Originally posted on Turn On The Jets  |  Last updated 2/22/12

If this year’s Super Bowl proved anything, it is that the formula to beat the New England Patriots heavily involves a strong pass rush. With the likes of Calvin Pace and Aaron Maybin leading the way, the Jets have a long way to go to reach that level.

There’s no question that the Jets also struggled mightily with covering tight ends this season, especially ones with speed and athleticism. There were a total of five games this past season in which the opposing team’s TE was the leading receiver. To me, that’s a pretty alarming statistic when it is not other teams wide receivers who are hurting you, but their tight ends. It screams that the Jets defense is slow at both linebacker and safety, and that they need to seriously consider taking a Courtney Upshaw in the upcoming draft.

When I watched Courtney Upshaw play this year, I saw a guy who could do just about anything in the scheme of a defense. Upshaw is a stout 6’2, 265 pounds and has experience as both an outside and inside linebacker which bodes well for the Jets. He wasn’t always known for being a guy to drop back in passing situations but when he did, he was able to do so with his athleticism while still posing as a serious threat at rushing the quarterback.
More importantly, I think Upshaw is a perfect fit for a Rex Ryan defense. In the past, Jet defenses have always prided themselves in stopping the run constantly, and Upshaw can fit the bill in that department. Upshaw is also a sure tackler, which uncharacteristically I think the Jets lacked a great deal this past season.

While it would be exciting to see a big name like Trent Richardson or Justin Blackmon in the first round, I don’t know if that is going to be realistic. I would much rather see them fill a need defensively, and even though the Jets’ offense was up and down for the majority of last season, it was their defense which left a bad taste in my mouth. Courtney Upshaw is a guy that will fill that need defensively, bringing a versatile package of speed and athleticism to the linebacker position.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

Colin Kaepernick on national anthem: 'I'll continue to sit'

Stephen Jones: Cowboys 'look forward' to starting Prescott

Stanton has 'slim chance' of returning for final week?

Kubiak hinting that Siemian is favorite for Broncos' QB job?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Harbaugh: NFL needs to make changes to preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker