With the first round in the books, and the Jets filling their massive hole at left tackle with a massive man in Mekhi Becton, all eyes turn to day two and three. This is where Joe Douglas can really make the moves he needs to try and end an almost decade-length playoff drought. The Jets enter day 2 with the following needs unfilled: Wide Receiver, EDGE, and Cornerback. They could, also, fortify their Interior Offensive Line group by taking a guard or adding a Center and moving newly-signed Center Connor McGovern to guard. Here’s 4 long-form thoughts that can serve as a guide for Day 2, and then a day 2 mock draft for Gang Green.
- Lets begin with the pass catchers, because Breshad Perriman, Jameson Crowder, and Braxton Berriors is not it right now, and Joe Douglas and Adam Gase need to add a pro-ready talent at the top of this WR group. The best WRs available, in order, are Tee Higgings (25th Overall), Michael Pittman, Jr (39th Overall), KJ Hamler (47th Overall), Laviska Shenault (55th Overall), and Tyler Johnson (62nd Overall). Out of those 5, four of them are ready to contribute day one (Higgins, Pittman Jr, Hamler, and Shenault), while the 5th one (Johnson) being a question mark due to his inability to consistently separate from corners. There are rumors doing the rounds that the Jets want to trade up in Round 2, with Ian Rapaport reporting that it could be for a corner and Ralph Vacchiano speculating that it could be for a WR. I think they will have to go up to snag Higgins or Pittman Jr, and they’re worth the capital in my opinion.
- The Jets have had not had a pass rusher that put fear into offensive linemen in, like, ever and they can opt to ignore edge again and fortify the secondary or they can add a pass rusher now to help the secondary. If they opt for the latter, the best ones available are Yetur Gross-Matos (20th Overall), AJ Epenesa (28th Overall), Alton Robinson (50th Overall), Jason Stowbridge (51st Overall), and Terrell Lewis (56th Overall). Robinson, Stowbridge, and Lewis are not prospects they will have to trade up for, whereas Gross-Matos and Epenesa are. Epenesa doesn’t have the bend you want to see from an edge rusher, but he is smooth and fluid and has impressive hand technique. Gross-Matos is the better pass rusher, but struggles with defending the run and he does not process plays well. Epenesa’s more complete game makes him the better fit in Gregg Williams’s defense, in my opinion.
- If the Jets opt to give Gregg Williams another corner to work with instead of going pass rusher, there are still some really good ones available. Kristian Fulton (11th overall), Trevon Diggs (24th Overall), Jaylon Johnson (38th Overall), Cameron Dantzler (42nd Overall), and Bryce Hall (48th Overall). All 5 can start at the next level, with Jaylon Johnson fitting the mold of a Gregg Williams corner. Fulton and Diggs come in with really good habits from the corner position, and are readier on day one than the other 3, but the Jets would be wise to add a corner to a group led by Pierre Desir and Blessaun Austin.
- Tony Pauline reported that the Jets are interested in Temple C Matt Hennessy (50th Overall), which lets me know that Joe Douglas is not done improving the OL and that there’s a good chance they target an IOL in round two. The aforementioned Hennessy is available, but so is Lloyd Cushenberry (23rd Overall), Tyler Biadasz (36th Overall), Solomon Kindley (45th Overall), and Josh Jones (46th Overall). Hennessy started at Center for three years and would slot in as a starter while McGovern moved to LG. Biadasz would also start at Center if he was picked, and he was a monster at Ohio State. Cushenberry can play both guard and Center, while Kindley can only play guard. Josh Jones is the intriguing name still left because he is a left tackle and he is rawer than Mekhi Becton, but him and Becton could form monster bookends for Sam Darnold.
Jets Round 2 & 3 Mock DraftPick 48: Clemson WR Tee Higgins (Overall: 25, WR: 4): Sam Darnold’s new number one WR is the young man from the Clemson Tigers. A highly productive collegiate WR with a good route tree, good size, and good speed, Higgins steps in on day one as Sam Darnold’s go-to target.
Trade: Jets trade the 4th pick in round 3 to the Minnesota Vikings for the 25th and 41st picks in round 3 and the 26th pick in round 6
Pick 79: Tulsa CB Reggie Robinson II (Overall: 55, CB: 11): at 6’1” and 202 pounds, Robinson has the size to play on the outside, and is the kind of aggressive corner Gregg Williams craves.
Pick 89: Notre Dame EDGE Julian Okwara (Overall: 68th, EDGE: 8th): the former Fighting Irish player has active hands, is incredibly athletic, and can play as a standup 3-4 OLB. He shows great burst and bend and, while he could stand to improve as a run stopper, what he’d offer off the edge for the Jets defense cannot be understated.Pick 105: Wisconsin C Tyler Biadasz (Overall: 36th, C: 3rd): this would be flat out robbery for the Jets, and would fundamentally alter their offensive line for the next decade. Mekhi Becton is the tone setter, and will have more value due to his position as Sam’s blindside protector, but Biadasz would be the captain of this OL and would allow the Jets to slot in McGovern at one of the guard slots. It, also, allows them to cut Brian Winters and save $7M (money that could, potentially, go a long way towards helping them maybe feel more comfortable about signing a certain former number one draft pick).