It is a week before the 2017 NFL Draft and there has been a heavy amount of smokescreens being put out there involving this year’s quarterback class. Many people think the New York Jets are destined to pick one of the top quarterback prospects with their first pick in the first round, whether it is Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, or even Patrick Mahomes. The best option would be to stay away, far, far, away. Here is a seven round mock draft for the New York Jets with an explanation for each pick.
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First Round, Pick 6: Tight End, O.J Howard – Alabama
If the Jets decide to stay at their current position, this would be a very hard prospect to pass up. With Jamal Adams already off the board and no trade partner, the Jets could decide to add a versatile tight end to the offense and provide another weapon for one of the young quarterbacks currently on their roster. It is possible the Jets could go for a quarterback with this selection, but none of this year’s prospects are immediate contributors and the Jets already have two young prospects on their roster.
Second Round, Pick 39: Cornerback, Sidney Jones – Washington
Sidney Jones did tear his Achilles during his pro day workout, but getting a player of his caliber in the second-round is too valuable to pass up for a team that is greatly in need of cornerback help. Before the injury, Jones was a top player at his position and a top 10-pick. With a football I.Q. and ball skills similar to Marcus Peters, the Jets could find a great player to anchor the secondary for years to come.
Third Round, Pick 70: Free Safety, Marcus Williams – Utah
Some may think this is a little bit of a reach here, but with this pick the Jets could get a ball hawking free safety and would be able to move on from Marcus Gilchrist. Budda Baker, if still on the board, could be another solid option at free safety, but Williams has bigger size and looks more comfortable playing center field on tape. He needs to add a little more bulk to his frame but that should not be an issue. Team up Williams and Jones in the defensive backfield and the Jets could have a couple of ball hawks in their secondary to build around.
Third Round, Pick 107: Wide Receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster – USC
JuJu Smith-Schuster would be a great pick up here with the Jets’ compensatory pick. The Jets do have good depth at wide receiver but with a rebuilding team and Eric Decker coming off hip and shoulder surgery, it could be time to look for a replacement. Pairing Schuster with Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson can form a wide receiver core very difficult to deal with. Devin Smith is still on the roster but since his ACL injury and the depth the Jets have at the position he has struggled to get playing time. Though Schuster may not fall this far, if he is off the board the Jets can consider Ryan Switzer out of North Carolina. He would be a solid slot guy and also help in the return game.
Fifth Round, Pick 150: Defensive End, Avery Moss – Youngstown State
A long limbed edge defender than can help the Jets generate a pass rush. Moss has great flexibility to bend around the offensive line and is a very good athlete. He was kicked off Nebraska’s campus in 2014 following a 2012 incident where he exposed himself to a female student and transferred to Youngstown State. The off field issue will push him back to the later rounds, but his talent is not in question.
Sixth Round, Pick 191: Offensive Tackle, Julie’n Davenport – Bucknell
Julie’N Davenport is a very big offensive tackle out of Bucknell. He showed good athletic ability at the senior bowl and could be a nice project player and future starting tackle in the NFL. He stands 6 foot 7 inches tall, weighs in at 318 pounds and has a 36 ½ inch arm length. Davenport has elite tackle size but needs to improve his core strength to handle the bull rush of NFL-sized edge rushers. With the Jets in rebuilding mode, taking a project left tackle here could be a smart choice.
Seventh Round, Pick 224: Linebacker, Ben Boulware – Clemson
Ben Boulware is not the biggest or the most athletic player you will see in this draft. What he does have is leadership, heart, and swagger. He makes for a great player to pick in the last round of the draft and could possibly turn out to be David Harris’ replacement. Sitting behind Harris for a year and contributing on special teams should help Boulware develop. He has the work ethic and passion to contribute at a high level and is going to give his best day in and day out. Boulware is a great person to have in the locker room even as a rookie.
The Jets could have taken a quarterback in this year’s draft, but they should keep a keen eye on what their roster already possesses. By selecting the right picks the Jets could add some key players to build their secondary around, while providing their young quarterbacks with some explosive weapons in the passing game to further their development. The first five picks of this draft have the ability to make immediate impacts on the Jets’ team this year, with the last two picks be developmental guys who could get their chance in a year or two. The Jets’ rebuild is not going to happen overnight, but is two or three years away from making this team a legitimate contender. Buckle up Jets’ fans, it’s time to build.