New York Jets: Should They Inquire About Morris Claiborne?
The Jets blog One Jet at a Time has an interesting rumor today.
According to one source, the Jets may be looking to swing a deal with the Dallas Cowboys for CB Morris Claiborne.
The Cowboys traded up two years ago to sixth overall to take Claiborne. At the time many pundits thought that he might not be as good of a prospect as Patrick Peterson was a year earlier but also that he was not far behind. Claiborne had major struggles last season and was one of the major culprits responsible for Dallas' bottom of the league pass defense.
Why would a team touch him? Again, Claiborne is a physically gifted prospect. When he was coming out of school, people raved about his fluidity, and he has long arms that could help him be effective if used in a system that had a lot of physical, aggressive man coverage on the outside along with coaching to teach him proper technique. Claiborne did speak about Dallas' new zone heavy system in 2013 contributed to his lack of comfort. It is worth noting that in Rob Ryan's defense as a rookie in 2012, his 1.21 yards allowed per cover snap that year were middle of the pack. Claiborne has not been a total disaster as a pro.
He clearly would be something of a reclamation project, but the Jets do have strong defensive coaching and run the kind of system that might suit his talents. As always, it depends on the price. I probably wouldn't pay the price unless Dallas was just looking to unload him. A fourth round pick is probably the very highest I'd be all right with the Jets making a move, and even then I'm not in love with the move. For all of the physical talent and scheme fit, I still have memories of how poor his 2013 play was. I might consider flipping a guy like Quinton Coples, another thus far disappointing 2012 pick who doesn't have a natural home with the Jets although it might take Dallas throwing in a pick to like that deal. If they'd take Stephen Hill straight up, I'd do that.
To me Claiborne is not a genuine answer at cornerback. He would be a lottery ticket at the position. If the cost was low, I'd do it. I'm not sure a team that invested a ton in him as the Cowboys have are going to be willing to hold a fire sale just two years later, though, that would make the price right for the Jets.