(Image credit Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Week 6 of the NFL season is getting close. The New York Jets for Week 6 will be on a bye which is fair after they played a game in London, England losing to the Atlanta Falcons 27-20. So I decided during the Jets bye week why not look into the latest draft classes the New York Jets made during the Mike Maccagnan years (2015-2019). For today let's take a look at the 2019 NFL Draft.
Now before we get into the draft grades, if I label a grade for a player as HACKENBURG that means it is a failing grade and the prospect is a complete bust in the league. I decided to pay homage to Christian Hackenberg who in my opinion is the worst draft selection that was ever made in recent history for the New York Jets. There have been plenty of poor selections made by this organization in history including Blair Thomas, Johnny “Lam’’ Jones, Ken O’Brien, Roger Vick, Vernon Gholston, Dee Milliner, and Calvin Pryor. But in my lifetime Christian Hackenberg is one of the worst selections that this organization ever selected as Hackenburg never played a down in the league and was completely healthy.
Now that is settled let's look into the 2019 NFL Draft class and see how they have done.
DT Quinnen Williams (Round 1 - 3rd Overall) - Grade B+
This pick was either going to be Quinnen Williams or Josh Allen and this team. I think Allen is the better player overall but Williams is a great player as well. He has been a solid run stopper and even has had an impact providing pressure to the quarterback. I would have given Williams an A but he had a below average rookie season and has had some durability concerns so I will give him a B+. This is easily the best pick of the draft class. Hopefully the rest of the draft class does well (SPOILER ALERT It gets worse).
DE/EDGE Jachai Polite (Round 3 - 68th Overall) - Grade HACKENBURG
Before there was Isaiah Wilson of the Tennessee Titans there was Jachai Polite. Oh boy where to start with Polite. Let's start with the combine as he had a completely terrible performance. To make it worse in interviews he spoke against many teams including the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts saying that they were bashing him and trying to make him look bad. Polite was earlier projected to go to the first round and he completely fell to the Third round. The Jets took him and you know who spoke up in the draft room to select this guy. Adam Gase, the so-called “Offensive Genius’’ even said that Polite showed good character during multiple team interviews and had a ton of potential in the NFL. First off he's not wrong about the potential as he had the tools of being a good player in the league. But really how is a guy who acted like a total cancer during combine interviews showing good character. No surprise that once he was such a cancer and a distraction from the locker room that he was fined over $100K in four months. Maccagnan should have done what other teams did and remove Polite from their draft grade. Polite is absolutely a Fall from grace not even 7 months in the league drafted in the 3rd round to out of a job. This is an easy HACKENBURG Grade.
OT Chuma Edoga (Round 3 - 92nd Overall) - Grade C-
This was the pick we acquired via the Teddy Bridgewater Trade. With this selection the New York Jets selected Chuma Edoga who blocked for QB Sam Darnold at the time. Edoga is a tricky grade for me as he has had an up and down career. When he is on the field he has had many solid plays. The problem with Edoga has been injuries and consistency. He has missed a to nof games due to injuries and has been inconsistent throughout his career with the Jets. It's not a terrible selection but I debated a C or a D grade. I decided to go in the middle and grade this selection a C-.
TE Trevon Wesco (Round 4 - 121st Overall) - Grade C+
Wesco was a fine selection as he was mainly going to be a solid option at tight end. The problem with Wesco was that he was not the best receiving tight end. What he has been is a great blocker and is often the lead blocker in many scoring plays for the Jets in recent years. I would say that Trevon Wesco was a complete flop as a Tight End but luckily for the Jets he has been a great option as a fullback. Many say the fullback position is dying in the NFL but I say that it is more of a lost art. Like Kayfabe currently is to professional wrestling, It's not completely dead but you see some people still performing the art. Overall the Jets got lucky with this selection. Good pick by Mike Maccagnan.
LB Blake Cashman (Round 5 - 157th Overall) - Grade D
Ehh not a fan of this selection. Cashman has been completely terrible throughout his tenure with the Jets. A big reason for his struggles is due to the amount of injuries that he has suffered throughout his career. He has been placed on IR every season he has been a part of with the New York Jets. He was tasked with replacing CJ Mosley when he suffered a season ending injury during the 2019 season and opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to the pandemic. Cashman has failed to do this and has continued to disappoint after years of showing flashes in college and in preseason games.
CB Blessuan Austin (Round 6 - 196 Overall) - Grade C
This was a risky pick at the time as Blessuan Austin was recovering from multiple Torn ACL injuries he suffered during his college career. Many, including myself, thought we would barely see Austin on the field. I originally hated the pick because I thought we could of signed him as an undrafted free agent but Blessuan Austin had a solid career with the Jets. He has had two seasons with the Jets where he looked like the most consistent and solid player in the Jets secondary and I was really excited to see what he could do with a real head coach in Robert Saleh. Then he was released for some reason that has yet to be explained to me and is now a part of the Seattle Seahawks. I really hate what the Jets did with Austin releasing him during the Aftermath of Final Cut day. Blessuan Austin was your second best talented cornerback on the team and they decided to let him go without trying to ship him off to a team for a draft pick. But I can’t hate on the pick when grading this as we never thought Austin would even appear on the Football field ever in his NFL Career.