It’s that time of the year, one of my favorite annual traditions: a seven round mock draft for the New York Jets…
Round 1: Noah Spence, EDGE, Eastern Kentucky
I’ll be honest here and say landing Spence at 20 is a bit of a ‘dream’ scenario for the Jets. He had substance abuse issues at Ohio State, but it appears he’s put that fully behind him and will dominate the draft process. Spence is a top 5-10 player in this class for me and only behind Joey Bosa in the pass-rushing group. Here is my scouting report on the stand out from Eastern Kentucky:
Explosive burst off the snap and incredible athlete. Advanced hand use for a college player. Good IQ – does not overcommitt in his rush to give up running lanes. Similar skillset to Broncos Von Miller – biggest issue is dark past at Ohio State where he failed multiple drug tests due to the use of ecstacy. If Spence stays clean (and I fully believe he will), he’s a top 10 player in the draft.
Round 2: Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
Paul Perkins – pretty deadly if given any space, so shifty: pic.twitter.com/JGjccRAUoN
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) January 13, 2016
The Jets are going to have to get creative to replenish their running back corps, as Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, and Bilal Powell are all set to hit free agency.Perkins has a great build at 5’11, 200 pounds with plenty of speed, wiggle and vision to produce big runs from the inside and outside.
He had a fantastic 2015 season, forcing 73 missed tackles including three games where he forced double digit missed tackles. His impact in the passing game is underrated as he’s hauled in 56 passes over the last two seasons and is deadly in space. The Jets need to find a workhorse at running back and after Ezekiel Elliott, Perkins is a great option in this draft class.
Round 3: Deion Jones, LB, LSU
The Jets desperately need to get younger and more athletic at the linebacker position. Taking Lorenzo Mauldin in the third round last year was a good start at upgrading one of the edges, but David Harris needs an athletic inside backer alongside him.
Enter Jones, who although a bit undersized at 6’1, 230, brings a skill set sorely needed in helping in coverage across the middle of the field and in the flats. The senior was ultra productive stepping in for Kwon Alexander in 2015 and might end up as another draft steal out of LSU.
Round 4: K.J. Dillon, DB, West Virginia
While at face value the Jets secondary looks deep, they need to start rounding out depth right now for a few reasons. The first being, Antonio Cromartie’s days in New York are not for long. Second, how much can the team expect out of Dee Milliner? Marcus Williams has been a nice find, but loading up on bigger, versatile defensive backs is always a good idea on day 3 of the draft.
The 6’1, 200 pound Dillon played a lot of ‘big nickel’ and even hybrid outside linebacker for West Virginia. He is extremely physical in coverage and has a pretty good nose for the ball. While his transition into being the Jets next tight end eraser might take a year or two of development, he would have an instant impact on special teams as both a gunner and punt returner.
Round 5: Paul McRoberts, WR, SE Missouri State
McRoberts comes from small Southeastern Louisiana, but the 6’3 wide out can only fly under the radar for so long. He fights for the ball very well in man coverage, racking up a ton of spectacular catches throughout his college career while also displaying great YAC ability.
The Jets have a ‘type’ at wide out – just look at the trio of Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Quincy Enunwa in the passing game (and the lack of Jeremy Kerley). McRoberts fits the size filter while being a good enough athlete to take on as the fifth wide receiver in 2016.
Round 6: Traded to Texans in Ryan Fitzpatrick Deal
Round 7: Tom Hackett, P, Utah
The 2015 Ray Guy Award winner had a fantastic season for Utah and honestly, can anyone watch another year of Ryan Quigley?
Photo Credit: PennLive.com