Jason Taylor's Arrival Makes Draft Predictions Impossible

Jets sign Jason Taylor as rumors swirl about more big changes

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The cameras don't start rolling on "Hard Knocks" for a few months, but the Jets are already throwing enough plot twists at the audience to guarantee them a second season on HBO.

    Big trades for Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes amped up the talent level while also adding characters with an unsavory past to the mix. LaDainian Tomlinson is the veteran looking for one more shot at the ring and his arrival came at the expense of the popular Thomas Jones, cast overboard for a splashier name to draw viewers.

    And they aren't done yet.

    You can officially add Jason Taylor to the list of big names joining the Jets for the 2010 season. The longtime Dolphins defensive end/Jets critic has signed a deal to come to New York and put some teeth into Rex Ryan's pass rush. Expected or not, it feels like an episode-ending bombshell that ensures you'll be tuning in to see what happens next week.

    Since we're on the subject, what is going to happen next week? The draft kicks off in two days and the Jets may have even more big moves up their sleeve. Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post is dangling a rumor that the team may be waving (or waiving) goodbye to a trio of veteran starters. Shaun Ellis, Alan Faneca and Bryan Thomas are all said to be up for trade or release in the coming days as the Jets continue to remake their roster.

    The days leading up to the draft are always full of wild innuendo and this seems to be as wild as any that we've come across. The Jets have spent the entire offseason building a team to win right here and right now, a trend that makes it hard to believe that they'd suddenly turn around and cut three starters without obvious replacements on the roster. Ellis and Faneca, in particular, play roles that were crucial to making the AFC Championship game and creating uncertainty there would do a lot to undermine the other moves made this offseason.

    When you look at all these moves together, it becomes almost impossible to predict what the draft is going to bring for the Jets. When the offseason kicked off, the Jets' biggest needs appeared to be at cornerback, wide receiver and pass rusher. They've filled all three of those holes in spectacular fashion. The rumored departures of veterans seems to point to defensive end and guard as the likeliest directions, but there's a lot of distance to go from smoke to fire on that front.

    You're going to hear a lot of names over the next few days as potential Jets draftees. Jared Odrick, defensive end from Penn State; Everson Griffen, defensive end/linebacker from USC; Mike Iupati, guard from Idaho; Jerry Hughes, linebacker from TCU and Maurkice Pouncey, guard/center from Florida to name a few.

    All make sense and all of them project to be around in the general vicinity of the Jets' 29th overall pick in the first round. That probably means there's a better than average chance that none of them will actually wind up being Jets because the only thing we know about the Jets is that you'd go broke betting on what they'll actually wind up doing.  

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.