With the NFL Draft just concluded, we’ll have grades and analysis of the picks and UDFAs over the next few weeks, but it’s also never too late to start to think about 2019 and who the New York Jets could target with their first round pick. I won’t pretend to know where that will land, but I do anticipate that four teams will be looking for quarterbacks next year (Dolphins, Bengals, Saints, and Washington). This will undoubtedly push some talent down to where the Jets can land an impact player even if they’re picking in the mid-teens. Let’s take a look at who the top 32 prospects are to watch as Spring Football kicks off, and who the Jets could target.
1 – Ohio State DE Nick Bosa: At the beginning of last year, I wrote in my notes: “Nick Bosa > his brother”, and ill stick to that here. Whereas Joey Bosa is more effort than skill (not a knock, I think he gives 100% on every play), Nick Bosa is an extremely talented pass rusher who is improving every year. Adding him, as a 3-4 OLB opposite former Buckeye Jordan Jenkins is probably the most logical move, barring Kelvin Beachum’s play falling off a cliff and the Jets needing a new LT to protect their franchise QB.
2 – LSU CB Greedy Williams: With Morris Claiborne only on a one year deal, the Jets could target his replacement and the newest star from DBU would fit the bill. At 6’2”, he is a bigger cornerback (which Coach Bowles loves) and is coming off a spectacular freshman season. If he declares, he could be the first CB taken.
3 – Texas WR Collin Johnson: With Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse both entering the final years of their deal, the Jets could give Sam Darnold a big time weapon. Collin Johnson is 6’6” and 212 pounds, but has otherworld athleticism for a kid his size. Him and Enunwa would be a great tandem for Darnold to lean on, and Johnson and Robby Anderson would compliment each other well.
4 – Michigan QB Shea Patterson
5 – Houston DT Ed Oliver
6 – Ole Miss OT Greg Little: Kelvin Beachum’s contract expires after this year, and the Jets will need a LT to protect their franchise QB. Enter the best left tackle in college, and monster of a prospect at 6’6” and 332 pounds. Little will be competing with Jonah Williams this season for the distinction to be the number one tackle on everyone’s board, but for me it’s Little right now.
7 -Ole Miss WR AJ Brown
8 -Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham
9- Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson
10 -Alabama DL Raekwon Davis
11 -Florida S Chauncey Gardiner
12 -Duke CB Mark Gilbert
13 -Georgia CB Deandre Baker
14 -Missouri QB Drew Lock
15- Alabama OT Jonah Williams
16- USC LB Cameron Smith
17 -Clemson DE Christian Wilkins: The Jets could be in the market for a DE opposite Leo Williams, and Wilkins would be a great addition to the defensive line. With Steve McClendon getting older and maybe on the way out, and Nathan Shepherd could slide in to replace McClendon while Wilkins becomes the full time starting DE.
18 -Washington OT Trey Adams
19 -Michigan DE Rashan Gary
20 -Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence
21- Oregon QB Justin Herbert
22- Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell
23-Clemson OT Mitch Hyatt
24 -Miami EDGE Joe Jackson
25- Miami CB Michael Jackson
26– Kentucky LB Josh Allen: Allen reminds me of new Buffalo Bill Tremaine Edmunds, and I think that he could be a great addition to the Jets front seven. While he is currently an ILB, his athleticism and speed would make him a very effective edge rusher in this defense.
27 -Western Michigan CB Sam Beal
28- South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel
29 -Alabama EDGE Terrell Lewis
30 -Miami WR Ammon Richards
31 -Mississippi State EDGE Montez Sweat
32 – Wisconsin OL Michael Deiter