The New York Jets season has ended and for the ninth straight season, there will be no playoffs. There is a massive amount of work to be done in the offseason. Barring anything insane happening, Adam Gase will be back for 2020. The roster needs a major overhaul at several key positions but there also needs to be depth added. The Jets have long been one injury away from starting practice squad level players. I took a stab at a post Week 17 mock to see if we can add some pieces that hopefully can push this team into the playoff hunt. (Mock draft done with The Draft Network mock draft machine).
Round 1, Pick 11: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
On the surface, this could be the worst case scenario for the Jets. Thomas, Wirfs and Willis are all gone at OT while Jeudy and Lamb are also off the board. At pick 11, you might be able to get good value for a QB needy team depending on how the board breaks but for this exercise there was no trades.
Simmons is listed as a LB but is not your typical LB. In addition, he can play at safety and has also lined up against slot receivers. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has described him as unicorn and that’s a perfect way of putting it. Simmons is similar to Jamal Adams in that he can play all over the field without dropping off in production. Would this be a popular pick? No considering the Jets previous draft history. However, Simmons is a special talent (and thankfully not at interior DL) and is athletic enough to pay three or four positions on defense.
Round 2, Pick 43: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Now we get to fixing the offense. Assuming the Jets make some free agency moves to retool the offensive line, there will still be work to do. Becton has a chance to be the starting LT of the Jets future. Becton is 6’7″, 369 and moves very well for his size. He’s thiccc and strong as hell; he knows how to use his size. He’s a bully in the trenches with his size and combined with the aforementioned movement skills, he has a ridiculously high ceiling. The Jets will solve at least one piece on the OL with this pick.
Round 3, Pick 68: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Arthur Maulet and Bless Austin have been pleasant surprises for this Jets secondary. Both guys have the tools to be potential starting CBs moving forward and one of the most exciting things about those guys is their willingness to tackle and deliver some big hits. Gladney is a tough, physical guy who also has no issues tackling anywhere on the field. A strong cover corner who can contribute on special teams, Gladney paired with Austin/Maulet + a FA signing would be a massive upgrade next season.
Round 3, Pick 75: Solomon Kindley, IOL, Georgia
Fixing the OL extends deeper than just the tackles. The interior is going to need a major retooling, at the starter level and for depth. Kindley is a monster of a man (6’4″, 336 pounds) who uses his hands well and has a thick base. He moves well laterally for his size but if he could sacrifice some pounds for increased mobility, he could become a staple along with Becton in protecting Sam Darnold.
Round 4, Pick 107: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Getting rid of Le’Veon Bell would be a gigantic mistake. It’s frustrating to watch a coach not be able to scheme enough plays for a HOF level talent to get going. However it seems very likely that Bell is on his way which leaves RB as a position of need. Harris is a tough runner who loves and embraces contact. He’s a pain to tackle at the second level and has shown some elusiveness in the open field. He doesn’t have much production but Adam Gase doesn’t believe in throwing to running backs anyways so it’s a moot point. Harris’ balance and ability to fall forward on runs make him a nice chess piece for this offense.
Round 5, Pick 138: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
Whether or not the Jets re sign Robby Anderson doesn’t dismiss the need for getting more weapons for Darnold at wide receiver. Claypool is a big target at 6’4″, 229 pounds and knows how to use his size to win. He already has a pretty well versed route tree but isn’t the fastest guy at his size. That might not be that big of an issue but having a big receiver who can make all types of catches is huge plus, especially in the red zone.
Round 6, Pick 170: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
More. Weapons. For. Sam. Darnold.
Mims catch is ridiculous and he’s a former track athlete. He’s a physical and willing blocker which is an added plus for guys coming out of college. The route tree is something he will have to continue to develop, as his is limited as of now. Having a guy who can consistently go up and get it is a good kind of guy to have, considering some of the frustrating drops we’ve seen with Jets wide receivers this year.
Round 7, Pick 202: Kendall Coleman, Edge, Syracuse
The production hasn’t quite been there this season for Coleman opposite of Alton Robinson (who also has had a down year) but you’re not expecting a 7th round edge to immediately step in and break sack records. Coleman could be a useful piece opposite Jordan Jenkins, whoever the Jets sign in free agency and the young upstart defensive lineman we saw emerge this season.