After the first round of the NFL Draft, everyone in Jetsland was happy; they had a cool new cornerback who fell to them after being anticipated by some to go in the top ten. The rest of the draft, however, provided less good feeling.
The Jets brought in three new players, but most noteworthy was who they got rid of: Running back Leon Washington (traded to Seattle) and guard Alan Faneca (release, though the Jets still have to pay his salary). A lot of current players, the ones not shipped off, weren't particularly happy about it.
"It's a sad day," one veteran player told ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "I'm not sure if I'm going to recognize our team anymore."
Many players are concerned about team chemistry, which was supposedly perfect last year even though the Jets probably shouldn't have made the playoffs at all. Veterans always like other veterans more; when someone is shipped off in a cold-blooded fashion, it just reminds players still on the team that they could be dropped, at any moment, for nothing. 'Tis the way of the NFL.
Anyway, here's a look at the new draft fellers other than Thursday's fun guy Kyle Wilson.
Vladimir Ducasse, offensive tackle, Massachusetts. Faneca was released shortly after Ducasse was drafted, which may mean he'll take over Faneca's spot at guard. Rich Cimini has a great piece at ESPN New York — we're never quite sure how to punctuate that — about Ducasse, who is from Haiti and has only been playing organized football for a few years. Most important: His name is Vladimir. No pancake blocks for this guy; he impales, of course.
Joe McKnight, running back, Southern California. The superstar recruit from Louisiana was supposed to be the next Reggie Bush, but he was never really healthy for the Trojans. This pick, in the fourth round, is based almost entirely on what he should have been at USC rather than what he was. He is very, very fast, and enticing ... but that enticement has always led to disappointment so far.
John Conner, fullback, Kentucky. The guy the Jets traded Leon Washington for the right to draft, he's a slobber-knocking fullback who won't carry or catch the ball often, but will knock other people around. Plus: For crying out loud, his name is John Conner!