The New York Jets got the best player in the draft for the second time in three years under General Manager Mike Maccagnan by selecting LSU Safety Jamal Adams. This was a great pick coupled with some luck, as Adams should not have been on the board at 6. Repeat it after me: Jamal Adams is not a box safety. We’ll do a deeper dive into how Adams fits on this roster in the next day or so, but with this article we’ll take a look at who the best pick at 39, 70, and 107 are for the Jets tonight. I will also provide you the worst case scenario, aside from not making a pick at all, for these picks.
Best Case for 39
Who: Washington CB Kevin King
Why: Getting the 21st player on my big board at 39 is actually a bigger steal than taking Adams at 6. King is a big and physical cornerback that pairs nicely with Morris Claiborne to give the Jets a potentially dynamic duo. King has the prototypical size that Head Coach Todd Bowles likes and, with the drafting of Adams in round one and King in round two, the Jets have now gone a long way towards rebuilding the secondary. The reason I did not take King’s teammate Sidney Jones is because King doesn’t have the injury concerns that Jones does, and while a lot of people think the Jets not being competitive in 2017 means they can wait on Jones they could just take the similarly graded prospect without the injury concerns.
Worst Case for 39
Who: Michigan State DT Malik McDowell
Why: McDowell is a disruptive defensive tackle that would go a long way towards improving an already talented group on the defensive line, it is precisely because of that talented defensive line that the Jets should steer clear. The lack of need coupled with the red flags that McDowell brings with him make this a bad pick all around. The Jets, even with the eventual trade of Sheldon Richardson, have four starting caliber defensive linemen. McDowell shouldn’t be in consideration.
Best Case Scenario for 70
Who: Auburn DE Carl Lawson
Why: Once a first round staple in most mock drafts, the pass rusher fell out of the first round and may fall out of the second round as well. If so, the Jets need to run to the podium and draft the player I ranked 15 on my big board. When teams make aggressive moves for perceived needs, talent falls and that’s what’s happening here with Lawson (in combination with concerns about his foot). A relentless motor, and a knack for getting to the quarterback with an alarming rate, Lawson would upgrade the pass rush and entire defense and fill the almost-decade long need for edge rusher.
Worst Case Scenario for 70
Who: RB James Conner
Why: I am a big fan of Conner’s story and think he has the chance to be a productive back in the NFL. I am not a fan of taking him this high, and think the Jets run the risk of missing an opportunity to add someone that would represent better value with this pick. There will be Jets fans clamoring for offense at all costs with this pick if the Jets go defense in round two, but its important that Maccagnan stay true to his board and take the best player available.
Who: TE Bucky Hodges
Why: Hodges represents, at 6’7″ and 245 pounds, a massive target in the middle of the field for Christian Hackenberg. While Hodges is till learning the nuances of the position, adding him to what is hands down the worst TE group in the league is a coup at 107. On athleticism alone, Hodges can contribute right away. Once he gets the nuances of the position down, and with Offensive Coordinator John Morton coming from offensive systems that value the tight end position, the sky is the limit.
Worst Case Scenario for 107
Who: OT/OG Nico Siragusa
Why: Much like the clamoring from Jets fans to take an offensive player in round two, the noise has also become about the Jets offensive line and how badly the Jets need to improve there. All five of the Jets presumptive starters are under 28 years old and ignoring the TE position to draft an offensive lineman that will probably not play for at least two years isn’t how you spend this pick. Siragusa is also better suited to play inside, where the two best offensive linemen for the Jets currently play. This would be a bad selection.
39. Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
70. Florida CB Teez Tabor
107. Iowa TE George Kittle
Photo Credit: NFL.com