The Jets need major help in various areas of the roster. That’s usually what occurs when you’re coming off a four-win season.
Luckily, they have a pair of first-round picks, but ESPN’s Mel Kiper projects they finesse their way to a third one…
No. 4: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
I’m not buying a Thibodeaux drop. He might be the most talented prospect in this class. The Jets have to add some juice to their pass rush, and this is the spot to do it. It’s also not out of the question that they take a receiver here — Drake London or Garrett Wilson? — because their top guy might be off the board by the time they pick at No. 10.
As I’ve said before, I’m not entirely for the Jets drafting an edge rusher this early due to the employment of Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers. But you can never have too many effective pass rushers, and I think Thibodeaux could go a lot higher than some believe.
No. 10: Drake London, WR, USC
If the Jets can pull this off — a top-tier receiver here and a high-upside edge rusher at No. 4 — shouldn’t they be considered one of the most improved teams of the offseason? I like what they’ve done, and they haven’t had to break the bank. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be AFC East contenders just yet. London is a 6-foot-4 target who will dominate in the red zone and pull down 50-50 balls to boost Zach Wilson’s completion percentage.
This pick makes total sense, especially with Ohio State wideout Garrett Wilson already off the board in this mock. Zach Wilson needs a solid supporting cast to develop, and London’s size and athleticism would provide the Jets with a nice complement to Corey Davis and Elijah Moore.
No. 31: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (mock trade with CIN)
How about a third first-round selection from the Jets? In this scenario, with a glaring hole at center and the top guy still on the board, they deal No. 35 and a Day 3 pick to get back into Round 1. And crucially, they keep their pick at No. 38, which allows them to get more help.
The Bengals would move down just four spots and pick up an extra fourth-rounder. They signed center Ted Karras in free agency among other moves to upgrade their O-line, so their need isn’t as big.
Could Linderbaum be the Jets’ new Nick Mangold? They took Mangold at pick No. 29 in 2006 and have been trying to fill that void at center since he left the team after the 2016 season. Some NFL teams are put off by Linderbaum’s short arms, but just watch the tape. He has the physical traits to be an All-Pro and is exceptional as both a run and pass blocker. He’s exactly what the Jets need, and this is tremendous value.
I don’t have an issue with this at all. The Jets have the resources to trade up. And not only will Zach Wilson need weapons to develop, but he’ll also need a rock-solid offensive line. Linderbaum could be a starter early and has the versatility to play the center and guard positions in the NFL.
No. 38: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
Day 2 is when teams should take running backs, and the Jets would be getting the clear top back in this class. Hall can do it all, from forcing missed tackles to catching passes. If the Jets are serious about helping Zach Wilson, they should take Hall. This scenario gives them Hall, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Drake London and Tyler Linderbaum with their first four picks, which would have them well on the way to an “A” grade.
Nope. No. I don’t like it.
Why select a running back in the early portion of the second round, especially when you just drafted Michael Carter last year and still employ Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, and La’Mical Perine?
The running back spot is an expendable position and this class isn’t strong. Plus, the NFL is a passing league anyway.
The Jets should be addressing their below-average secondary with this pick (since they didn’t do so in this mock’s first round).