It’s been a busy month for the New York Jets as plenty of prospects have made the trip to Florham Park, NJ to meet with the team.
Courtesy of ESPN’s Rich Cimini, we have a partial list of some of the names that have made the trip and could be of interest to the team in the NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at each prospect and how significant the Jets interest might be in those players.
Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Allen (Wyoming), Josh Rosen (UCLA) and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
Clearly, this is what matters most. All four of these players are considered top-10 locks from what I’ve gathered and have a very good chance to all crack into the top-5.
Darnold is expected to go first overall to the Browns. That’s what I’ve heard for quite some time and no matter how much noise we’ve heard this month, anything else would be shocking.
If he does somehow fall to three, I fully expect the Jets to take him, although I’m in the minority that believes both Rosen and Mayfield are better prospects.
As for Allen, he’s too big of a risk for this regime in this market. If Buffalo trades up to two, they’ll most likely draft him. Even if he’s available at three, I don’t see this as a realistic pick for the Jets who would prefer a more pro-ready player.
Now onto the two favorites: Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield. Their workouts with the team (in California and Oklahoma) were important, but the visits are vital. This was their chance to show ownership, the front office and the coaching staff (importantly Todd Bowles and Jeremy Bates) that they could be the face of the franchise.
4th down – the fact this even had a chance is remarkable from Baker (also drew the DPI) pic.twitter.com/g52nBD0iQA
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) April 8, 2018
This is where a player like Baker Mayfield shines with his confidence, but Rosen can absolutely dominate board work with an offensive coordinator. Jeremy Bates will challenge his quarterback as much as an coach in the league, which should make his voice an important one in the conversation.
We’ll hear plenty of stories about these visits after the draft, notably on whoever gets taken. These ones matter most and right now the pick at three seems like a two man race between Rosen and Mayfield..
The Running Backs
Martez Carter (Grambling), Akrum Wadley (Iowa) and Mark Thompson (Florida)
It leaked last year that the Jets had interest in Tarik Cohen and Carter is a very similar ‘back, so this should not come as a surprise. He also brought back four kicks for touchdowns during his career at Grambling, making him a serious threat to win the return job if drafted.
Grambling's Martez Carter has some of that Tarik Cohen wiggle pic.twitter.com/3YVA8tD44L
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) November 29, 2017
Wadley is another runner with plenty of wiggle in the open field and poses a serious threat as a pass catcher. With Elijah McGuire in place, picking either of these players would come as a surprise (but would threaten Bilal Powell’s long-term future). Each are projected to be selected on day three.
As for Thompson, he’s a much different running back prospect at 6’2″, 242 lbs. For a player his size he has good acceleration, decent open field speed and a strong stiff arm. He’ll be a 7th round-UDFA projection.
Antonio Callaway (Florida), Vyncint Smith (Limestone) and Justin Watson (Penn)
Antonio Callaway is a tremendously talented player in the mold of another former Gator Percy Harvin. Unfortunately he has a terrible history of off field issues that took him from once a potential first rounder to a day three pick.
Watson and Smith are incredibly interesting players that put in rare Pro Day workouts:
Smith is 6'3"/195 lbs.
40 yd: 4.36
Vert: 39.5 inches
Broad: 130 inches
That's top notch
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) April 19, 2018
It’s pretty clear the Jets are much more interested in the high profile athletes with upside at the wide receiver position to stash on a very deep depth chart.
Derrick Nnadi (Florida State) and Jullian Taylor (Temple)
Nnadi might be viewed as ‘undersized’ at around 6’1″, 299 pounds for the interior defensive line, but he’s an incredibly impressive run defender. He would make a lot of sense if he fell to the third round as a key piece for the rotation up front.
Derrick Nnadi, don't care that he's viewed as undersized – impressive run defender, extremely strong. Will be on the field right away in a DL rotation…one of my favs outside of first 2 rounds: pic.twitter.com/1SCxGA9VSG
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) March 30, 2018
Taylor was a late riser after excellent work out numbers, displaying explosive ability to get in the back field and stop the run. He only started one year at Temple but would be a developmental 5-tech for Bowles’ defense.
Fred Warner (BYU) and Jermaine Carter (Maryland)
Another position with a trend: both of these linebackers play the position more in the ‘money ‘backer’ or ‘dime ‘backer’ style. Warner has great range, not only against the run but also his ability in coverage.
Carter is an extremely tough player with great pursuit and closing speed. Each would be ideal backups for Darron Lee and are both expected to go on day three (Warner in round four, Carter in round six).
Christian Campbell (Penn State) and Parry Nickerson (Tulane)
Campbell (6’1″) is a long corner that would be a developmental prospect for Todd Bowles’ press coverage scheme. With Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne on the outside, the Jets are currently set with starters here.
Nickerson is very intriguing as the Jets look for life after Buster Skrine at the slot cornerback spot. While Skrine will start in 2018, his long-term future with the team is not guaranteed.
Nickerson ran a 4.32 forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine and is similar to Skrine with a feisty approach playing the receiver and the ball. He’ll get drafted in the 6th or 7th round.
Photo Credit: NFL.com