NY Jets Rumors: Muhammad Wilkerson Trade Option After Leonard Williams Taken In Draft, Geno Smith Starts Over Bryce Petty?

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May 06, 2015 10:13 AM EDT
Leonard Williams of the USC Trojans
Leonard Williams of the USC Trojans holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen #6 overall by the New York Jets during the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois."

The NY Jets may look at a Muhammad Wilkerson trade this offseason after taking Leonard Williams in the NFL draft and New York may also have a quarterback battle brewing between Geno Smith and Bryce Petty to see who starts for Todd Bowles in 2015 and this comes as Mike Maccagnan had a strong first draft for the team, with Williams and Devin Smith his best picks.

The Jets were mentioned as one of the teams that could trade up for Marcus Mariota, but instead they stayed at number six and took the best player available. Williams was considered by many to be the best defensive player in the draft and he lasted until the sixth pick and now the Jets could have a prime pass rusher for years. Williams was very good at USC and after the trade talk about Wilkerson during the draft, the team now has a replacement if they go down that path.

According to ESPN New York reporter Rich Cimini, the Jets may consider trading Wilkerson after taking Williams, as they also have an All-Pro talent in Sheldon Richardson. The team reportedly received interest from "multiple teams" heading into the draft about Wilkerson, but no deal came close to happening. CBS Sports reports that the Jets want at least a first round pick for Wilkerson in any trade and possibly two selections, and that is why a deal likely will not be going down soon.

Jason La Canfora writes at CBS that the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns were interested in Wilkerson heading into the draft. At this point a deal is unlikely, but with Williams getting drafted, the Jets could seriously consider moving Wilkerson. Last season Wilkerson had six sacks and the previous year he set a career hitch with 10.5 sacks and 43 solo tackles for New York.

The team took an offensive weapon in Devin Smith in the second round and many scouts praised that pick. Mel Kiper at ESPN said that Smith could be an explosive player in the NFL with a little development and he now could form a great trio with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker for Geno Smith. Right now it looks like Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick are the main starting options, but the team spent a fourth round pick on Bryce Petty and he could also compete.

Smith is coming into offseason workouts as the starter, as Fitzpatrick is banged up, but that also gives Petty the chance to shine. Petty could step up with Chris Simms and if he plays well, he could be in the mix to be the backup or the third stringer to start things off. This group did not draft Smith, so he has a lot to prove.

The jets also added Lorenzo Mauldin at linebacker in the third round, guard Jarvis Harrison in the fifth round and Deon Simon at defensive tackle in the seventh round. The team wants to have a strong defense for Bowles and Maccagnan appears to have made some solid picks to fill out the roster with depth. The Wilkerson and Williams situation is one to watch, but it also could mean that the Jets will simply be stacked on the d-line from now on.

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