The Jets hired Adam Gase yesterday and the fan base is distraught. Let me calm you down with a nice seven round mock (with trades). As always, it’s done with the FanSpeak model. It can be a little flawed but I tried to be as realistic as possible with the picks and rounds.
Round 1, Pick 7 (from Jax): Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
The Jaguars trade up to get their guy in Dwayne Haskins which puts the Jets in an interesting spot. With Nick Bosa, Clelin Ferrell, Josh Allen and Jonah Williams off the board, they’re still in position to draft an elite edge rusher. Brian Burns has been a draft darling of mine all season long. I got the chance to watch him in person at Syracuse and the one main takeaway I had was he consistently looked like the best player on the field for either team.
He has refined pass rush moves, incredible bend and an elite first step to go along with great motor. His weak side pursuit was something that stood out to me watching him in person. It was similar to the way Sheldon Richardson was for the Jets in the fact that he always seemed to be around the ball for tackles. The main concern with him is filling out his frame. If he can do that, the Jets might end up with the best pass rusher not named Nick Bosa.
Round 2, Pick 38 (from Jax): Yodney Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
Getting a second round pick from Jacksonville is huge in taking the steps to rebuild. Now we start giving Sam Darnold some help. I don’t think Cajuste falls to 38 but he was available and a no brainer pick. Cajuste is a nice consolation prize for missing out on Jonah Williams; he’s a tough SOB that can develop into a longtime starter for the Jets.
He needs some work in pass pro but he’s already great in run blocking and his traits are desirable for a potential long term option at tackle. The Jets need to revamp their offensive line and this is a very good start to that project.
Round 2, Pick 59 (from IND): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Whether or not the Jets ultimately end up with Le’Veon Bell doesn’t have any impact on this next pick. If you haven’t jumped on the Josh Jacobs bandwagon, now’s your chance. Listed 5’10”, 216 pounds, Jacobs is a bull. He’s strong enough to run in between the tackles and shifty enough in open field to make guys miss. He’s got great hands and is willing to take on hits to get an extra three or four yards.
Is Jacobs a Bell clone? No. But he has some qualities of Bell. If you miss on Bell, this would be one hell of a consolation prize.
Round 3, Pick 68: AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Brown falling into the third would be a helluva value pick to get Sam Darnold some help. Quincy Enunwa is great in the slot but with his size and tenacity, I think the Jets need to use more outside. That’s where Brown steps in. Brown is more of a between the numbers receiver and is slippery after the catch. He has very strong hands and isn’t afraid to take that hit in the middle of the field. A reliable slot receiver that can take advantage of linebackers and some nickel corners.
Round 3, Pick 69 (from Jax): Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State
The center position is going to be a position of need this offseason. Matt Paradis from Denver is a popular name but he’s coming off of a fractured fibula. Elgton Jenkins has a high football IQ, which is what you want as the head of your offensive line. He doesn’t have that Nick Mangold toughness and is better suited in a zone blocking scheme but he would be a formidable upgrade from Spencer Long.
Round 3, Pick 96 (from NO): Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
It was apparent for most of the season that the Jets need to bolster their cornerback depth. Boyd has been someone I have enjoyed watching every chance I get to. He’s sticky in man coverage and a willing, aggressive tackler. Boyd has one of those attitudes where he’s going to tackle you by any means necessary.
He has good ball skills but his hands don’t match those skills. He is willing to play man and won’t lineup ten yards off on 3rd and 6. Could develop into a starting corner.
Round 4, Pick 99: Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma
Samia certainly has the look of a guard. He was part of a stellar offensive line this season at Oklahoma. Samia is a powerful, nasty guard that is looking to take your head off when he pulls. His lateral quickness is a bit slow but his speed can negate that on some plays. A very good run blocker who was tasked with protecting Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, two mobile quarterbacks similar to Darnold.
Round 5, Pick 130: Zach Gentry, TE, Michigan
Chris Herndon is the clear TE1 (possible suspension aside). Jordan Leggett ain’t it and Eric Tomlinson shouldn’t play another down for the team. Gentry is a solid TE2 option with his route running and ability to catch a contested ball. He’s 6’7″ and while his blocking isn’t anything special, he’s best served as a receiving tight end.
Round 7, Pick 195: Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia
If Hardman is available in Round 7, I’m taking him no questions asked. He’s fast. Like, really fast. When he hits that second gear, there’s maybe a handful of people who can catch up to him. Hardman is an athletic freak, with big hops to match the burner speed. He’s more of a gadget player than an actual receiver at this point but you can’t teach speed and I would love to see him get behind defenses in Green and White.