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Jets need to find another receiver

Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd scores a

Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd scores a touchdown in front of South Florida safety JaQuez Jenkins. (Sept. 3, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

All the pieces seemed to be in place for a Super Bowl championship. At least, that's what Plaxico Burress thought.

But less than a year after signing a one-year deal with the Jets, the wide receiver is gone and now the Jets again are left looking for a complement to Santonio Holmes. Holmes, the Jets' No. 1 wideout, gave his blessing for the team to select a No. 2 receiver in Thursday night's NFL draft. But under one condition.

"If he's looking forward to coming in here and working, I'm willing to accept that and allow myself to help him grow and be a part of this team," Holmes said last week after the team's first day of workouts.

The Jets will have a chance to find the vertical threat they need Thursday.

Though Michael Floyd isn't considered the best receiver in the draft (that honor goes to Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, who likely will be picked from Nos. 5-7), the Jets' front office has raved about the Notre Dame wideout. Not only is Floyd a deep threat, but he also can block -- a definite need for the run-oriented Jets.

Floyd said on Sirius XM NFL radio Monday that he had a great visit with the Jets and would fit in with the team's tough persona. He also said he's willing to be a run blocker. But it'll be a surprise if they use their 16th pick on him, given their overwhelming need for a pass rusher. The last time the Jets selected a receiver in the first round was in 2001, when they took Santana Moss, also at 16.

Should Floyd get away, there are plenty of options: Baylor's Kendall Wright doesn't have the same physical characteristics as Floyd, but he makes up for his 5-10, 196-pound frame in other ways. Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill has great leaping ability and straight-line speed, but needs to limit his drops.

Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina has long strides and can slip behind coverage with ease. LSU's Rueben Randle is a big, fast and athletic target -- especially in the red zone. Rutgers' Mohamed Sanu isn't a deep threat like the others, but he has reliable hands. Plus, Wisconsin's Nick Toon, son of former Jets receiver Al Toon, could be a late-round pick for the Jets.

To some, receiving depth is the second-biggest issue for the Jets behind the pass rush, but the arrivals of Tim Tebow and Tony Sparano -- an offensive coordinator who shares Rex Ryan's affection for the running game -- could mean they'll put their receiving needs on the back burner until the second round or later.

If the Jets don't land a wideout, they possibly could bring back Braylon Edwards in May or June. The Jets recently signed 6-4, 225-pound free agent Chaz Schilens, but he has only 72 career receptions and seven touchdowns.


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