We’re heading into the last quarter of the season with the Jets have more holes to fill on the roster than stable positions. It’s been a long tumultuous season filled with some ups but mostly downs. Joe Douglas has his work cut out for him and he needs to hit on a high rate of players not only in free agency, but complementing a good free agency period with a very good draft. I took a stab at filling some needs for the 2020 Jets. (draft done with TDN Mock Simulator with their TDN predictive board).
Round 1, Pick 9: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
With Chase Young and Andrew Thomas off the board, the Jets get their potential long term fix at tackle. CeeDee Lamb and Jeffrey Okudah were also on the board here but protecting Sam Darnold needs to be the priority for Joe Douglas going into his first offseason. Would a WR1 in Lamb be a great help for Darnold? Of course! But Darnold has proven numerous times that he can win without a true WR1 and the offensive line needs a major overhaul for him to truly reach his potential. This wide receiver class is extremely deep. Wirfs can start at either left or right tackle and instantly becomes the Jets best offensive lineman.Round 2, Pick 41: Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame
One of the other bigger needs for this Jets roster is at edge rusher, which has been written over and over again for what seems like forever. Jordan Jenkins has played well enough to earn a second contract with the team but outside of that they have no real pass rush outside of Jamal Adams. A three down rusher (you can play him on run downs too!), Okwara’s draft stock was on a steady rise before a season ending broken fibula. That might cause him to slip right to the Jets and give them much needed depth at pass rusher.
Round 3, Pick 66: Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
Give me all of the offensive lineman. The Jets should invest heavy in their offensive line in free agency (looking at you Brandon Scherff) and it shouldn’t stop there. Injuries happen, as we know all too well, and there needs to be depth that can step in without a hiccup. Depending on what happens in free agency, Smith might start initially but I don’t expect that to last long. A starter at Tennessee as a true freshman, going up against SEC pass rushers week in and week out, Smith did everything you could have asked and more. Take Smith and you have one side of your offensive line fixed.(Read this great profile from Jordan Reid on him as well and tell me you don’t want this guy protecting your QB)
Round 3, Pick 73: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Now we get into giving Darnold some weapons. Robby Anderson might not be here next season and that leaves a lot of targets/production to fill. Smith stepped on the scene by catching the game winning touchdown in the National Championship a few seasons ago and his 15 minutes of fame has been extended exponentially. In a wide receiver room with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Jaylen Waddle, Smith has compiled a gaudy stat line of 65 catches for 1200 yards and 13 (!) touchdowns this season. He’s no Sun God, but if he has to replace him, the Jets offense will be just fine.*
*There was an opportunity to possibly make a subpar joke here and I was not going to be the one to make itRound 4, Pick 105: Myles Bryant, CB, Washington
Should the Jets address corner earlier than round 4? Sure. Either by trade or by free agency, the Jets need to look to add more viable options. Arthur Maulet and Bless Austin are fun but they’re both super young and, at this point, aren’t guys you can count on to get stops consistently (just ask Andy Dalton). Bryant was a walk on at Washington and has even played some safety with the departure of guys to the NFL. He’ll most likely move back to his normal position of nickelback in the pros, but a versatile guy who can play both positions would really help this barren secondary.
Round 5, Pick 136: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Send Demaryius Thomas’ corpse off to Cabo where he can enjoy retirement and replace him with Mims. A physically gifted receiver in a high octane Baylor offense (pls come back Matt Rhule), Mims has averaged 59 catches, 942 yards and nine touchdowns a year the past three seasons. A former track star, Mims wins with speed but does have to develop his route running. A steady riser in this loaded WR class, Mims paired with Smith would provide some immediate legit pass catches for Darnold.
Round 6, Pick 168: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
A phenomenal athlete (and another former track star), Stokes would fit in perfectly with Greggg wants to do: play man to man. He has no problem contesting receivers at the catch point but due to his frame, can get beat up by more physical receivers. The learning curve is steep for corners, especially in todays era of football, but get this man in the weight room and let him compete for a backup spot.
Round 7, Pick 200: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
The Lev Bell experiment might be a one and done in New York, Bilal Powell is an ageless wonder but not a RB1 anymore and I don’t even know if Ty Montgomery is still alive from his lack of usage this season. Edwards-Helaire is one of my favorite players in this years draft. He tore up Alabamas defense in Tuscaloosa and has been a treat to watch all season. He’s got good balance, vision and can even be used out of the backfield as a receiver (not like Adam Gase will use him like that but hey, it’s an option). I’m not sure what his primary role on a team would be, but he’s a tough runner and a dude. The Jets need more dudes.