The 2018 Draft was about finding the quarterback for the New York Jets. The 2019 Draft will be about building around Sam Darnold. In this 7 Round Mock Draft I go through which prospect the New York Jets could target in the upcoming draft and how they will address their biggest needs heading into the upcoming season.
Round 1 Pick 20: Ezekiel Elliott: RB: Ohio State
Last year Mike Maccagnan went with the philosophy of taking the best player available when he selected Leonard Williams with the sixth overall pick. In 2016 look for the Jets to follow that same philosophy as they select the best running back in the draft class. Elliott has proven he can be an every down workhorse with back to back 1800 plus yard seasons including 23 this past season for the Buckeyes. Given the devaluation of the running back position, Eliott falls to the Jets at 20 and gives the Jets a workhorse and potential star at running back. Given that the Jets have three unrestricted free agents at the position, and Pro Bowler Chris Ivory in line for a major pay day Elliot not only gives the Jets a talented first rounder, but fills a crucial need.
Round 2 Pick 51: Le’Raven Clark: OT Texas Tech
The Jets have two problems at tackle. On the left side D’Brickashaw Ferguson is past his prime and beginning to show signs at regression, while on the right side Breno Giacomini has been a huge disappointment and figures to be a cap casualty given his bloated salary. Clark figures to solve both those problems and could start at right tackle while being groomed to take over the blind side eventually. Clark will have to adjust from playing in a two point stance primarily at Texas Tech, and while he could struggle initially in run blocking there is no question that he has the skill set to protect the passer. Clark is a project but is the best offensive lineman and player available at this point for the Jets.
Round 3 Pick 83: Jordan Jenkins OLB Georgia
The Jets need to upgrade their pass rush and address that need in the third round. The outside linebacker position was anything but set in the Jets base 3-4 last year. While Lorenzo Mauldin played well enough to seemingly earn a starting spot at one of the positions, it’s clear the Jets need another edge rusher. While Bruce Irvin is an enticing free agent that the Jets will pursue, you can never have to many pass rushers and anything would be an upgrade over the 35 year old Calvin Pace. Jenkins finished with 10.5 tackles for a loss, 12 QB hits, and 4 sacks for Georgia last season. a hybrid pass rusher who can stand up on the outside or put his hand in the dirt, Jenkins knock is that he is not a great coverage guy. However, he shows great pass rushing ability and was a great leader as the team’s defensive captain. A smart player with a constant motor, he fits the bill of the type of player that Todd Bowles is looking for an could finally give the Jets pass rush a big boost.
Round 4 Pick 115: Cardale Jones QB Ohio State
There’s an old saying in the NFL. Draft a quarterback every year until you find the right one. Cardale Jones has tools that are off the chart including a rocket arm and great mobility. However, New York would be the perfect situation for Jones to learn and develop as a quarterback and not face the pressures of being the starter in year one. Given Gailey’s quarterback friendly system that gives the quarterback plenty of passing and throwing lanes, Jones could thrive in New York once he gets a year or two under his belt learning the offense. A sleeper pick that has top notch tools, Jones could be a franchise quarterback in the making if New York can develop him.
Round 5: Bralon Addison WR Oregon
No team lined up with more 3 or 4 wide receiver sets in 2015 then the New York Jets. Given their value on the wide receiver position, Gang Green could always use another weapon. Addison is another burner from Oregon who not only could stretch the field, but give the Jets a slot threat they lacked in 2015. Another perk to drafting Addison is he would be an explosive returner for New York, something they severely lacked last season. A player that fills two needs is right up the Jets alley.
Round 6: Pick Traded to Houston for Ryan Fitzpatrick
Round 7: Nile Lawrence-Stample DT FSU
In 2015 Damon Harrison was the best nose tackle in football. The problem? With Muhammad Wilkerson likely to get the franchise tags, big snacks will probably be playing somewhere else in 2016 as New York doesn’t seemingly have the cap space to keep every member on the defensive line. However, if Harrison has taught the Jets anything it’s that you don’t need to spend a high pick to find a quality nose tackle. Harrison was an undrafted free agent but New York will look for his replacement in round 7 with Lawrence-Stample from FSU. A second All-ACC selection last season he is a big run stopper in the middle which is what the Jets stout run defense will need. If Bowles wants to continue with a 3-4 base instead of a 4-3, the Jets will need to find a nose tackle to fit the scheme. Lawrence-Stample has the upside to be a great nose tackle in the NFL.
Ah yes it’s that time of year again. The NFL Draft will be live from Radio City Music Hall on April 25th and this draft is huge for the New York Jets. After a season filled with injuries and butt fumbles, followed by an offseason where the roster has trimmed more fat than Rex on the Atkins diet, the Jets need to hit a home run in the draft if they want to have any shot at competing in 2013. With many veterans being released and only a few low risk free agents joining the club, the Jets offseason has been highlighted by the Darrelle Revis saga. While I do think he will be traded before the draft and the Jets will receive some more picks my mock will be based on if the Jets Do Not Trade Revis. Hey I can’t predict the future but let me look into my crystal ball to see who gang green will bring in for 2013. And with the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the New York Jets select….
1st Round pick: Star Lotulelei- DT Utah 6’3 325
Ok I know everyone thinks the Jets will either draft Geno Smith if he falls to them at nine or an outside linebacker. Here’s the problem I see, Smith will be off the board by the ninth selection along with the best two outside linebacker prospects Dion Jordan and Ezekiel Ansah. If one of them are the Rex Ryan should run to the podium. A lot of experts seem to like Barkevious Mingo going to the Jets but I feel he’s a stretch in the top ten. Don’t forget not too long ago many experts thought Lotulelei was the best overall prospect in the draft. However, after a heart condition diagnosis, for which he’s been cleared, his stock has fallen. Enter the Jets who were 25th in the league against the run. Not the MO of a Rex Ryan defense. I can see Ryan envisioning another Haloti Ngata in Lotulelei who would instantly improve the Jets run defense and allow the Jets to be versatile with 4-3 and 3-4 fronts. While many talk about the depth at outside linebacker, the Jets are also thin in the trenches after losing Sione Pouha and Mike Devito. While it may not be the pass rusher Jet fans are clamoring for, they will get another great defensive lineman. Just imagine adding him to a front with Wilkerson and Coples that will sure bring nightmares to opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators. Here’s Todd McShay’s review on his draft stock.
Other possibilities: Dion Jordan, Jarvis Jones, Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper
2nd round pick: Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia 6’2 245
Ok I know many people are going to have a problem with this one but here I go. While many people feel the Jets should draft Jones in the first round and that he will be a top 15 pick I predict he will fall to the second round and the Jets will be waiting. Don’t believe me? Jones has a spinal cord injury that doctors believe will end his career prematurely so teams may look at him as damaged goods. The other major knock on Jones was his terrible pro day where he ran a 4.9 40 yard dash. He reminds me of another player, Da’quan Bowers, a few years ago. Great pass rusher who had a lingering injury and a sub par pro day. Bowers projected to be a top ten pick and fell to the second round. Here’s the other reason why. With this sub par quarterback class I believe the top of the second round will be filled with teams trying to trade up to get QBs and possible leftovers from round one. In the scuffle Jones will fall to the Jets. What does he bring to the table? A high motor guy who dominated in the SEC and who can rush the passer. projects to be an outside linebacker which the Jets are desperate for and could provide the pass rusher that Jets have been missing in Rex Ryan’s tenure.
Other possibilities: Ryan Nassib, Eddie Lacy, Larry Warford, Zach Ertz
Round 3: Jordan Reed TE Florida 6’3 236
This one was a tough one for me. While still waiting to see what other picks the Jets could pick up if there is a Revis trade this is an important pick. While a lot of people feel the Jets will draft a QB unfortunately Jets fans I think they will try to ride out Mark Sanchez until next years draft which is rich with signal callers. At this point Nassib and Manuel would a stretch and while I do think Wilson from Arkansas could be there the Jets will pass on QB in order to try to give Sanchez help. Enter Jordan Reed who led the Gators with 45 catches this year and a 4.76 forty time. With good ball skills and hands Reed can also provide big plays and stretch the field at the TE position. The knock of Reed is his poor blocking, but with the Jets lacking offensive weapons and looking to replace Dustin Keller, Reed fits the void. Add in the new west coast offense the Jets will run and that Sanchez’s favorite target is TE this could be a match in heaven for the Jets.
Other options: Christine Michael, Mike Glennon E.J. Manuel, Giovani Bernard, Shamarko Thomas
Round 4 Aaron Dobson: WR Marshall 6’3 203
Personally I’d love to see Aaron Dobson in green next year. After watching this kid for two years I have a feeling he could be one of the sleeper picks of the draft. His combination of size and 4.37 40 speed would instantly help the Jets lacking receiver corp. He reminds me of a Plaxico Burress, a big physical target in the red zone and a guy who can move the chains on third down. Plus he has great hands. Don’t believe me watch this (Dobson Hands). The main knock on Dobson was his lack of production at Marshall. There were two problems, one he was double teamed a majority of the time, and two it’s Marshall it’s not like there’s a great QB throwing him the ball. Let’s not forget another big time receiver to come out of Marshall who was very similar. You know Randy Moss. Either way if the Jets can land Dobson in the middle of the draft this could be highway robbery down the road.
Round 5: Quanterus Smith DE/OLB WKU 6’5 250
I know the secondary needs to be addressed still with the Jets but with so many holes the Jets need to look for big time players in the late rounds. Enter Quanterus Smith, who could provide the pass rush gang green in craving. Another small school guy, his stock took a major hit with knee reconstruction surgery in November. If not for the injury he would be much higher. While lacking the size for a defensive end but with a 6’5 frame and 4.69 40 speed he could be a great pass rushing OLB. One thing Smith does well is getting to the QB. He had 12.5 sacks before being injured in 2012. While lacking an explosive first step and being slightly undersized Smith, makes up for it with a tremendous motor and great hands to shed blockers. He may be raw but adding him to the defense could help to make up for a weakened secondary. They always say the best way to improve your secondary is getting to the QB and Smith would be more than happy to oblige.
Round 6 Robert Lester S Alabama 6’1 220
Well we know one thing about Alabama they can play defense. While the Jets offense was putrid last year Rex Ryan’s bread and butter is defense and with both starting safeties from last years squad finding new homes, and with the best corner in football probably going to Tampa, the Jets secondary needs help. If he is there in round six Lester would bring a solid SEC safety from the reigning national champions. While he does have good ball skills Lester suffered from inconsistent play and maddening errors in coverage. Despite his falling stock just being a starter on the Alabama defense should convince Ryan to take a chance on him. He’s a guy who isn’t afraid to come up and play physical in the run and has a knack for finding holes when he blitzes. Fast, physical, and aggressive sounds like a Rex Ryan ballplayer to me. Unlike most teams who are looking for backups and fill roster spots the Jets need to find starters at this point in the game and penciling Lester at safety wouldn’t be the worst thing in world especially here in round 6.
Round 7 Omoregie Uzzi G Georgia 6’3 300
What is it that Rex Ryan wants to do? Oh yeah ground and pound. We also know that Georgia Tech loves to run the ball so a former Yellow Jacket guard becoming a Jet seems like a match made in heaven. Especially in a pass happy era in college football it’s difficult to find road gratting offensive guards. While slightly undersized Uzzi does a great job of being physical in the trenches while being able to get downfield to the second and third levels. While most scouts will say that he has below average pass blocking abilities he is a better pass blocker then most scouts give him credit for. Another knock on Uzzi is that too often he is on the ground and doesn’t hold blocks well in the secondary. Despite his flaws Uzzi could be a day one starter for the Jets and putting him a right guard next to Austin Howard could give The Jets running backs some big holes on the right side of the line. While he may not be a Brandon Moore the Jets found another great guard in the late rounds in 2009 with Matt Slauson. Maybe this will be their next diamond in the rough.
Do you agree with these picks? Who do you think the Jets should take? Comment below