In his inaugural 2019 NFL Mock Draft, Matt Miller had some bold things to say about the New York Jets if they made a certain selection on draft day.
You must be thinking to yourself, “Why in the hell are we talking about the 2019 NFL Draft at the beginning of November?”
Well when you’re the New York Jets and you lose to Brock Osweiler and get swept by the Miami Dolphins, sometimes perspectives change.
Currently, the Jets are 3-6 and things are looking grim for a playoff comeback. But let’s not completely be a negative Nancy. Instead, let’s try to be a positive Patty.
NFL draft expert Matt Miller tried to do his part in his inaugural 2019 mock draft via Bleacher Report. The Jets are projected to have the seventh overall pick at this point and smite me if you’ve heard this before, but is another first-round pick defender in the Jets’ future?
2019 NFL Draft, seventh overall pick: CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
“The New York Jets have an obvious need for an outside pass-rusher and should spend money in free agency addressing that need and also beefing up the offense around quarterback Sam Darnold. Those moves would free up the front office to keep finding stars on defense in the draft.
Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen is an under-the-radar star hidden on a defensive depth chart full of future NFL players. Mullen, a 6’2″ cover man, has the ideal size and mentality to play on the outside and lock up No. 1 wide receivers. Mullen, Trumaine Johnson, Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams would be one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
Should the plan to buy a pass rush fall through, it would be prudent to spend an early draft choice on the position; but with Nick Bosa off the board, it might be a reach to select Montez Sweat or Jachai Polite.”
One of the best secondaries in the NFL? I suddenly feel better about the prospect of drafting another defender in the first round.
For context, over the last decade, the Jets have only used a first round pick on an offensive player three times:
- 2018: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- 2009: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
- 2008: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue (second of two first-round picks)
But the same narrative that is executed here should be the same narrative taken when looking for the next head coach of the Jets: don’t fit a square peg into a round hole.
While many fans would love an offensive coach to lead Darnold, should that be the No. 1 quality you’re looking for? That’d be a bit shallow and a serious priority issue with what you want from coach based on offensive or defensive philosophies.
The same goes for a draft pick: you can’t overdraft an offensive player because you don’t want a defensive player. So before we smite Trayvon Mullen, let’s get a better understanding of who he is.
So who exactly is Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen?
He’s the forgotten man on the Clemson Tigers defense. All the hype is on the front seven and for good reason, there are multiple first-round picks to be drafted. But the secondary deserves a ton of love as well.
Just think if you could pair Trumaine Johnson with another lanky and talented corner who has ball skills. Could be a match made in heaven and you could start to see what Matt Miller was describing earlier.
Appealing physical traits should really grab the Jets attention and if this draft pick could legitimately give the Jets one of the best secondaries in the NFL, they’d be crazy to not pull the trigger, despite what offensive help could potentially be available.
The only caveat to this is if the Jets are unable to reel in a dynamic pass rusher in free agency, as Matt indicates, then I’m not sure I’d draft a corner with the seventh-overall pick. Because even the best corner on the planet can only cover so long before he’s exposed. And at best, a corner can take away just one player from an opposing team.
A really good pass rusher can destroy more than just any single player. He can destroy an entire gameplan.
Either way, Trayvon Mullen is a name to watch out for moving forward.