Jets need linebacker with range

Updated: February 24, 2004, 3:32 PM ET
By By Scouts, Inc. | For ESPN Insider

With free agency beginning March 3 and the draft just around the corner, Scouts, Inc., breaks down the biggest offseason needs for the New York Jets.

Outside linebacker: New York is likely to gut its linebacker corps, jettisoning at least two of its three starters from a year ago. Sam Cowart and Mo Lewis still play hard, but their lack of range is glaring. Opposing offenses have been able to pick on the Jets' perimeter defense using speed and athleticism to create favorable matchups. The team needs an athletic space guy who isn't a liability in coverage, makes open-field tackles and has the ability to blitz on occasion. The Jets like Victor Hobson, but he doesn't have the great speed and range the team needs. As a group, New York's linebackers will have big problems matching up until the team finds that player.