With no realistic playoff hopes, it’s time for the New York Jets to starting looking towards the future and start focusing on the 2017 NFL Draft. Here’s some potential players the Jets could be looking to add this April.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Deshaun Watson certainly caught the attention of scouts all over the country after his 47 total touchdown season one year ago. Watson was able to lead the Clemson Tigers to the National Championship game, but ultimately fell short against Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Although Clemson lost, Watson made the most of his opportunity to play against one of the best coaches/defenses in college football. He accounted for nearly 480 total yards of offensive and four touchdowns against a historic defense. That’s the type of playmaker the New York Jets have desperately needed for 10-plus years.
Current Jets quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith will most likely not be on the roster next season, leaving the team with two question marks in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Although both were drafted by the Bowles-Maccagnan regime, Watson’s potential could be too much to pass up if he’s on the board when the Jets select this April.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
One of the best players in the country since he first stepped on the field at LSU, Leonard Fournette has been a staple of the Tigers’ offense. A dangerous downhill runner, Fournette is a challenge to bring down with his size and strength. He has the explosiveness to take it to the house anytime he has the ball in his hands and has been a real headache to defenses over the past several years.
Although he hasn’t had the season that many expected him to have in 2016, he still has the talent to be an exceptional player at the next level. Fournette has been compared to future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson and has many analysts raving about him. With Matt Forte unlikely to stay for long and Bilal Powell slowly approaching 30, the Jets could use an upgrade at half back. Fournette would bring back some physicality to the Jets offense and significantly upgrade it from day one.
Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan
One of the most electric players in the country, Jabrill Peppers has made a case for himself to be a top five pick if he decides to forgo his senior season and declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. The New Jersey native has been a true weapon for the Wolverines on both offense and defense. Peppers has seen plenty of action on offense as a skill player, but the majority of his time is spent on the opposite side of the ball. He plays a unique linebacker/safety hybrid role where he will sometimes play in the front seven as a force player. He has the talent and physicality to play linebacker in nickel and dime situations and that is something that Todd Bowles would love. With his versatility, he would be an awesome player to watch in Bowles defense.
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
A freakish athlete standing at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, Cam Robinson has been a starter for the Crimson Tide since he arrived on campus several years ago. Robinson has the size, strength, and athleticism to be a successful left tackle in the NFL and boy do the Jets need one of those. He has the quickness to deal with any pass rusher that tries to beat him with speed and has the strength to anchor down and stall any defender that comes his way. In the running game, Robinson is a mauler and has a nasty attitude to go along with it. After a failed experiment with Ryan Clady at LT, Gang Green is in desperate need of some help on the offensive line and Robinson could be their saving grace.
Photo Credit: LSU.com