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Jets prepare for critical draft under Ryan, Tannenbaum

A windowless, second-story room in Florham Park holds the key to the New York Jets' future.

Their war room. Set to crackle to life on Thursday evening, when 13 members of the organization -- and only 13 -- will huddle around a table to chart their course through seven rounds of the NFL draft.

Today, the nondescript space is under lockdown. Not even coach Rex Ryan can enter by himself, according to ESPN New York. Only three men inside the organization have keys: vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales, college scouting coordinator Dan Zbojovsky and security director Steve Yarnell (overly complicated last names might be required here).

"We don't want anybody wandering in," Terry Bradway, the Jets senior personnel executive, said. "It's too risky."

As the draft unwinds, general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Ryan and owner Woody Johnson will command the proceedings inside this space. The rest of the pack includes a gaggle of talent evaluators and scouts. According to Tannenbaum, "Everyone (has) a chance to sit at the table and say, 'Here's what I think.' "

We are not among the 13 in this elite bunker, but we believe the Jets better shore up the following with their 10 picks:

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  1. An exciting pass rusher: Bart Scott's hanging around (for now), but his speed is gone. Aaron Maybin led the team in sacks last season, which is troubling. Calvin Pace is aging. On this front, New York's interest in South Carolina's Melvin Ingram is no secret.
  1. Receiver: There's chatter of bringing Braylon Edwards back, but that guarantees nothing after what we saw last year. The team desperately needs someone across from Santonio Holmes. Fortunately, this wideout class offers deep talent. A sentimental pick: Wisconsin's Nick Toon, son of Jets legend Al Toon.
  1. Ground-and-pound candidate: New York lost identity on offense last season, plummeting to 22nd in rushing. Tony Sparano's offense requires a stable of powerful backs and Shonn Greene can't do it alone. A player in the neighborhood of Virginia Tech's David Wilson would bring a fire to this team.
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