With Day 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft just hours away, we breakdown the Top 10 New York Jets prospects Mike Maccagnan will be targeting.
By Matt Barbato
The New York Jets addressed a major need on Day 1 by picking Ohio State outside linebacker Darron Lee, but the work is far from done.
The Jets now embark on one of the deepest second rounds in NFL Draft history. The Jets have a selection in the second and third rounds with plenty of talented prospects to choose from.
Here are the 10 best prospects remaining for Gang Green on Day 2:
10. Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
It’s doubtful that the Jets will spend a second-round selection on Spence after drafting Lee. But Spence has a ton of raw talent and could be the best player available when the Jets are on the clock at pick No. 51. Spence is extremely fast, but desperately needs coaching.
VISIT NY Jet Fuel
9. Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
It’s somewhat shocking that Ragland fell to the second round, but the Jets could address a sneaky need at inside linebacker if Ragland fell to them. Ragland is an old school, two-down linebacker who is limited in the coverage and pass rushing departments. He would be a tremendous run stopper and could step in for David Harris once he retires. It’s hard to imagine Ragland falling to No. 51.
8. Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
Jack’s free fall could continue into the middle of the second round. The Jets passed him up at No. 20, but could they resist the temptation to get a potentially transcendent talent in the second round? Jack is a stud when healthy, but teams are clearly scared about his chondral knee issue.
7. Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Jets could use some help at cornerback and Alexander surprisingly slipped beyond the first round. Alexander didn’t produce much at Clemson, but scouts believe he has the raw talent to develop into a starting corner. Alexander could start as a depth corner in New York with the upside to develop into a starter opposite Darrelle Revis.
6. Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
Again, wideout isn’t a glaring need. But the Jets were reportedly interested in taking Josh Doctson or Will Fuller in the first round. Perhaps Maccagnan targets a pass catcher in the second round and Shepard would be a great fit as a slot receiver. The only problem is the Jets spent a second-round pick on Devin Smith last year.
5. Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State
The Jets need an upgrade at right guard and Whitehair could be the best offensive guard available. Whitehair is a tough, strong lineman who would fit right in between Nick Mangold and Breno Giacomini on the right side of the line.
4. Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
The Jets hosted Hackenberg for a visit and seem interested in him. Hackenberg was once projected to be the top quarterback in this class before a disastrous 2015 season at Penn State. Hackenberg needs a change of scenery and could develop his raw talent under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
3. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Cook and Hackenberg are similar prospects, with Cook having much more success in college. The Jets are the one team without an answer at quarterback right now. Cook has the potential to develop into a capable starter.
2. Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
It’s highly doubtful that Henry slips to the Jets in the second round. But if he did, the Jets should run to the podium. Henry is far and beyond the best tight end in this class. He’s a natural pass catcher and a good enough blocker to start immediately. He would be a drastic upgrade over Jace Amaro and Kellen Davis.
1. Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
The Jets have a major need at offensive line and Spriggs is the best lineman available. Spriggs could slot in at right guard or could play right tackle if the Jets cut Giacomini. the problem is Spriggs likely won’t fall to Gang Green.