New York Jets 2015 Draft Class – Final Thoughts

Joe Caporoso wraps up the New York Jets 2015 NFL Draft with final thoughts on their haul and preliminary grades

The New York Jets 2015 NFL Draft is in the books. Let’s recap each addition, how they could potentially fit and who they may resemble at the next level…GIFs included, of course. Make sure to listen in at 7PM tonight when myself, Connor Rogers and Dalbin Osorio break down the weekend and answer your questions. Call in at 347-215-8903

Round 1 (6th overall) – Leonard Williams, Defensive End, USC: Arguably the top “value” pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. It was surprising to see Williams available at 6th overall. After fielding calls about trading down, the Jets decided to stay pat and take the best overall player left on their board, without allowing their current roster construction to influence the pick. Chase Stuart did a strong analysis of his likely usage and we agree that Williams will begin as the third leg of an immensely talented defensive end rotation with Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. Yes, there will be looks that feature all three and a variety of fronts integrated but Williams, Richardson and Wilkerson will be at their best playing defensive end, while Damon Harrison is the nose tackle, particularly in run situations.

Pro Comparison: Ceiling = what Sheldon Richardson’s game is approaching. Floor = poor man’s Muhammad Wilkerson.

Round 2 (37th overall) – Devin Smith, Wide Receiver, Ohio State: The best vertical receiver in the 2015 NFL Draft and a strong value selection at the top of the second round, which also happened to fill an area of need. Do not fall into lazy Smith/Stephen Hill comparisons, Smith is not a track star who looks like he is trying to catch a boulder with the sun in his eyes on deep passes. He has a natural ability to position his body and attack the football down the field. Simply put, Smith was a touchdown and big play machine for the defending National Champions. He needs to flesh out the rest of his route tree and will have the ability to do that in 2015 as a situational deep threat behind Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

Pro Comparison: DeSean Jackson

Round 3 (82nd overall) – Lorenzo Mauldin, Edge, Louisville: Our Bob Scarinci broke down Mauldin pre-draft here. Outside of being of the great stories in this year’s class, Mauldin was projected by most as a late 2nd or 3rd round pick. The Jets were able to obtain him despite moving back 12 spots in round three. Mauldin should be able to work himself into the Jets edge rotation this season alongside Calvin Pace, Quinton Coples, Jason Babin and IK Enemkpali, while contributing immediately on special teams. Mauldin is a solid enough prospect to project as a likely 2016 starter.

Pro Comparison: Jason Worilds

Round 4, (103 overall) – Bryce Petty, Quarterback, Baylor: This is a solid breakdown of Petty, who was appropriately a day three pick. The Baylor product is going to need time to develop, which it sounds like the Jets are willing to give him. There are major questions if his game can transition to the NFL but he has tools to work with and hopefully under Chan Gailey can develop into somebody who competes for playing time in 2016 or 2017. He was a fourth round pick for a reason so temper your expectations.

Pro Comparison: Poor man’s Andy Dalton

Round 5, (152 overall) – Jarvis Harrison, Offensive Guard, Texas A&M: Our Mike Nolan discussed Harrison pre-draft here and fellow offensive line expert Lance Zierlin had this to say about him:

Not bad for a 5th rounder, no? Hopefully, Harrison gets attached to Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s hip and learns how to be a professional. The Jets have a glut of guards right now but not proven answers at the position.

Pro Comparison: John Greco

Round 7 (223 overall) – Deon Simon, NT, Northwestern State: Here is an encouraging read on Simon, who has an intriguing skill set coming out of a small school. He sets up for the perfect red-shirt opportunity in New York, where he is likely to be a practice squad player as a rookie due to the Jets loaded defensive line.

Pro Comparison: Very, very poor man’s Dontari Poe

Acquired via trade – DeVier Posey, WR, Houston Texans: A nice little throw in on the Jets maneuver back in the third round. Posey has good measureables but never developed into anything consistent with the Texans. Clearly, Mike Maccagnan was a fan of him in the war room back in 2012. He will battle for a roster spot with Quincy Enunwa, Shaq Evans, Chris Owusu and TJ Graham.

Acquired via trade – Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis RamsAcquired for a 7th round pick, Stacy was nearly a 1,000 yard back only back in 2013. He joins a crowded backfield but brings proven NFL production, although he is a less talented runner than Chris Ivory and Stevan Ridley. Stacy’s chances of making the roster will depend on his summer and how healthy Ridley actually is when camp gets here. For now, enjoy the depth.

Undrafted Free Agents

  • S, Durrell Eskridge, Syracuse
  • TE, Wes Saxton, South Alabama
  • DE, Jordan Williams, Tennessee
  • DE, Davon Walls, Lincoln
  • LB, Taiwan Jones, Michigan State
  • DE, Deion Barnes, Penn State
  • QB, Jake Heaps, Miami
  • OT, Antonio Johnson, North Texas
  • CB, Greg Henderson, Colorado

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports