The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Today’s question is…
What was your favorite 2015 draft pick by the New York Jets and what was your least favorite?
Joe Caporoso – Favorite pick, Devin Smith: My pre-draft crush happening to end up on the Jets was a nice second day surprise. Smith is an ideal combination of value and need, who wins on vertical routes as well as any receiver who has entered the league in recent years. The DeSean Jackson comparisons are not off base. In 2015, Smith can be a situational deep threat and hone his craft behind Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. Down the road, he should be a very good Z receiver and one of the best values from this class.
Least Favorite, Bryce Petty: Petty was my fifth ranked quarterback in this class and roughly a 5th round value in my mind so the Jets didn’t reach much for him at least. However, I’m concerned about the translation of his game to the NFL, his back issues and him already being 24 by the time this season starts. It is also frustrating already seeing the conflated expectations for a 4th rounder, simply because he is a quarterback who “looks the part.” If Petty is developed properly (getting a year or two on the bench), he can hopefully develop into a good backup or a competent spot starter, expecting to a franchise quarterback is an unfair barometer for a fourth rounder who was appropriately taken there.
Connor Rogers – Favorite pick: Lorenzo Mauldin The Jets needed to add youth to their outside linebacker corps and the high motored Mauldin fits the bill perfectly. He uses his hands very well to get off blocks vs. both the run and the pass. With Calvin Pace/Jason Babin/Quinton Coples expected to take many of the snaps at outside linebacker this season, Mauldin will not be forced into action as a rookie. Looking a year ahead is what intelligent front offices do and Mauldin fits the bill for 2016 perfectly.
Least favorite: Bryce Petty It’s not that I dislike adding Petty on day 3, it’s that the Jets failed at getting a potential steal for the offensive line in TJ Clemmings. Breno Giacomini was a liability at right tackle last year and the team desperately needs an upgrade. Clemmings could have brought that from day one.
Cole Patterson – To play devil’s advocate, I’ll support the Petty pick. The Jets dearth of quarterbacks is well documented. The great football mind, Ron Wolf, always believed that: until you hit the jack pot, a team should take a quarterback every year. Ron Wolf was a key in the hiring of GM Mike Maccagnan. It would make sense that the men would be like minded. Petty’s progress may be slow but the potential of a franchise quarterback in the fourth round is higher than the potential of a middling guard or linebacker. Petty has all the measurable and intangibles. It’s just a matter of translating his game to the pros.
Its tough to find a pick in this draft that I am unhappy with. For the sake of argument, I’ll go with Jarvis Harrison. Harrison flashed immense potential at A&M. However, his attitude and stamina are concerning and his love for the game was questioned after the interview process. The Jets picking another mid-round guard (Dozier, Aboushi, Winters) with such depth at the position is tough to swallow given the tackle’s still on the board.
Bob Scarinci – Favorite Pick: Lorenzo Mauldin I really like the Mauldin selection as one that marries a great value with a position of immense need for the Jets. Mauldin’s a really talented young player who has shown capability at the collegiate level of getting to the QB in a variety of ways.
Least Favorite Pick: Bryce Petty. Bryce Petty’s collegiate offense is one that makes for a very difficult transition to the NFL. In addition, you’ll frequently hear about Petty’s big arm, but I’m not sure I would buy that hype as he doesn’t get great velocity on some of his intermediate passes.
Dalbin Osorio – Favorite pick was Lorenzo Mauldin. The Kid is a very good edge rusher who should really be in line to take over for Calvin Pace. He uses his hands to guide blockers and create manageable one on one opportunities. I’m excited to see him in this defense with this DL and secondary.
Least favorite pick was Bryce Petty. I had Hundley and Grayson ranked higher and thought they’d be better fits, and I have serious questions about his ability to transition to the pro level. He’s nowhere near the prospect Geno Smith was entering the league, and Jet fans expecting Kyle Orton (only successful 4th round QB in recent memory) should temper their expectations.
Seth Plaut – I absolutely adored the Devin Smith selection. At that position, Jaelen Strong had legitimate injury concerns with his wrists (something many NFL teams clearly agreed on) and Dorial Green-Beckham has both major character and production concerns. Devin Smith contains virtually none of these potential liabilities and is arguably the most explosive deep-threat receiver in the entire draft. His style is also something severely lacking from the Jets receiving core last season and can allow Chan Gailey to be more creative with his offensive packages. Before anyone makes the Stephen Hill comparisons, please stop. Smith has superior production on a championship team, and much better hands, route-running capabilities, and adds an extra tool in being an excellent gunner.
The Bryce Petty selection just seemed superfluous. This team is going to succeed or fail with Geno Smith, and should the latter occur; we will be drafting a quarterback quite early next year anyway. Petty certainly has some good physical tools and intangibles, but I feel more immediate needs could have been addressed with that fourth round selection.
Joe Malfa – Favorite pick: 5th round, 142nd overall — Brandon Marshall and Zac Stacy
When you evaluate a draft class, it is easy to pay so much attention to the selections themselves that a trade like this gets overlooked. Rather than drafting a backup offensive lineman in the 5th round (which he did anyway after making the trade with the Texans), Maccagnan traded the pick for a proven All-Pro receiver and a 7th round pick. On day three of the draft, he traded that 7th round pick for Zac Stacy, who struggled in year two but had a stellar rookie season. Williams, Smith, and Mauldin will all be starters and maybe even stars one day, but Maccagnan got an All-Pro receiver and a talented complementary back for the price of the 142nd overall pick — you can’t do much better than that.
Least favorite pick: Bryce Petty
I’ll jump on the Petty-bandwagon here as my least favorite pick, but I’ll keep the explanation short since I would just be echoing what everyone else has said. He was a system QB in college that may not translate to the NFL, and the pick will only add fuel to the QB controversy fire as camp approaches.
Johnny Regina – Favorite pick: Devin Smith
Piece by piece this new Jets offense is coming along beautifully. Smith is the missing puzzle piece the Jets have been looking for year after year. He adds the deep threat and speed element which will open up the offense for a variety of more plays and options. Smith isn’t a one trick pony either. Looking back at his film, you will see a good football player with good speed, hands and explosiveness. He will provide instant impact on day 1 and he will eventually develop into a stud WR.
Least Favorite: Petty
I tried to convince myself into thinking this would be a decent pick, but I just couldn’t hop on the Petty fan boat. The horrible value is what really gets to me. I have a 6th round grade on him, and that’s where he would usually go in a average QB draft class. Since this draft class was QB depleted, Petty got the phone call a little too early. My preference for QBs coming out of college are the type that can make reads and throw tough passes into tight coverage. Petty is not that guy. And ultimately, all QBs need to mold themselves into that type in order to have a successful career. He will need a year or two before he can even be discussed for a starting role. And I think I speak for 99% of Jets fans when I say no #freepetty tweets until the 2017 season.