Paging Damien Woody and Alan Faneca.
The Jets selected Vladimir Ducasse with the 61st overall pick tonight. He's a raw offensive lineman out of Massachusetts who checks in at 6-4, 332 pounds. He's projected as either a right tackle or left guard, and the Jets will debate what position to stick him at over the coming days.
Ducasse was one of the people GM Mike Tannenbaum had his eyes on after the first round wrapped up. His presence signals the Jets may indeed be thinking of parting with Faneca, who’s due a salary of $7.5 million. His name has surfaced throughout the week as someone who could be on the trading block, and GM Mike Tannenbaum didn’t exactly do much to quiet that talk after the Jets' second-round selection tonight.
"Alan’s on our team," Tannenbaum said. "He’s done a lot of great things for us. I know this weekend that there’s typically a lot of transactions that happen, but he’s on our team and Alan’s done a lot of great things for us."
Asked specifically whether the 33-year-old Faneca will be on the team when the season starts, Tannenbaum said: "All those other questions are hypotheticals. I can tell you where we are now, and again, all I can say is really good things about Alan and what he’s done for us. I know there’s a lot of speculation, but that’s typically what happens over a weekend like this."
Woody, 32, is getting up there in age as well and Ducasse could end up being his eventual replacement. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan thinks he'll do just fine once he shores up his technique.
He'll initially compete with current reserves Rob Turner, Wayne Hunter and Matt Slauson to be one of the primary subs off the bench.
“With Vladimir, we’re really excited about him,” Tannenbaum said. “We spent a lot of time with him in the offseason and the whole process of trying to get to know him. He’s an incredible worker. He’s one of those guys where what he’s been through in his life, you would never bet against them. He obviously has the physical attributes.”
Those attributes are what led the Jets to have Ducasse high on their draft board going into the second day of action. Tannenbaum feels his size and length are exactly what the Jets need to fend off some of the defenders they face in the AFC East.
Ducasse grew up in Haiti and moved to the United States because his father Delinois was theatened for his involvement in local politics in Haiti. He didn’t even start playing football until 2003.
“I’m still a student of the game,” Ducasse said. “I’m still learning. From last year until now, last season I’m going against Kansas State, I’ve learned a lot. I’m still learning the game and I think as the year goes on, the sky’s the limit.”
Ducasse was the Jets’ only selection among tonight’s two rounds. They traded their third-round pick along with a fifth-rounder when they acquired wide receiver Braylon Edwards from the Browns in October.
Surprisingly, Tannenbaum didn't pull the trigger on any deals tonight. He thought about possibly moving into the third round if a player the Jets wanted was available. But that never materialized.
"We tried," Tannenbaum said with a laugh when asked if he was going through trade withdrawal. "We did a lot of practice trading. I thought I made some really good ones on paper. We did look into a couple of trades, moving up a little bit, moving back a little bit. Yesterday was probably a little bit closer than today. I think that was probably because of the quarterback situation going on around us, a couple picks here and there.
"But at the end of the day, we just felt good about the two picks we have. We just went ahead. When we re-stacked the board last night, Vladimir was one of the guys we were really hoping would be there. We feel fortunate that we waited through the whole round, got to 61, and got the guy we wanted."