In this new bi-weekly article series, I take a 12-line look at 4 topics that #JetsTwitter has tweeted about that has caught my eye. If I favorite your tweet, it’s probably because I thought your tweet was either so on point 100 emojis wouldn’t suffice or so crazy that an “I see” wasn’t enough. Let’s kick this thing right off with quarter number one…
Think about how different you would’ve felt about this past season if the New York Jets had drafted Paxton Lynch and Deion Jones last year instead of Darron Lee and Christian Hackenberg. Instead of having to trot Ryan Fitzpatrick out there repeatedly with no hope for the future, the Jets could’ve held firm to their plan to develop Lynch ()instead of Hackenberg) with an eye towards this season becoming the starting QB. Jones was better than Lee last year, and would make moving on from David Harris much easier to do considering Jones would’ve shown you enough.
A defense led by Leonard Williams, Muhammed Wilkerson, Jones, and Jordan Jenkins is much more exciting, and when you couple that with an offense led by Paxton Lynch, Quincy Enunwa, Brian Winters, and Robby Anderson then you have the makings of a true rebuild with young pieces that can grow together. With Lynch and Jones the picks last year, then the Jets could take a player like Dalvin Cook at #6. Instead, every position is arguably on the table right now as we barrel towards the draft. It’s more evidence that the draft is the ultimate crapshoot and that one pick not immediately working out can really throw your plans for the next draft for a loop. Its why you see guys like Reuben Foster mentioned as options for the Jets.
With that thought process, imagine if the Jets had not drafted Leonard Williams and instead taken Marcus Peters the year before. A lot of people like to harp on Vic Beasley needing to be the pick and, while I love Beasley, I would have taken Peters at #6 had Williams been off the board. I loved the Leo pick because at that point there was no guarantee Wilkerson or Richardson would be on the team. With that said, say the Jets core defense entering this offseason would be Peters, Jones, Jenkins, Wilkerson, and Richardson.
How much easier would it be for the Jets to move on from Darrelle Revis knowing they have a shutdown corner waiting in the wings? This would allow them to add a player like Derek Barnett to be the edge rusher they’ve needed for a long time, or the playmaking safety in Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams. It’s a different looking defense for sure, and the middle of the Jets defense in particular with Wilkerson, Adams, and Jones becomes one of the better and younger middles in the NFL. It’s partly why I laugh when people say the Jets shouldn’t take a defensive player in round one and point to Williams like the better alternative wouldn’t have been a defensive player. The Jets just need to take the right guys, regardless of what side of the ball they play.
Continuing THAT thought process, I would take Jamal Adams at 6 because I think he’s the best player in the draft and he brings something to the back end of the Jets defense that they haven’t had in forever. I wouldn’t take Solomon Thomas because he looks like a guy that ends up overdrafted and never produces. You’ll see alot of people talk up Thomas’s impressive measurables but I wouldn’t touch him at 6 when there are guys that will be more productive.
You know who else probably has a chance to do that? Marshon Lattimore from Ohio State. Darrelle Revis is the best corner i’ve ever watched college film on, with Marcus Peters a close second. Prediciting cornerback success for college prospects is tough if you’re not a once in a generation talent like Revis and Peters. The next level guys, like Eli Apple (who was very good last year) or Jalen Ramsey (also good), have their success hindering on ALOT of other things (in the case above Apple more than Ramsey). I always question guys that skyrocket up boards or when people’s scouting opinions change so drastically because someone else is now pushing that prospect. Stick to your opinions and use additional film to either supplement or improve upon your vision of that prospect. Otherwise, you end up with so many different thoughts about a prospect within one scouting report. And then it gets weird.
I can’t remember a more polarizing QB in a draft than Christian Hackenberg over the last almost decade, and that doesn’t change just because the Jets drafted him. Over the span Johnny Manziel, Geno Smith, another Carr, and multiple QBs were taken but none had the questions Hackenberg did. A lot of that has to do with the spot he was taken in, and Jet fans have flocked to both call the guy a bust and label him the messiah all within the same season.
He hasn’t played yet, and him turning into a franchise player would really make Maccagnan and Bowles’s job that much easier because there is no substitute for having a franchise QB. I know me personally, I hope Hackenberg is successful and he very well might be. I just don’t think it will happen, and I would hate for the Jets to pass on a better prospect like Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes because they think Hackenberg is a sure thing. It’s actually kind of similar to the Jet fans who, with the benefit of hindsight, hate that the Jets passed on Derek Carr (who wasn’t very good coming out) because Geno Smith had just completed a really good end to his rookie season. The difference is that Smith actually showed you something, whereas Hackenberg has shown you absolutely nada. The Jets have a plan though, and we will find out how hellbent on sticking to it they are.
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