2017 NFL Draft Preview: Review Of First Round Options For The NY Jets
After a bitterly disappointing 2016 season, Mike Maccagnan and the Jets need to find a way to transform the fortunes of this failing team. The upcoming NFL Draft where the Jets need to initiate a new start…..
Two years ago Mike Maccagnan was lauded by most for his offseason moves, but now those same people question his ability to build a competitive roster. In truth the one main failing of not just Maccagnan, but decades of Jets GM’s is their inability to find a franchise QB. The Jets have had very good teams in the past, but have just not been good enough. Only time will tell if Christian Hackenberg can be the franchise QB that the Jets and in particularly Maccagnan are hoping for. The media whispers do not sound very positive.
So onto this year’s draft, well, the Jets potentially have holes everywhere, even with a good free agency class the Jets desperately need to get younger, faster and better!
Here is an early look at who could potentially land with the Jets first round pick with my thoughts from what I have seen on tape from these prospects:
If lightning strikes twice, and the best player in the draft falls to number 6 (see Leo Williams) the Jets brass should skip to the podium to select Myles Garrett, edge rusher from Texas A&M. Garrett is seen by most, including myself as the draft’s elite player and would give the Jets much needed pass rushing ability. Not very likely though!
The Jets could look to improve their terrible secondary, with this year’s draft stacked at CB and has a couple of top end safeties. The CB is so deep I am not sure that the value is there at #6? The rankings for corners differ so much that it is clear that there is not much difference in talent with the top 6 maybe 8 guys. My top three CB’s are:
- Gareon Conley, 6′ 1″, Ohio State – Most of the talk is of Conley’s teammate Marshon Lattimore, but when I watch the tape it is Conley that jumps out at me. Conley excels in press man coverage, and uses his frame to trap receivers down the sideline. Plays long and has top end speed. One area that Conley needs to improve is in run support.
- Sidney Jones, 6′ 1″, Washington – Jones is a tough competitor despite his slight frame. He is good in press, and has the instincts to make plays. Jones has good burst of speed, but may lack the long field speed. I think Jones may ultimately slide in the draft due to his injury, but whoever takes him will be getting one hell of a football player.
- Quincy Wilson, 6′ 1″, Florida – Wilson has great size and has an extremely high ceiling. When I watch tape on Wilson he just makes plays. He locates the ball very well, and is a solid tackler. He does need to refine his footwork, and can be a little too physical at times, but is confident and will do what it takes to help his team.
If I were to pick a CB at #6 it would be Conley, however my preference would be to wait until the second round. Maybe Wilson could slip to #39 or pick up a guy like Cordrea Tankersley from Clemson. Jones will unfortunately slide due to his injury.
I think there is a greater chance that the Jets improve their secondary by adding a top safety and at #6 there may be the top two safeties to choose from.
- Malik Hooker, 6′ 2″, Ohio State – Hooker could be the ball hawking safety the Jets have been searching for since the departure of Kerry Rhodes. Hooker’s instincts are what defines him. He has a nose for the ball, and plays with fluidity and intelligence. He reads the game very well and is constantly on the move. His only negative is he is still quite raw with just a year of experience.
- Jamal Adams, 6′ 1″, LSU – While Hooker is the ball hawk, Adams is the complete safety. Adams can play in the box or as a deep safety, although it is closer to the line where he excels. Adams gets praise from teammates and coaches for being a model pro, and a great leader. Something the Jets sorely need.
My pick would be Hooker, as he would bring a new dimension to the Jets secondary, although I would be very happy with Adams at #6.
With a shortage of top end talent at offensive tackle, I don’t think the Jets would reach for a Cam Robinson, Alabama or Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin at #6 but may look for an OT later in the draft, or if they manage to trade down in the 1st round OT comes into play.
Likewise, although I think the Jets should absolutely draft a RB this year #6 may not be the best place to do it. Value is to be had in rounds 2 -4.
A surprise pick with some value could be at WR, but the Jets already have four young talented receivers on the roster in Enunwa, Anderson, Peake & J.Marshall. So should that stop them from drafting a WR, well maybe not? There are two guys the Jets may have to consider at #6. Mike Williams, Clemson is a 6′ 3″ WR that has all the tools, but needs to find consistency in his game to dominate as he did in college. Corey Davis, Western Michigan could be the drafts best route runner. He also has great size and speed.
Ultimately I think the Jets pass on a WR at #6, but these two guys will be tempting.
Alabama TE, OJ Howard is also be a real possibly at #6, as he could solidify the position for years. Howard is the draft’s best all-round TE, an extremely good blocker and a mismatch in the passing game.
The last position I will look at is QB, and while I don’t believe any of these prospect would be the BPA at #6 that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to signal callers. The Jets could fall in love with one of these prospects and pull the trigger in the first round. So here are my top three:
- DeShone Kizer, 6′ 4″, Notre Dame – Kizer is my favorite QB prospect. He has prototypical size for a franchise QB, and uses it well. I like his toughness and willingness to stay in the pocket. Has good pocket presence, and more often than not feels the pressure and isn’t afraid to use his legs. Kizer has a very good arm and is impressive when throwing on the run. Like all the prospects, Kizer certainly has room to improve, his completion % is lower than other QB’s, some of which is down to bad drops form his WR’s. Kizer does have a tendency to miss throws high, which he will need to improve on in the pro’s. While he would benefit from a year on the bench, he is not the project that Petty and Hackenberg are.
- DeShaun Watson, 6′ 2″, Clemson – Watson really divides opinion, some have him as the best QB, some have him dropping to round 2. I sit somewhere in the middle. I think that Watson can be a good starter in this league. He has a good arm, is a dangerous runner and has shown that he is a team leader. He is prone to badly missing easy throws. His deep ball is not as assured as Kizer’s and WR, Mike Williams sometimes made the throw look better than it was. I wouldn’t take Watson at #6, but I think he goes first round.
- Mitchell Trubisky, 6′ 4″, North Carolina – Trubisky is the hot name at the moment. He has had an excellent year with the Tar Heels. Trubisky’s accuracy has people raving about him, but he has only started one year and historically that can be a problem when transitioning to the pro’s. His arm is good, and he has good pocket awareness, however my major concern with him is that his feet never stop moving. He doesn’t set his feet, and this will be a problem when facing NFL defenses. Again, I think Trubisky goes top 12 in April, maybe top 5, but I wouldn’t be picking him for the Jets.
This year’s draft will be one of the most interesting, as the level of talent is closer than I have known for a long time. Differing opinions will lead to some real shocks in the first round, so Jet fans get ready for the ride……
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