 Bruce Campbell, #9 Bryan Bulaga, #10 Derrick Morgan, #11 Rolando McClain, #12 Sergio Kindle, #13 Joe Haden, #14 C.J. Spiller, #15 Mike Iupati, #16 Jason Pierre-Paul, #17