In recent years I have done two versions of seven round mock drafts for the New York Jets because my guess at what Mike Maccagnan would and what I would personally do would always be very divergent. I am going to stick with one version this year which is a hybrid of what I think will happen and what I’d like to see happen…
Round 1, Pick #11 – Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, LouisvilleThe remote draft process is going to push higher floor, more pro ready players like Andrew Thomas and Jedrick Wills up the board and allow Becton to be available for the Jets at #11. My thoughts on the 11th pick are this: if one of the four top tackles are available, the Jets are taking one. If none are available, the Jets will look to trade back or potentially go edge rusher. If none of the top four are available, I would go receiver (Jeudy or Lamb) but I do not expect Joe Douglas to do that.
Round 2, Pick #48 – Lloyd Cushenberry III, Center/Guard, LSU
I am working under the assumption that this Jets regime heavily weighs the importance of offensive line and wants to make a statement by doubling up at the position early in the NFL Draft, while believing the depth is strong enough at receiver to wait until round three. Cesar Ruiz would be the dream target here but I don’t think he makes it to #48. Cushenberry will increase the Jets talent and flexibility on the interior offensive line and I believe both him and McGovern can play center or guard. The Jets paid Greg Van Roten backup money and him, Brian Winters and Alex Lewis all have major durability concerns and candidly are all slightly below average starters.Round 3, Pick #68 – Bryan Edwards, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
Edwards is a big target (6’3, 217 pounds), who will probably go a bit lower than he should because he is recovering from an injury but recent reports indicate that he should be good to go whenever football activities pick back up, which are obviously likely to be later than usual. This is a bit of a risky pick but the upside is there to find a capable, starting outside receiver on day two as Edwards has been consistently productive against top flight competition.
Round 3, Pick #79 – Donovan-Peoples-Jones, Wide Receiver, MichiganProjecting exactly which receivers will be available at this point of round three is a challenge because of how loaded the class is but the Jets should be able to get strong value here and very well may double dip at the position. DPJ has good size but had limited production in college as he was constrained by mediocre quarterback play and a generally weak supporting cast. He can play both inside and outside. Joe Douglas did not sound confident in Quincy Enunwa’s future in his last press conference. DPJ could prospectively be insurance for him not being available going forward.
Round 4, Pick #120 – Darnay Holmes, Cornerback, UCLA
The Jets move to addressing defense later in the draft by taking a swing at cornerback with Holmes, who is a tough, smart prospect that should theoretically be a strong fit in Gregg Williams defense. The Jets are hoping that Pierre Desir and Blessaun Austin can hold down the outside but Holmes can provide further depth along with Arthur Maulet and Nate Hairston, while Brian Poole mans the slot.
Round 5, Pick #158 – Antonio Gibson, Running Back/Receiver, Memphis
Stealing a pick from Connor Rogers mock draft here as the Jets look to add some late round juice to their offense. Gibson could be an immediate contributor on both offense and special teams. The Jets need more depth at running back behind Le’Veon Bell and Gibson could immediately plug in as a versatile chess piece in the running and passing game.
Round 6, Pick #191 – Trevon Hill, Edge Rusher, Miami
The Jets take a dart throw on a development edge rusher to play behind Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham and Harvey Langi. Hill has some intriguing physical traits and can hopefully contribute as a situational pass rusher early in his career.
Round 6, Pick #211 – Dane Jackson, Cornerback, Pittsburgh
The Jets double dip at cornerback with Jackson, who can potentially develop behind Brian Poole in the slot but also has enough size to contribute on the outside in the short term. He is a physical, high effort player who should also be able to plug into multiple special teams.