Enemy Intel: How'd the Jets do in the draft?

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Enemy Intel: How'd the Jets do in the draft?

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Mike Tannenbaum has become one of the NFL's most aggressive and risk-welcoming general managers. Theballsy moves the Needham native has swung include dealing for Brett Favre, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie. He also went way up in the first round in 2009 to draft Mark Sanchez, so his draft day adventurousness is proven as well. And Tannenbaum went aggressive again in this draft. Picking at 30, the Jets got the best player available for them in Temple DEDT Muhammad Wilkerson. The knock on him was that he played against a lower level of competition and is still raw, but the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Wikerson is just perfect in terms of athleticism, potential and frame to be a success in the Jets 3-4 scheme. Kenrick Ellis was the Jets' third-round pick and they got a talented, tough and competitive nose tackle who goes 6-5, 346. The reason he was there at 94? He's facing a felony assault charge after breaking the jaw and nose of a man last April. The story goes that Ellis was approached by this bat-wielding fella and it didn't turn out well for the bat-wielder. It goes to trial in July. Ellis was kicked out of South Carolina for reportedly failing drug tests. The Jets took running back Bilal Powell from Louisville with the 126th pick. He's a good one-cut runner and decent pass-catcher. His profile in Pro Football Weekly's Draft Preview begins, "Neglected academics, ran with the wrong crowd, and was stabbed after his sophomore season as a Florida prep before moving in with a coach's family and turning his life around."Their next two picks - wide receiver Jeremy Kerley from TCU and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy - were less risky. Kerley's a good little slot guy who can do some return work. McElroy is a smart, tough, hard-working quarterback who is good depth but not starter material. Tannenbaum came back in the final round and drafted Colorado wideout Scotty McKnight, a longtime friend of Sanchez. SUMMARY:The Jets could wind up with absolutely nothing to show from the 2011 draft. Taking a semi-project, a guy who could end up in jail, and some roster-fillers? Yeesh. The Jets could also wind up hitting the mother lode if Wilkerson plays to his capability, Ellis doesn't go to jail, Kerley becomes a successor to Jerricho Cotchery and Powell steps in when LT steps out. The linchpins of this draft, though, are Wilkerson and Ellis. This is a defensive-oriented team and the Jets either set up their defensive line for the long haul or missed out big.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

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Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.

Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.

Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.

"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."

The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.

The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.

"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."

Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.