Just like opinions, everyone seems to have a mock draft nowadays. ESNY takes a look at the so-called expert picks for the New York Jets.Every year it seems like the number of NFL mock drafts multiply at a faster rate than John Ross’ 40-time. Outside of the first few picks, a draft prognosticator’s selections are a guessing game. Fortunately for the television audience is that nobody is perfect.
Mock drafts are fun for fans. It gives the fanbase a chance to dream of what may be. It also opens the door for heated debate and the opportunity to really get to know some of the future stars of the NFL. But fans need to take selections with a grain of salt and not signed in stone.
It takes a real die-hard fan to watch the offseason events such as the Senior Bowl and NFL Draft Combine. The genius of the NFL has turned the Draft into the biggest event on the calendar outside of the Super Bowl.
The format creates great theater that even Shakespeare could appreciate. “Offense or defense? That is the question.” For teams at the top of the draft, best player available is usually the best approach for the three-day, seven-round event.
The New York Jets have been no stranger to the top third of the NFL Draft. Gang Green have provided some of the most drama-filled moments since their inception into the league. Prompting Mel Kiper to question the Jets understanding of how the draft works.
While Mike Maccagnan is almost sure to stay away from the combine superstars, such as John Ross or Charles Harris. There is a bit of discrepancy between the “draft experts” on who the Jets will hone in on.
Here is who the experts like for the New York Jets with the number six pick in the 2017 NFL Draft:
O.J. Howard, Tight End, Alabama
Notable Prognosticators: Mel Kiper (ESPN), Daniel Jeremiah (NFL Network)
It’s draft season again and Kiper is Claus! In his latest “Grade A” draft, Mel Kiper has the Jets looking at a position that has never been a strength for the green and white, tight end. O.J. Howard is a freakishly good route runner with great hands.
Howard could be the perfect building piece for John Morton’s newly installed offense. An offense that could have a similar look to the one that thrived in New Orleans, where the tight end was a heavily used pass catcher.
The Jets could pass on Howard based on a variety of reasons. Kyle Brady was selected with the ninth pick in the draft, and could never quite find himself worthy of the selection. Another reason why Maccagnan may pass is due to the depth of outstanding defensive players in this year’s class.
Verdict: Tight End would be a luxury pick at this point in where the Jets are in the latest rebuild. As dynamic as O.J. Howard could be, it is not likely for the Jets to liken a pass catcher more than the need for a defensive star.
Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
Notable Prognosticators: Colleen Wolfe (NFL Network), R.J. White (CBS Sports), Walterfootball.com (Walt)
The NFL Network held their yearly televised Mock Draft over the weekend. The list of “Mock General Managers” included: Maurice Jones-Drew, Steve Mariucci, Dave Dameshek, Daniel Jeremiah, Colleen Wolfe, Bucky Brooks, Cynthia Frelund and Ike Taylor.
Colleen Wolfe drew the New York Jets’ number six pick and selected LSU running back, Leonard Fournette. This would be a great pick if the Jets were in a position to select a player that could put them over the top.
With the career span of a running back topping out at about three to four years, Gang Green may not be able to reap the benefits that Fournette could produce. In the last decade, one first round running back has won a Super Bowl, Marshawn Lynch. Obviously, that wasn’t with the original team that drafted him.
Verdict: Fournette is an ideal player for a ground and pound style of offense the Jets have traditionally implemented. However, with so many holes to fill, selecting a first round running back would be foolish for a long term rebuild.
Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Texas Tech
Notable Prognosticator: Mike Tanier (Bleacher Report)
Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown and Bryce Petty, the current bullpen of the New York Jets roster. McCown’s role is one of stop-gap, mentor and support system for the young signal callers. Petty and Hackenberg are the big question marks, will one of the two step up and steal the starting job?
If Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles are not convinced that the future is on the roster. The Jets’ fanatics could see another arm added to the mix. There aren’t many better arms in this year’s draft than Patrick Mahomes.
The son of former New York Mets relief pitcher, Mahomes success in a wide open offense in Texas Tech creates a dilemma for the Jets brass in whether or not his talents will translate to the NFL. Mahomes could be the reincarnation of Brett Favre, but is the number six pick too high for the Jets to take that risk.
Verdict: The Jets should not draft Mahomes with the sixth pick with so much defensive talent on the board. However, if they can swing a deal to get back into the first round, Mahomes has the right pedigree to handle NYC. A deal with Tampa Bay at 19, isn’t out of the question.
Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, North Carolina
Notable Prognosticators: Maurice Jones-Drew (NFL Network), Dane Brugler (CBS Sports), Jared Dubin (CBS Sports), Peter Schrager (Fox Sports)
The reports are coming in fast and furious that the Cleveland Browns would love to select Myles Garrett with the first pick in the draft and then trade up to take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The New York Jets may even be that trade partner.
The sixth pick seems like the landing spot for Trubisky based on his potential. He has become the odds-on favorite among draft analysts to be the first quarterback off the board. Trubisky’s one year as a starter makes this a bit of a risky proposition, but there is no doubt his arm talent has lifted him into the top ten.
The Jets met with Trubisky during the “courting” period of the offseason, and by all accounts were impressed by him. If he should happen to fall to six and Cleveland is calling, it may create the first drama filled moments of the draft. One that may see the Jets faithful booing either way.
Verdict: Mitchell Trubisky should fall to number five on the Maccagnan’s priority list. The defensive talent pool is too rich to risk it all on a quarterback that has very little experience as a starter. The worst thing the Jets can do, is fall in love with another prospect that became an NFL Combine star, ala Vernon Gholston.
Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
Notable Prognosticators: Bucky Brooks (NFL Network), Will Brinson (CBS Sports), Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports), Dieter Kurtenbach (Fox Sports)
If you need to be sold on DeShaun Watson, just turn on the last two NCAA Championship Games against the stout Alabama defenses. If you want to be deterred from wanting Watson to be the next Jets signal-caller, look at tape of a very inconsistent 2016 season.
Watson is a winner, which can account for a ton. He has a great pocket presence and can gain yardage via the ground, as well. But his biggest attribute is how hard he works.
It is a dicey proposition for Watson who will be in attendance at the draft, out of all the attendees, he has the best chance to have that “Aaron Rodgers in the green room” moment. Though it may hurt his checkbook, in the long run, may aid his progression as an NFL quarterback.
Verdict: If Watson begins to fall, the Jets could trade back into the first round to select him. Watson has the leadership and talent attributes that will make him a successful NFL quarterback. However, like Mahomes, the amount of defensive talent that will be available in the top six picks, may outweigh any potential that a quarterback may possess.
Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, Ohio State
Notable Prognosticators: Todd McShay (ESPN), James Kratch (NJ.com), Chad Reuter (NFL Network), Pete Prisco (CBS Sports)
“Todd, Todd, Todd!,” as Mel would exclaim, goes to the other side of the ball for the Jets by selecting Ohio State cornerback, Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore is arguably head and shoulders above the other cornerbacks in this year’s class. His coverage and ball-hawking ability may land him in the top five, just out of Maccagnan’s reach.
Maccagnan seems to have an affinity for Buckeyes, selecting linebacker, Darron Lee and wide receiver, Devin Smith in recent years. The Jets organization struck gold when they selected recently departed, center, Nick Mangold, a decade ago.
If there is a knock on Lattimore, it could be the perception that he is injury prone. A hamstring injury plagued his senior year at Ohio State, and there was reports that he may have injured a hip flexor at the combine.
Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU
Notable Prognosticators: Walterfootball.com (Charlie), Matt Miller (Bleacher Report), Lance Zierlein (NFL Network), Charley Casserly (NFL Network), Rich Cimini (ESPN)
The Jets defense has become a group without an identity. While the sun may have set on Revis’ island and the Sons of Anarchy may have been a bit too free, Todd Bowles’ strength may have become his biggest question outside of quarterback.
Jamal Adams brings a Brian Dawkins type ferocity to the safety position. His nose seems to always find the way to the ball and he hasn’t been afraid to let his opponents know it. While Revis was a quiet assassin on the field, Adams brings some thunder with his lightning.
Adams may not fall to six based on recent Mock Drafts have indicated. There is no suggestion to trade up for a safety, but it should be the Jets hope that arguably one of the top three players in the draft falls right into Maccagnan’s lap, as did Leonard Williams in 2015.
Verdict: If Jamal Adams is available at six, this should be a no-brainer. Calvin Pryor has underwhelmed, and with the loss of Revis, there is no identity in the secondary. While the Jets yearn for a franchise quarterback, it could easily fill it’s emotional leadership role by selecting the safety.