Joe Douglas is always on my mind whenever I peruse the aisles of my local grocery store: Trader Joe’s. I can’t help but to think about Joe’s personal draft day shopping list. We’re all familiar with team needs, but how he plans to cook up results is up for debate. Nevertheless, I can’t assume Joe is satisfied with his capital, and he will have to figuratively become Trader Joe as bartering may be the only option to fulfill the checklist. I expect the components to be anything but bland; it’ll take a mix of ingredients to create the perfect recipe for success.
Mock draft 3.0: “Trader Joe”Scenario: The “Big Four” are all of the board
Round 1 (pick 16 from ATL): Josh Jones (OT), Houston
Trade Alert!!! Jets trade picks No. 11 and 79 to Atlanta for picks No. 16, 47, and a 5th rounder in 2021
I featured Josh Jones in mock draft 2.0, and I couldn’t help but include the player I described as a gazelle trapped in a rhino’s body in my latest installment. With the “Big Four” gone, Josh Jones becomes the best available option for the Jets if they can find a trade down partner, and the Falcons have been pecking at the door.Jones fits the profile of an athletic lineman tailor-made for a zone-based system. He hasn’t been mentioned enough with the top 4 prospects in the draft, and I believe that’s unwarranted. Jones excels in both pass and run blocking, and executes his best work on the move or in space.
Round 2 (pick 47 from ATL): Jeff Gladney (CB), TCU
Gladney’s talent and versatility remain undeniable and, I hope, some “character issues” won’t prevent Joe Douglas from taking a chance on him if he’s available in the second round. Gladney is an aggressive player that leaves everything on the field. There is no questioning his passion, although it appears at times, to be both his best friend and worst enemy.
Gregg Williams has a fiery temper of his own, and some might argue he and Gladney are not a good match, but I don’t view it that way. I’d love to see Williams with a player who’ll thrive off of his energy, and Gladney is the guy to prove that iron sharpens iron.Round 2 (pick 60 from BAL): Michael Pittman Jr. (WR), USC
Trade Alert!!! Jets trade picks No. 48 and 191 to Baltimore for picks No. 60 and 92
Role: Split End, Big Slot
While watching some film on Jaylon Johnson and Bradlee Anae versus USC last season, one player stood out: Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman put on a performance and flaunted the skill set characteristic of a number one receiver: solid route running, great hands, and a unique ability to make adjustments with the ball in the air. Building off the chemistry from their days at USC, Pittman has been working out with Sam this offseason. While others may need time to adjust to new players—especially with a potentially shortened training camp—I expect the pair to immediately hit the ground running when the season starts.
Round 3 (pick 68): Jonah Jackson (IOL), Ohio State
I’m hoping either Robert Hunt or Jonah Jackson is available at this point, but I admit this scenario could very well be wishful thinking on my part. The state of this interior offensive line continues to be a concern, and adding competition is a must: Van Roten and Lewis are far from proven starters, and Brian Winters is on the mend more often than not.
Dominating defenses in both zone and gap schemes, Jonah offers a lot in terms of versatility. With experience at guard and center, Jonah’s lateral mobility remains routinely on display, and strength (28 reps on the bench press) to match his movement skills is a lethal combination. Jonah can start from day one, and acquiring him at this spot in the draft would be a steal.
Round 3 (pick 101 from SEA): Darrell Taylor (Edge), Tennessee
Trade Alert!!! Jets trade pick No. 92 (from Baltimore) to Seattle for picks No. 101 and 133
I’ve been high on Taylor from the beginning of the draft process; his ability to play defensive end in a 4-3 and OLB in a 3-4 is intriguing. Although Taylor’s skill set needs honing, he possesses all the traits necessary to dominate from the edge. It will take good coaching to unlock all he has to offer, but if he can tap into that potential watch out.
Round 4 (pick 120): Devin Duvernay (WR), Texas
Duvernay is another player I chose for the Jets in mock 2.0, and there’s a reason I have them taking him again: he’s fantastic!
Role: Flanker, Split End, Slot, RB Hybrid
Simply put, no saying helps explain Duvernay’s play style more so than Mark Twain’s, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Duvernay invites conflict and rarely goes down on the first blow; 23 missed tackles forced (tied for third in the nation) is a testament to his relentless approach. Duvernay is more of a weapon than a wide receiver and would work well in a system (like the Jets) that creates opportunities after the catch. He’s a sight to see as he becomes almost “running back-esque” on the move. His blazing speed (4.39 forty yard dash), star-caliber separation, crisp routes, and consistent hands would be a welcomed addition.
Trade Alert!!! Jets trade pick No. 133 (from Seattle) to Indianapolis for picks No. 160 and 197
Round 5 (pick 158): Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB), Vanderbilt
Zone is the name of the game, and finding players who fit the system is vital. Vaughn is one of my favorite zone fit backs in the draft. He’s not a perfect prospect, but his ability to hit the edge on stretch runs remains enticing. Vaughn has excellent vision for cut back lanes, a good burst off his plant foot, and acceleration to get to the next level; his second gear is fun to watch. Steady hands and reliable blocking make him, at the very least, a dependable option as a third-down back. Vaughn is one the more underrated RBs in the draft, and I expect he’ll have a much better pro career than collegiate.
Round 5 (pick 160 from IND): Danny Pinter (IOL), Ball State
In a recent piece, I wrote a bit about Pinter as he’s one of my favorite late-round prospects:
A potential tackle-to-guard convert Pinter is somewhat of a project, but he boasts a ton of upside. Pinter most likely isn’t a day one starter, but after a year or two in an NFL program, he has the potential to develop into a dominant player. If Pinter is available in the fourth or fifth round, I hope Joe Douglas pulls the trigger. The Jets already met with Pinter at the combine, so the interest is there. Also, PFF compared him to Joe Thuney, which is compelling.
Round 6 (pick 197 from IND): Alex Taylor (OT), South Carolina State
Alex Taylor is another late-round prospect booming with potential. The NFL Draft Network’s Joe Marino said, “Taylor is a high-end developmental lineman that features an exciting blend of size, length, and mobility that serves as a strong foundation to build upon. Patience is required but Taylor has a chance to develop into a starter or quality reserve in a year or so.”
Round 6 (pick 211): Jeff Thomas (WR), Miami
Role: Slot, Split End, PR/KR
YAC attack comes to mind immediately when thinking about Thomas. Don’t let his lack of production fool you. He’s a bona fide threat in the passing game and possesses elite vision, separation skills, and changes directions on a dime; Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler can only rival his elusiveness. Thomas has some character issues, but he’s drastically underrated, and taking a chance on him in the sixth or seventh round may pay dividends.
Round 1: Josh Jones, OT
Round 2: Jeff Gladney, CB
Round 2: Michael Pittman, WR
Round 3: Jonah Jackson, IOL
Round 3: Darrell Taylor, Edge
Round 4: Devin Duvernay, WR
Round 5: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB
Round 5: Danny Pinter, OL
Round 6: Alex Taylor, OT
Round 6: Jeff Thomas, WR