The New York Jets went defense with the 18th overall pick, selecting Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. I strongly encourage a read of Connor Rogers’ full Pryor breakdown in February and a listen to our live coverage of the pick from last night. However, here are a few further thoughts and predictions for tonight:
- I said yesterday that I would like the pick of Pryor and haven’t changed my opinion. Personally, would I have been more excited about Cooks or Dennard? Honestly, yes. However, Pryor is a very good prospect, the top overall safety in the draft and does improve an area of need for the Jets. The value is strong at 18 and thinking about this guy in Rex Ryan’s defense as a movable chess piece on the back-end? Exciting…
I’m not saying he is as talented of a prospect as Sheldon Richardson or that he will be the Defensive Rookie of the Year but it is fair to have faith and be confident in the Jets grabbing a strong defensive talent in the teens. Defensive line didn’t jump off the page as a need last year and while safety was a need for the Jets it was arguably less of a need than corner or receiver but ultimately you are just giving Rex Ryan a talented, versatile defensive player to work with.
Versatility is becoming a theme on this Jets defense. Pryor is going to be in the box, play centerfield, line up as a “linebacker” in certain sets and line up as a “corner” in certain sets. Considering his aggressive, physical style of play and ability to force turnovers, it is hard to see Jets fans not falling in love with him immediately.
- The talk of the Jets trading up for a wide receiver stunk of a smokescreen and weak reaches of trying to make connections that weren’t there. “OH HEY JOHN IDZIK AND THE TITANS GM WORKED TOGETHER ONCE, TRADE UPS ARE NEWSWORTHY…GOOOO” It has long been known how deep the receiver class was this year so it just wouldn’t seem logical to make that type of move. Look at who is still on the board for tonight: Lee, Moncrief, Robinson, Matthews, Latimer just to name a few…
I tweeted this earlier but credit to everybody who covered the Jets draft and didn’t replace a lack of real information with false hype and unfounded rumors. It is a cop out/lazy eye grabber to say “JETS ARE GOING TO DO SOMETHING SO INTERESTING. BE PREPARED” when you have no real concrete information.
- A few other first round thoughts: This stinks of a hot take but I HATED the Blake Bortles pick by Jacksonville. I think Teddy Bridgewater will absolutely be a better player in Minnesota than Bortles will be in Jacksonville. A few other reaches? Ja’Wuan James (um, what Miami?), Kelvin Benjamin (not a first round caliber WR at all), Ryan Shazier and Marcus Smith. I was very surprised to see Justin Gilbert and Kyle Fuller go off the board before Darqueze Dennard but think he landed in a great situation for himself in Cincinnati.
- On to tonight? The Jets have 11 total picks left and man it is tempting to aggressively go get Marqise Lee or Jace Amaro. Either of those two are immediate plug and play starters on the Jets offense and provide Geno Smith or Mike Vick a needed weapon. They are also both players who many thought the Jets could consider at 18 so getting either in the second day would obviously be exciting. Outside of them, there is a ton of value left on the board, particularly at wide receiver. Jordan Matthews, Cody Latimer and Allen Robinson are all guys who could very well be there with the 17th pick in the 2nd round and all would be strong additions. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is an option at tight end. Last week, Anthony Becht pegged him as the best overall tight end prospect in this class. Finally, we know the Jets have some level of interest in CJ Fiedorowicz and Troy Niklas, who could be third round targets.
If we look away from the pass catchers, Xavier Su’a-Filo isn’t a flashy name but would be a strong option to improve the Jets offensive line. Trai Turner or Joel Bitonio could also receive consideration. Defensively, Kony Ealy and Demarcus Lawrence would boost the Jets pass rush along with Kyle Van Noy or Jeremiah Attaochu. At corner, Stanley Jean-Baptiste would be an intriguing addition. Basically, there is no shortage of options for the Jets across their areas of need. Personally, I think the Jets are leaving tonight with a tight end and an offensive lineman but few things would truly surprise me, outside of adding a quarterback which would be a head turner.