We’re a quarter of the way through the Jets season (it goes by faster every year) and the needs for the team have glaringly come to light. It’s never too early, especially covering this team, for a mock draft. So here’s a quarter season mock draft addressing some of those needs. (Done with TheDraftNetwork.com Mock Draft Machine)
Round 1, Pick 4: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Chase Young was still available at this point and so was Jerry Jeudy. In a perfect world, the offensive line protecting your franchise quarterback needs more of an oil change heading into his third season as opposed to having to buy a whole new car. Yet here we are with the Jets most likely needing to revamp their entire offensive line going into Darnolds third year.
The Jets can’t keep penny pinching when it comes to important positions. Spend the draft capital to protect Darnold. Beachum is on his way out and acquiring a franchise left tackle in a trade or free agency is nearly impossible. Thomas has the makings of a franchise tackle and a guy that will be here protecting Darnolds blindside throughout his entire time with the franchise.
Round 2, Pick 36: Alton Robinson, Edge, Syracuse
Leonard Williams shouldn’t be given a second contract and, similar to premium offensive tackles, top tier edge rushers don’t shake free to the open market. After addressing the biggest need on the offense, we address the biggest need on defense. You can get by with average cornerbacks if you can get pressure up front.
Quinnen Williams should round into form as the season rolls on and pairing him with an edge like Robinson should give the Jets a 1-2 punch that we thought would come about with Quinnen and Leo. Robinson isn’t a finished product (he needs to add more inside moves to his arsenal) but with an explosive first step, great measurables and the framework in his game to become a great pass rusher, Robinson is a no brainer if he’s available here.
Round 3, Pick 68: Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
The Jets are going to need more wide receiver depth. Quincy Enunwa hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy, Demaryius Thomas shouldn’t be here next year and after that? A whole bunch of JAGs. Johnson has phenomenal hands (he wins at the catch point and in traffic routinely) and is following up his 78-1169-12 year with a solid 28-350-5 this year. A guy who looks like a natural at the position and runs smoothly, Johnson would be a nice WR3 for Darnold and co.
Round 4, Pick 100: Logan Stenberg, IOL, Kentucky
The offensive line is going to be fixed in one offseason. The Jets are going to need to explore every avenue to come away with five viable starters. But they also can’t be content with the five guys who are starting every week. We’ve seen time and time again that while the Jets may be fine when it comes to starters, depth has been a plaguing issue. Stenberg is a guy whose stock has been rising this season. Tony Pauline described him as an “immovable force”, which is something you typically like to hear when he’s going to be protecting your quarterback.
Taking an offensive lineman this late is usually for depth. I typically like my Olineman to come from schools where there is nothing within 100 miles of them or have a bad ass name. Coming from Kentucky doesn’t fit that first criteria but “Logan Sternberg” sounds like a guy you don’t want to mess with.
Round 5, Pick 132: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
The Jets have fallen into a trap of picking corners in late rounds instead of addressing the need earlier and…well we’ve seen how that’s worked out. Unfortunately, there weren’t any corners I was willing to take ahead of the previous picks. Damon Arnette is a two year starter on a couple of loaded Ohio State defenses. He is a smart corner who is versatile enough to play in the slot and on the outside. He’s limited athletically but on the flip side, he’s smart enough to know and won’t put himself in positions he knows will hinder the team. Arnette could be a rotational depth piece moving forward.
Round 6, Pick 163: Kendall Coleman, Edge, Syracuse
Taking one edge rusher is simply not enough for a team that’s been starving for a consistent pass rush. So why not take the other Syracuse edge to pair with Quinnen and Robinson? Syracuse has produced some elite pass rushers (Dwight Freeney and Chandler Jones, ever heard of them?) and Coleman is a Day 3 guy who can find his way into the rotation. In 2018, he had 12 TFL and 10 sacks alongside Robinson. He’s following that up with a modest 3.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks this season. Getting good/great edges is hard this late but Coleman could pay dividends down the road.
Round 7, Pick 195: Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
Save your “why would we draft a quarterback when we have Sam Darnold?” takes for someone else. Did you see the way Luke Falk played? Ehlinger won’t be competing with Darnold for starting time but in the case that Darnold misses time again, Ehlinger might be a guy who can hold it down. He’s tough as nails, can run outside of the pocket and has been improving as a passer as the year progresses. If he comes out this season, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a flier on him.