By Vincent Fodera @Fodera80
In the first two installments of this New York Jets Offseason Primer series, we looked at the decisions Joe Douglas is faced with regarding his own roster as well as where he may potentially dole out his financial resources two weeks from now in Free Agency. Now we move on to the premier event of the NFL Offseason, the NFL Draft. The one time of year NFL fans from all 32 teams can turn to for feelings of new hope and excitement. I myself have always likened the day to Christmas as a kid. You wake up, you know you’re about to get some new toys to play with. You understand you’re not going get everything on your list, and that’ll be a little disappointing, but overall you’re excited because there’s something new to spend your time playing with. The draft has always felt the same way to me- I know I’m going to have a new exciting player to root for, it may not be exactly the player I had my eye on, but you leave the weekend with new hope that your team may have just added a new star. In this article, I want to go over some of the top targets for the Jets at pick 11 as well as some potential Day 2 or Day 3 fits to keep your eye on.
The Team Needs
We looked at the Jets needs more in-depth in my last article, so I won’t go into too much detail, but as of right now the Jets are in dire need of Offensive Line help- we’re looking at a realistic scenario where the Jets could potentially return a nearly-unprecedented zero 2019 starters on Opening Day 2020. Aside from that, the team also needs to find the pass rusher that's eluded their roster for *checks notes* FIFTEEN YEARS. Back on the offensive side of the ball, the Jets stand to lose WR Robby Anderson to free agency and Quincy Enunwa’s status remains unclear as he returns from his 2nd serious back injury. The Jets will need to address WR at some point in this draft and My, Oh My what a WR class it is (more on that later). They also need to add some depth behind Le'Veon Bell at RB and a could look to add a QB late as a developmental prospect behind Darnold. Back on Defense, the Jets depth at CB is... paltry, to put it lightly. They should be looking to add at least one starting outside CB, if not two, this offseason, and potentially a slot corner as well given Brian Poole may be set to find a new deal somewhere else.
Now, obviously the team's needs will change between now and April 23rd as the team’s free-agent signings fill holes. It’s easy to assume the Jets will sign an offensive tackle or CB in free agency, but the fact is we really don’t know what’s going to happen. Last year, everyone in the world knew the team had a massive hole at Center, and it was assumed that they’d sign a Matt Paradis or Mitch Morse on day one of free agency. Low and behold ex-GM never ended up signing a Center (or even drafting one). We might think we know what’s going to happen, but the NFL can be a weird place sometimes. With that said, I’m going to make an attempt to go over all positions of need in the draft, since we really don’t know what holes will be filled in free agency.
The 11th Pick
Obviously, the Chase Young’s, Jeff Okudah’s, and Isaiah Simmons’ of the world are not going to be around when the Jets pick at 11, so I’m not going to profile them here. With that said, I fully expect the Jets pick at 11 to be one of the following names.
OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa - The latest in a long line of Iowa OL to enter the NFL, the 6’5 320-pounder put on an absolute show in Indianapolis breaking the OL combine record for both the Vertical and Broad Jump and posting a blazing 4.85s 40-yard dash. These are historic numbers for a man of his size, answering any and all questions about how well he moves at Tackle. Wirfs may have put himself outside of the Jets range at 11, but if he falls the Jets could have an answer at Tackle for the next decade.
OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama - Like the last man on this list, Wills comes from a school that’s been a lineman (as well as almost every other position) factory in recent years. Measuring in at 6’4 312 lbs, Wills was a technician at Alabama. There’s some thoughts floating he may be better suited to play inside at Guard, but I see a player who should be a long-term answer at Tackle. Like Wirfs, Wills’ experience came on the Right side, which will cause the team that draft him to have to make a decision to live with the learning curve of transitioning him to the Left or letting him play where he’s already comfortable.
OT Mehki Becton, Louisville - As the kids say- “An Absolute UNIT”. Becton came to the combine at a monstrous 6’7 364 lbs. He fills out that massive frame with 35 5/8” ropes for arms and 10 3/4” mitts for hands. Oh yeah, and he ran a 5.10s 40-yard dash. A man his size shouldn’t be able to move the way he does. He has experience on both the Left and Right side, which is a plus, and will be 21 years old for the whole of his rookie season. He’s a bit rawer from a technical standpoint than the above two prospects, but the traits are there for Becton to have the highest ceiling of any Tackle in this class.
OT Andrew Thomas - Yes, another Tackle. That’s just how good this Tackle class is. Ask twenty people and you’ll find these four OTs stacked in twenty different orders. Thomas is a true LT, standing 6’5 315lbs with 36” arms. While his athletic testing numbers at the combine weren’t freakish like Wirfs or Becton's, and his technique wasn’t quite as clean as Wills’ on tape (the gap is pretty small though), Thomas is known as a very intelligent football player, with a track record of clean play and coachability. The Jets really cannot go wrong with any of these four OT prospects.
EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU - The RS-Sophomore was a leader last year for a star-studded, National Championship-winning LSU Tiger defense. Chaisson has all of the athletic traits you look for in an EDGE rusher and began putting together the pass-rushing moves last year that many scouts think will lead him into developing into an All-Pro player. He’s not finished product yet, and that's important to remember, but his ceiling is through the sky, with a mental make-up that makes you confident he can reach it. If the Jets are able to fill their Tackle needs in free agency, my bet would be on him being the pick and ending the absurd 15-year Pass Rusher drought the franchise has faced since trading away John Abraham after 2005. Chaisson has the flexibility to play outside linebacker in odd fronts as well as with his hand in the dirt as an End in a 4-3, only adding to his value.
WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama - Perhaps the best route runner we’ve seen enter the draft in a generation, Jeudy is about as close to a sure thing as you can get at WR in the draft. His ability to create separation with the breaks in his routes, combined with elusiveness after the catch will make him a nightmare to deal with for defense. I’m doubtful that Joe Douglas will spend the 11th pick on a WR, even one of Jeudy’s ilk, as this class is absolutely loaded with talent at the position, but if they do well enough in Free Agency to have the luxury of taking one at 11, Jerry Jeudy and Sam Darnold could become very good friends over the years.
WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama - The fastest man in the draft this year, Ruggs ran supersonic 4.27s 40-yard dash at the combine- and he was disappointed with it. Ruggs was hoping to break John Ross’s 4.22s combine record but fell short by a few milliseconds. Ruggs often gets type-casted as just another speedster, but he’s more than that. He’s an exceptional ball tracker and runs very solid routes, the speed is just a bonus to his game. As teams continue to spread out their offenses, they continue to look to add speed to their receiving core, making Ruggs a very valuable commodity.
WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma - The thing that stands out when you watch Lamb play is his outstanding body control. Don’t be fooled, he’s great at just about everything, but the body control is on another level. He has a special ability to get himself in position to make catches other players just don’t even have a chance to. Like Jeudy and Ruggs, WR would be an unexpected selection by Joe Douglas, but the possibility is there, and it sure would make life a lot more fun for Sam Darnold.
CB C.J. Henderson, Florida - The battle to see who’s going to end up as CB2 behind the incomparable Jeff Okudah is currently being won by the 6’1 defender out of Florida. Henderson’s cover skills and size, combined with a sub 4.4s 40-yard dash scream potential pro bowl talent, but his lack of physicality at the line and when tackling give some pause. Either way, I view him as a top 15 talent in the class, and the Jets have a big need at CB.
CB Kristian Fulton, LSU - The other name floating around as the possible 2nd best corner in the class, Fulton has been on my radar since last year when there was speculation he’d declare as a Junior. It seems Henderson’s potential has overtaken him after only making small progress in his development as a Senior. He still profiles as an above-average starting CB in the NFL, and one who may have a more well-rounded skill set than Henderson, but his ceiling may not be as high as some may have hoped.
Day 2 Targets
Just a note, I’m only going to profile players here that I think may have a chance of being around for the Jets at 48 or later. There’s going to be a lot of names here, but none that I think are surefire late Round 1 players like IOL Lloyd Cushenberry, WR Jalen Reagor, OT Josh Jones, OT Austin Jackson, CB Jeff Gladney, or EDGEs Yetur Gross-Matos and Terrell Lewis. If any of those players are around, the Jets should waste no time in selecting one. I’m going to try to keep the list grouped by position bur ordered by tiers, so a lot of the early names on the list have a decent likelihood of not being around for the Jets, but enough of a chance where I believe they’re worth mentioning in case they fall unexpectedly or the team trades up for one.
IOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan - There’s a more than decent chance he may not be there when the Jets pick at 48, but Ruiz would be a tremendous answer to the Center position, which has befuddled the Jets since Nick Mangold’s departure after 2015. The IOL class isn’t particularly deep so expect an early run on the position some time on Day 2.
WR Denzel Mims, Baylor - There is every chance in the world that Mims’ combine performance pushes him into the end of Round 1. Mims has the size, speed, strength and catch radius to start from day 1 as an X receiver in the NFL. I’ve had my eye on Mims since Fall and was secretly hoping he’d remain a secret gem that could go late in day two, but he’s beginning to rise as high as WR4 on some boards. If he’s available when the Jets pick at 48, I’d sprint to the podium. In such a strong, deep WR class, there’s a chance that some of these second-tier receivers fall as GMs bet that they can get a similar talent later on the draft.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State - Aiyuk is another borderline round one talent who may fall to the Jets at 48. With strong hands, crisp routes, and terrific burst, Aiyuk profiles as a Y receiver in the NFL. He’s not going to wow you with physicality, but he’ll be a guy who consistently works his way open and can make plays down the field.
WR Justin Jefferson, LSU - Jefferson shined in the spotlight of the National Championship game this year. He’s another Y receiver with pro bowl potential, very much so in the mold of Packers WR Devante Adams. Jefferson is most likely to go in the 25-50 range, but again, a strong WR class may make GMs more patient when it comes to selecting the position early.
WR Tee Higgins, Clemson - I fully expect Higgins to be gone by the time the Jets are on the clock, but stranger things have happened. The 6’4 216 lb Higgins has ideal size to profile as an X Receiver, but I have some reservations due to his lack of physicality at the line for his size. He also isn’t as fluid as I like to see, there’s some stiffness to him. I think he’ll thrive in a system that gives him jump balls, as he’s adept at high pointing and making contested catches with a great catch radius. While this is a Jets article, I think he’s a great fit in Buffalo with Josh Allen’s big- but inaccurate and erratic- arm.
WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado - Like Higgins, I expect Shenault to come off the board before Thursday night is over- but there’s a chance. If the Jets are looking for someone to potentially play Quincy Enunwa’s role, Shenault would fit perfectly. I see him as a universal athlete. He can play out wide as an X, inside as a big slot, he can even play in an H-back role if the situation calls for it. Heck, I’d bet he’d be a pretty good Running Back in a pinch too. He’s strong, he’s fast, but he’s also a little raw in his route running and some of the finer elements of playing WR. With the right coach and the right scheme, I wouldn’t be shocked if we look back in 3 years and Shenault is the biggest Superstar in this class.
WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State - I like Hamler’s odds of being on the board when the Jets pick at 48 and I wouldn't be at all shocked by the selection. Hamler is undersized at just 5’9 178 lbs, but he doesn't play like it. He’s strong, physical, and feisty- on top of being exceedingly fast and quick. There are rumors that the Jets are looking to add a speed receiver, and this would be a great opportunity for them to do so, I think Hamler would be a great fit in Adam Gase’s offense that encourages receivers to get open with quickness and speed on crossing type routes.
CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama - Diggs is an interesting case in this class. He could be gone in the top 20, or he could make it out of the top 50. In the event he’s there at 48, Joe Douglas is going to have a hard choice to make. This is a good CB class, but the depth can erode pretty quickly. He might have a chance at fixing the Center position or solidifying the WR core with hyper-valued talent that drops out of the first round, but this may be his last chance to add a starting CB, as he could be left with more developmental corners in round 3, or guys who are more suited in the Nickel. Diggs will thrive in a Cover 3 system, but I think he’s pretty scheme versatile. He’d be a worthwhile investment at 48.
CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah - While I doubt he’ll be there at 68, there’s a somewhat decent chance he’ll be around for the Jets at 48. He’s an ideal fit in a press-man system, with traits that profile as an above-average starting CB. I believe I’m a little higher on him than most but the consensus feeling is that he’s going to end up as a good NFL player. He’s not the fastest corner you’ll see, and he’s not really great in Cover 3 or against deep routes, but a good scheme and good Safeties can mitigate against that... ahem Gregg Williams, Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye.
CB Bryce Hall, Virginia - Hall, followed by Fulton, actually came into the year as my CB1. He had a fantastic Junior season, and I expected him to solidify his standing as the best CB in the class. He didn’t exactly do that. A badly broken ankle ended his season early (and may continue to be a concern by some teams), but even before that, he never really built on his Junior year. He’s an ideal size to play outside and is super instinctive and reactive in zone coverage, but he doesn’t move too well deep or in man coverage. There’s some considerable risk at taking him at 68, let alone 48.
CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn - The Auburn talent is a bit raw having recently converted from WR, but he took some huge steps forward this season that has teams excited about how high his ceiling may be. He’s a tremendous athlete, and a coaching staff that can mold him may have an absolute steal on their hands.
CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State - Dantzler is long and physical, making him a great fit in a press scheme, but his long speed and overall agility aren’t exactly ideal. He ran a slow 4.6s 40-yard dash at the combine. He has good instincts but his physical style may not be very conducive to how often today’s NFL likes to call defensive holding and interference.
CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson - Terrell’s stock took a nosedive in the minds of armchair GMs everywhere when he was repeatedly, and successfully, targeted in the National Championship game. What many fail to realize is that he was playing most of his snaps against Sophomore sensation Ja’Marr Chase, who is shaping up to be a generational talent set to enter the 2021 draft. Compared to the other CBs Chase victimized this year, including Jeff Okudah, Terrell didn’t do half bad. Terrell is going to have a fine and lengthy career as a starting CB in a press-man scheme, and I wouldn’t worry anything about it.
CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State - Arnette is a nice prospect because he’s scheme AND position versatile. He’s not likely to be a pro bowl talent, but he can be an average starter for you inside, outside, press scheme, cover 3, whatever you really want. He doesn't do anything that causes you to stop and say Wow, but there’s really no glaring holes in his game either, and in that, there’s value.
OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia - The “other” Georgia Tackle. If the Jets don’t sign an OT or take one at 11, they’ve made a mistake in my opinion. Wilson and the other day 2 Tackles have nice ceilings, but they’re not guys you want to thrust into day 1 starting roles for a team making a push to contend for a playoff spot. Wilson is big and strong, and projects as a run-block first Right Tackle. He should develop into a starter, and if you’re taking him as a developmental player, it’s a smart move.
OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn - The Nigeria-native has only been playing football since his Senior year in high school, but his athletic traits coming from a basketball background give him some nice projectability at Left Tackle. He’s raw, as expected, but he’s a very loose athlete and has shown some real promise as a pass blocker. He’s never going to be a road grader in the run game, should be just fine with some time. Expect a longer learning curve with some growing pains, but he should end up as a fine starting Left Tackle.
OT Lucas Niang, TCU - Niang has what you want between the ears from a starting NFL offensive lineman. He has a really great feel for the game and what to look for from defenders. The issue is, while he knows what to do, in some cases his physical limitations don’t let him get it done. He’s very top-heavy, and while he’s quick to react, he’s a slow mover. He’s a very good run blocker, but his pass blocking leaves a bit to be desired. I think this is a high floor, low ceiling kind of player that may be an option in round 3 for the Jets in a pinch.
OT Matt Peart, UConn - Peart grew up in the Bronx, so he’s familiar with the area. He stands a tall 6’7 with long arms and a background in basketball, really displaying the ideal physical profile scouts look for in a Tackle. He still needs to get stronger and clean up his technique a bit, but I like his potential going forward. He shouldn't start right away, but if the Jets go with a stop-gap option at LT, having Peart learning behind him may be a smart move.
EDGE Bradlee Anae, Utah - Anae’s stock has been building for a while now, and it wouldn't be shocking for him to go on Day 1. He brings a ton of energy to the field and while he’s probably better suited to play in a 3-4, he should be pretty scheme versatile. Like the CB position, if the Jets need to add a starting pass rusher come draft time, it’ll be hard for them to find one after pick 48.
EDGE Curtis Weaver, Boise State - Weaver was a super productive pass rusher at Boise State, thanks to his great instincts on the field. Unfortunately, what’s keeping him outside of most top 50s is lack of overall athleticism. While the smarts might have made up for what he doesn’t have physically in college, the same is unlikely to be true in the NFL where most players he’ll face have both. If he can perfect his technique, that combined with his excellent instincts may give him enough of a shot to carve out a role in the NFL as passing down rush linebacker, but don't be surprised if he’s still on the board late day 2 or even early on day 3.
EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame - Basically the opposite of Weaver, Okwara has the physique, traits, and tools you look for in an EDGE, but his technique is lacking with just average instincts. He’ll need to be coached up quite a bit to have a chance at sticking around on an NFL defense, but for a team like the Jets who haven’t had a pass rusher in ages, Okwara could be a very fruitful role of the dice under the tutelage of Gregg Williams.
EDGE Josh Uche, Michigan - Uche played kind of an odd role for Michigan. He led the team in sacks, but he was more so used in a situational pass-rushing role, combined with a hybrid coverage role on the side? Essentially, he doesn't have the full time starting experience other players did, Michigan basically just used him in a way that emphasized his strengths but didn't let him really develop in other areas. He has really nice burst as a ps rusher, but he’s still pretty raw and is going to need to learn how to play as a 3 down outside linebacker with multiple responsibilities. The athletic potential will get him drafted somewhere around the top 50.
RB Cam Akers, Florida State - RB isn’t a top need for the Jets, so I’m not going to highlight any other day two backs, but I personally really love Akers potential fit with the Jets. It seems every year there’s a superstar running back taken in round 2 or 3, my bet is on Akers. Le'Veon Bell has a history of injuries in his career and the team currently has no one behind him. Akers would be great depth in case of an emergency, not to mention Bell needs to spelled every once in a while anyway. Another thing to consider is that the Jets have an out in Bell’s contract after this year, and he’s only under contract for the next 3 years anyway, Akers would give them a young, cheap heir apparent to the position. Just something to consider.
IOL Matt Hennessy, Temple - I’m going to cycle through some of the same positions that I just did, this time with names I expect to be there for the Jets in round 3. If the name sounds familiar to you, that’s because Matt’s brother, Thomas Hennessy, is currently the Jets long snapper (and a pretty good one at that). I like Hennessy a lot as a potential mid-rounder who can come in and start right away for this team if they miss out on Ruiz or Cushenberry. His ceiling isn’t quite as high, but I think he has upside as a long time average starter at Center.
IOL Nick Harris, Washington - Harris is another potential starting-caliber center, albeit in the right blocking scheme. At just 6’1 300 lbs, Harris is undersized for a linemen, and is going to need to play in a zone-blocking scheme to give him the best chance to succeed. He plays with a lot of intensity, which will help (but not completely mitigate) his lack of physical traits. His size allows him to move a bit more quickly than some of his contemporaries, so he’ll have a shot to stick as the starter if things break right for him.
IOL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin - Biadasz began the year as the near-universal top Center prospect in the draft. That was before he showed regression in nearly every facet of his game in 2019, especially in his mobility and then broke his leg to boot. There’s serious doubt as to whether or not Biasasz will ever return to his 2018 form where he was a punishing run blocker with the mobility to handle speedier IDLs and blitzing linebacker is pass protection. If he can, someone is going to get a steal in the middle rounds. If he doesn’t, he’s probably just a decent back-up that will disappoint in a full-time role. His smarts and instincts will keep him around the league, but he may never be what he could have been.
CB Darnay Holmes, UCLA - If the Jets are in need of a slot cornerback come draft day, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on Holmes at 68, if he lasts that long. He has the versatility to play outside as well, but I like his athleticism and quickness to be able to cover the quicker slot receivers. Holmes is an instant starter on the Jets defense.
CB Amik Robertson, LA Tech - At a diminutive 5’8 187 lbs, Robertson is going to fall a bit despite his outstanding tape. He was ultra-productive at LA Tech with 14 INTs, 23 TFLs, and 34 PBUs in 3 seasons. Let him cover, blitz him, play him in the slot, heck play him at Free Safety- just find a way to get this guy on the field and your team will prosper. If the Jets have the opportunity to take this player and not miss out on filling an important need like Center, they should not pass it up.
WR Van Jefferson, Florida - Son of Jets assistant coach, Shawn Jefferson, the team should be plenty familiar with the former Gator. Jefferson has seen his stock rise slowly but surely since the Senior Bowl and should be in the mid-Day 2 conversation. Jefferson is a nice prospect because he’s so versatile, having experience in the X, Z, and slot roles. His NFL home is probably going to be in the Z or as a big slot, and while he’s not going to physically dominate on the field, he’s very well taught, has excellent technique, and a great competitive attitude.
WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina - In a loaded WR class, Edwards has flown a bit under the radar. At 6’3 212 lbs, he has ideal NFL WR size, he was consistently productive on the field, and his game has no glaring flaws. He’s just a super solid prospect that doesn't really have a standout skill to set him apart from the rest. He can stand to clean up some of the finer elements of his game, but this has the makings of a guy who’s going to haul in 60 receptions, 800 yards, and 5 TDs year in, year out for the next 5-8 years. You sign up for that kind of quality production in the middle rounds ten times out of ten.
WR Michael Pittman Jr., USC - One of Sam Darnold's former USC teammates (if only for a year), Pittman is a big 6’4 223lb target. He’s not overly athletic, but he has great hands and body control, on top of doing all the little things well as a receiver. He should be an instant starter on team, but he probably won’t ever become a star like some of the earlier talents in this class. As a late day 2 target, he’s still great value.
WR Collin Johnson, Texas - The biggest receiver in the class, Johnson is a prototypical redzone threat at an imposing 6’6 222 lbs. He doesn’t move particularly well but if you throw him a 50-50 ball, he turns them more into 90-10 balls. I think he’s a great piece to add to an already solid WR core, but he’s not someone I would want to rely on as a potential starter.
WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame - Like his Notre teammate last year, Myles Boykin, Claypool wrecked the combine. He came into the week as a likely mid-day 3 candidate, but you have to include him in the mid-day 2 conversation after the show he put on in Indy. A thick, muscular 6’4 238 lbs (!!!), he ran a 4.42s 40-yard dash, jumped 40.5” in the vertical, and posted 19 reps on the Bench. An absolute physical specimen. The downside is that he’s still pretty raw at the nuances of the WR position, and his agility and post-catch ability suffer at the hands of his muscularity. If you want to take a chance on turning an athlete into a football player, Claypool is a great option.
EDGE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State - Willekes, in a similar fashion to Curtis Weaver, is a high effort pass rusher. He lacks the physical and athletic traits necessary to be a full-time starter in the NFL, but his instincts and relentlessness will help him stick as a role player as a situational rusher on passing downs and on special teams.
EDGE Jonathon Greenard, Florida - I like Greenards ceiling better than most of the other day 2 pass rushers. He’s athletic, he has good instincts, his motor runs hot. He just needs to work on the pass-rushing moves. With good coaching, he should be able to hit
a ceiling of starter on the edge that can rack up around 8 sacks a year on average.
EDGE Jabari Zuniga, Florida - A really similar player to his teammate above, Zuniga has the athleticism and burst but is missing the consistency as an everyday starter. He can get eaten up by bigger Tackle and disappear for stretches before coming out of nowhere with a game-changing play. Zuniga might be best served playing in a situational rush role where he’s not asked to do much more than get the QB and can be moved around the defensive formation to pick on different O-Linemen at different times.
EDGE Anfernee Jennings, Alabama - I’ve had my eye on Jennings since the 2018 National Championship game where it seemed like he was flashing almost every play. While Terrell Lewis emerged as Alabama’s top pass-rushing talent this year, I still like Jennings as more of an edge-setting linebacker. The Jets are likely to lose Jordan Jenkins in free agency, and I think Jennings could step into that role quite nicely.
EDGE Darrell Taylor, Tennessee - Super strong, great NFL body- Taylor is another one of these day 2 pass rushers that have one thing going for them but is missing the other half of their game. Taylor is slow of the snap, his hand technique is rocky, and his pass-rushing moves are lacking. The traits are there to mold a starter out of, but it’s going to require a dedicated coach.
EDGE Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame - Another day 2 pass rusher, another incomplete player. Kareem has the power and technique to find some success, but he’s missing the burst and suddenness to take his game to the level where he can be looked at as a starter. He’s probably a 4-3 End rather than a pure pass rusher if that’s what you’re into.
OT Ben Bartch, St. Johns (MN) - Bartch comes from tiny D3 St. John’s in Minnesota where he absolutely dominated the MIAC. Obviously, coming from such a small school is going to bring up concerns about how he’ll take time to adjust to NFL competition. It’s not impossible, as we’ve seen Hobart’s Ali Marpet be very successful at Guard in his career so far. The other concern is that he’s pretty new to playing OT, as he converted from TE just two seasons ago. That conversion, however, left him with exceptional mobility at over 300 lbs.
RB Anthony McFarland, Maryland - McFarland brings an exciting blend of speed and receiving ability to the backfield that should let him serve as a nice depth piece for an NFL backfield. With the Jets lack of depth, it may be worth taking a flier on a homerun threat at RB.
RB/WR Antonio Gibson, Memphis - Gibson may be more WR than RB, with only 33 career carries, but the fact that he has experience at both is a valuable asset for his skillset. A creative play-caller can have a lot of fun with Gibson on his roster.
Day 3 Favorites
At the risk of the length of this article resembling more so a Ph.D. Dissertation rather than an NFL Draft Primer. I’m simply going to list some of my favorite prospects at each position group that are likely to be on the board for the Jets 4th, 5th, and two 6th round picks, without a write-up to go along with each player. If you’d like more details on a player, feel free to read their scouting reports here once their live!
QB - Cole McDonald, Hawaii | Anthony Gordon, Washington State
RB - Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State | Joshua Kelley, UCLA | Reggie Corbin, Illinois | Benny LeMay, Charlotte
WR - Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin | James Proche, SMU | Devin Duvernay, Texas | Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty | Lynn Bowden, Kentucky
OT - Jack Driscoll, Auburn | Charlie Heck, North Carolina | Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon
IOL - Netane Muti, Fresno State | Ben Bredeson, Michigan | Damien Lewis, LSU
EDGE - Carter Coughlin, Minnesota
CB - Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh | Harrison Hand, Temple | Essang Bassey, Wake Forest | Michael Ojemudia, Iowa
With that, I would like to formally announce the completion of this New York Jets Offseason Primer Series. Stay tuned for Mock Offseasons, Free Agency Reviews, Mock Drafts, and more coming over the next few months!