While Jets fans are excited to watch the team’s haul from the 2018 draft class, it’s never too early to see who is on the radar for next year.
With the college football season just two months away, which stars at that level could find themselves in the conversation for Gang Green next Spring?
Here’s volume one of who to watch this Fall at the college level.
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Weight: 263 lbs.
While a lot of the top player talk has centered around Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, the Jets have invested a ton in interior defensive line recently and shouldn’t have a need there.
On the outside however, there may not be a more pressing issue than an edge pass rush. Enter Nick Bosa, a savant at getting after the quarterback and shutting down the run.Much like his brother, Bosa has been a dominant force for the Buckeyes front seven early and often.
He’s technically advanced for an underclassman but also has a ton of pure skill with a blend of power and explosiveness. Before even ask, the answer is yes: he can be an even better prospect than his brother Joey was.
Bosa's hand usage makes it so difficult to gain any leverage against him – his ability to turn the corner is what helps him close out a lot of rushes
(also completely evades getting chipped off the snap with ease) pic.twitter.com/OvW3UwN68R
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) May 29, 2018
With a relentless attitude and ability to finish plays, he would be the true final piece to the puzzle of what could be a great Jets defense.
A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Weight: 225 lbs.
A strange narrative centered around the Jets this offseason is that Sam Darnold won’t have any weapons to work with. In the short-term, the duo of Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson is extremely talented as well as complimenting each other perfectly.
The long-term issue? Enunwa is set to hit free agency after this season and Robby Anderson’s off the field behavior is quite unpredictable.
It would be disappointing if both aren’t with the team for the next couple of years, but it would also be irresponsible to not keep an eye on the receiving talent in college football next year.
As for one guy you won’t be able to miss, that’s A.J. Brown out of Ole Miss. With a build and tenacity similar to the mold of Andre Johnson, he has all of the makings of a playmaking wide receiver.
First thing that jumps out with AJ Brown – plucks the ball out of the air effortlessly without losing speed. Second though⬇️ – first defender rarely ever tackles him pic.twitter.com/Bk5LvBDsX3
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) June 9, 2018
After a terrific sophomore campaign where he hauled in 75 passes for over 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns, the spotlight will be on him.
Can he produce against defenses loaded with NFL caliber talent such as LSU and Alabama? That’s the question scouts want answered before signing off on making him a top-15 selection 10 months from now.
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Weight: 301 lbs.
It’s been a weird stretch over the last two years where no offensive tackle has been billed as a ‘blue chip’ talent leading up the draft.
Jonah Williams out of Alabama is expected to change that in 2019.
He won the starting right tackle job as a freshman in 2016, then moved over to the left side as a sophomore last season. He’s been lights out as a pass protector and helped pave the way for a very impressive Crimson Tide ground attack.
Not Josh Sweat's best rep, but Jonah Williams is so fluid that he makes it look easy in pass pro at times: pic.twitter.com/hXLXfH24Ve
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) June 11, 2018
With an adequate build, impressive athleticism and discipline Williams has set the bar high for the 2019 offensive tackle class.
Teams will be thrilled to see a prospect in next year’s class that can keep their quarterback upright, making Williams an early safe pick to go in the top 10 next Spring.
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Weight: 182 lbs.
In a league where defensive coordinators place a premium on corners with length that thrive in man coverage, Greedy Williams is going to find his draft stock soaring before his Junior season even begins.
Playing in an LSU defense loaded with talent, the underclassman still found a way to stand out by disrupting wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and making a play on the ball early and often.
Greedy Williams has the look of a star in multiple games from last year – length, light feet, sees everything so well.
He's coming for this ball before the WR even knows it's on the way: pic.twitter.com/UKyGIFOBaV
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) May 18, 2018
With great feet for his size and a quick click and close heading downhill, his sophomore tape flashed number one cornerback ability. SEC quarterbacks would be wise to throw away from him this year as he’s poised to make them pay yet again.
Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State
Weight: 181 lbs.
There won’t be a better athlete in any college football secondary to watch this season than Levonta Taylor. He’s a sub 4.4 forty-yard dash runner that can jump through the gym, which helps him maximize his instincts on the field in coverage.
Levonta Taylor reading the QB all the way – comes off one target in the flat for the pick six. Quick, twitchy CB with great long speed – pic.twitter.com/KdUzoBwKzW
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) May 15, 2018
Much like Denzel Ward last year, Taylor thrives with his ability to mirror and match every step of the opposition. After a shutdown season in 2017, he’s firmly in the conversation as one of the best corner’s in the 2019 class.
Devin White, LB, LSU
Weight: 240 lbs.
It’s been quite the resurgence for off-ball linebackers in the draft with a total of seven being taken in the first round over the last two years. With a big Junior year season, Devin White has a very good chance to find himself in that conversation.
The converted running back is a specimen of an athlete, but as he’s gained more experience at the position his instincts have improved as well.
White is going to be one of the 'must watch' defenders in SEC this year. 2 years as a college LB now, still a bit raw but making giant strides at the position – he's simply one of the best athletes on the field
4.5 type speed and will prob play at 250 lbs. pic.twitter.com/kPBT9V9th4
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) May 17, 2018
Scouts I’ve talked to see him as an early round two player right now, but after seeing the jump Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds, Leighton Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans made last year to come off the board in round one, the arrow may only be pointing up for White going forward.