True teams are built in the latter portions of the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s where the New York Jets could be leaning in the fourth round.
The New York Jets will likely trade back at some point during the 2018 NFL Draft to try and recoup the picks they lost trading up from No. 6 to No. 3. It seems to be the Mike Maccagnan way, but as long as the Jets have a fourth-round pick, we’ll break down possible prospects that they could fancy.
Before we predict where they may go, let’s take a look historically at the Jets’ recent successes—or failures—in the fourth round:
2017: Chad Hansen, WR, California
- A relative non-factor. Got injured in training camp and really never had much of an impact when he did get in.
2016: Juston Burris, CB, NC State
- Still on the team (that’s a plus) and is a nice depth player for the green and white. Many fans believe he could be a key nickel player for the Jets in the near future. Only time will tell.
2015: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
- An A+ for effort? The Jets have drafted a quarterback seemingly every year since ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath’s knees gave out in the 1970’s. And they’re still looking for their guy. It’s safe to say Petty isn’t what the team was looking for.
2014: Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma, Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA, Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman
Oh yeah, this is the draft where the Jets spent two fourth-round picks on receivers that weren’t my dark-horse of the draft (Clemson’s Martavis Bryant), but I digress.
The Jets didn’t have a fourth rounder in 2013 or 2012, but in 2011 drafted a fan-favorite, running back Bilal Powell out of Louisville.
But what about the 2018 NFL Draft? The Jets currently own one fourth-round pick (107th overall). Here’s who they could turn to.
Will Clapp, C/G, LSU
I like ’em round, and big, and when I’m throwin’ a gig, I just can’t help myself, I’m actin’ like an animal, now here’s my scandal. Woah sorry, sometimes I get carried away when talking about offensive linemen. Shout-out to Sir Mix-a-Lot though.
In all seriousness, Clapp is my kind of man. He left a season early from LSU because he dominated in the bayou. He’s versatile and can play a variety of positions along the offensive line.
The Jets need more of those guys on the team and the offensive line can never be deep enough, so solve that by bringing on this beast. I’m sure Jamal Adams would be cool with it.
Scott Quessenberry, C/G, UCLA
Are you seeing a theme here? Versatility is the name of the game. I anticipate Quessenberry can come in immediately as a guard, but if you put him under your pillow every night and kiss him before bed, he can transform into a viable center.
There are some concerns about his shoulders—he had surgery on both, forcing him to miss the 2015 season—but he has a ton of experience and that could be a solid addition to the trenches for the green and white.
Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
A very popular mock draft pick to the Jets is Ragnow, and for good reason. This guy is a stud and arguably one of the best offensive linemen in the 2018 NFL Draft. So why the heck are we talking about him in round four?
Well, he suffered a season-ending injury back in 2017 which raises some questions. I didn’t even want to bring him up in this article. Not because I don’t like him, but because I want everyone to forget he even existed so the Jets can sneak and grab him with one of these mid-round picks.
I’m not sure if my plan will be a success because fitting a 6-foot-5, 309-pound man in a knapsack is going to be tough.
Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan
Who? Oh, his name is Chukwuma Okorafor and he’s from Botswana. Where? Okay, I can’t give you all the answers, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s somewhere between the North and South poles.
He’s another guy with some scheme versatility playing left and right tackle throughout his collegiate career. But we’ve seen this song and dance before, a talented, albeit raw player who could get drafted earlier than intended because of the measurables. (Cough cough Vlad Ducasse cough cough).
Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
Arguably my favorite running back of all time and not just because of the phenomenal name. Now you won’t confuse Bo Jackson for Bo Scarbrough, but he’s an absolute load in the backfield.
He’s 6-foot-1 and 232 pounds of man! Think of a younger, nastier Chris Ivory, or better yet—a Derrick Henry replica. He’s a bit of a one-trick pony, the kind of back that you can feed the rock over and over again up the middle. Scarbrough won’t help at all in the passing game, but that’s okay because he’ll be a part of a running back by committee.
Tyler Conklin, TE, CMU
I’ve seen Conklin play in person several times and you can see the basketball background he possesses. Where he falls will ultimately depend on the medical evals on an individual team basis, as he’s battled foot injuries in the past.
He can be a capable receiver but is known for his blocking. Conklin is one of the more balanced tight ends in the draft who could tickle the Jets’ fancy.
Jaylen Samuels, TE, NC State
Samuels is another player I’ve seen in person several times. He’s not your typical tight end based on size (5-foot-11, 223 pounds). He’s not a fullback, he’s smaller than usual tight ends, and he’s a chubby receiver.
But on the right team, he can be the perfect secret sauce in the pantry. He’s the future at tight end, a versatile chess piece that can be moved all over the board. Seems like a New England Patriots type player, which means the Jets should draft him just to keep him away from the Pats.
Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame
Smyth (6-foot-5, 257 pounds) falls on the other side of the coin, possessing prototypical size for the position. He also carries the Notre Dame brand, which brings with it a certain level of prestige in the NFL. Just look at the recent history at the position:
- Tyler Eifert
- Kyle Rudolph
- John Carlson
- Anthony Fasano
There’s a lineage there and Smythe seems like the next future star in line to succeed at the NFL level. He has battled injuries and role deficit disorder (what the heck kind of player am I?). Is he a receiver or a blocker? I’ll let you be the judge.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/OLB, Oklahoma
A son of Nigerian immigrants, the man better known as ‘Obo’ is a tweener in every sense of the word at 6-foot-1 and 253 pounds. That said, we’ve seen short guys succeed at the next level if they have that necessary pop.
He’s not an athletic freak, but he’s a blue-collar, hard-working, high-motor player. Think in the mold of former Jets star Bryan Thomas, just a little smaller and lighter. But he can have a very nice NFL career.
Josh Sweat, DE/OLB, FSU
Of course, covering the ACC and the Syracuse Orange for Inside the Loud House, I’ve seen some tape on Josh Sweat. He’s an intriguing talent who was a former top-10 recruit and five-star talent. It makes sense he picked the Seminoles who have a proven pipeline from the collegiate ranks to the pros.
He could be LONG gone by the fourth round, but I have a funny feeling he’s going to slide on draft day. A typical boom-or-bust player who can easily be slapped around due to balance issues.
Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF
The story of the NFL Combine was Griffin, but did you know that almost wasn’t the story? That’s because Griffin wasn’t initially invited to the annual event. Just think—we could have been deprived of the clinic he held.
But it’s more than just the story of Griffin and playing with one functional hand, it’s about his ability to play the game of football which should no longer be questioned. If the Jets draft Griffin it’s not because it’s a feel-good story, it’s because they’re picking a talented player who can help this team win.