April 27th, 2017. Remember that date Jets fans, that is the day the New York Jets turn this franchise around. With this years draft being one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, the Jets have an opportunity to cash in. The Jets need cornerbacks, safeties, edge rushers, tight ends, and yes, a running back to take over for when Matt Forte retires. Not only is this a deep draft, it is deep at every position the Jets are weak at. This seven round mock draft will be the perfect scenario for the New York Jets and lay a foundation for the long-term success this team has been waiting for.
First Round, Pick 12: Tight End, O.J Howard- Alabama
In this trade back scenario the Jets receive picks 12, 33, 65, and 108 from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for picks 6 and 39. O.J Howard is a perfect pick for this team as it looks to add weapons for Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg, who will be competing for the starting job this season. Howard is a willing blocker and major receiving threat; he is able to line up close to the line of scrimmage or split out in the slot to create miss matches.
Second Round, Pick 33: Linebacker, Reuben Foster- Alabama
With all the news coming out about Reuben Foster’s failed drug test at the combine and questions about his shoulder, this could cause him to experience a Miles Jack like tumble on draft night. He is way too good of a talent for the Jets to pass up in the second round and will form a dynamic young duo with Darron Lee for years to come. He is a great replacement for David Harris and is light years better in coverage.
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Third Round, Pick 65: Free Safety, Marcus Williams- Utah
The Jets get there ball hawk free safety. This move allows the Jets to move on from Marcus Gilchrist who is coming off a patella tendon injury. Marcus Williams has great range moving from sideline to sideline and has great instincts. Williams has the ability to make an instant impact on this secondary, even as a rookie.
Third Round, Pick 70: Cornerback, Teez Tabor- Florida
The Jets get their Darrell Revis replacement. Teez Tabor falls to the third round due to his poor forty-yard dash time. Teams tend to put too much value into the forty times but if you watch the tape you will see a player that loves the game of football, is a leader, and can be a lock down corner from the start.
Third Round, Pick 107: Wide Receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster- USC
The Jets find another weapon for whomever the quarterback is this season. With the Jets rebuilding and Eric Decker coming off shoulder and hip surgery, this pick can provide depth and a Decker replacement. JuJu Smith-Schuster paired with Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, and O.J Howard provide a young and dangerous group for years to come.
Fourth Round, Pick 108: Edge, Derek Rivers- Youngstown State
Jets get a solid pass rusher here in the fourth round. Derek Rivers has a high motor, great burst off the snap and has a strong first punch to gain leverage on the edge. Rivers will provide the Jets with the pass rush that has been missing since he days of Shaun Ellis and John Abraham.
Fifth Round, Pick 150: Running back, James Conner- Pittsburgh
James Conner provides the perfect battering ram mentality to the Jets run game. With Bilal Powell providing a solid all around game, Conner can excel in the short yardage and red zone aspects of the game. He has the mental toughness and leadership qualities teams will fall in love with. Has underrated hands and is a great pass blocker. If you want someone with you when you go to war, Conner is your guy.
Sixth Round, Pick 191: Cornerback, Jalen Myrick- Minnesota
Jalen Myrick is a good value pick in the sixth round. Myrick provides depth at the nickel back position while also being an immediate upgrade in the return game. Myrick returned kicks for three years at Minnesota and turned in a 4.28 forty yard dash at the combine.
Seventh Round, Pick 224: Offensive Tackle, Jylan Ware- Alabama State
Jylan Ware is a big body tackle standing at 6 feet, 8 inches and weighing 298 pounds. Ware is very athletic, shows quick feet and uses his length to his advantage. Ware is a project player that needs to add more bulk to his frame but with his skill sets and the Jets in rebuild mode, he is worth the pick and can turn out to be a solid starter down the road.
The Jets decide to pass up on this year’s crop of quarterbacks to let one of the young guns already on the roster have their chance at being the teams franchise quarterbacks. Offensive line depth is a need that most people would want to see in this draft but with a weak line class this year the Jets choose to fill other holes on this roster. They dip their hand in the Alabama talent pot and pick up two plug and play players that provide great building blocks on both sides of the ball. The sure up a weak secondary with the Tabor and Williams picks and now have two players to build their secondary around. The Jets find players into the sixth round that can come in their rookie season and contribute right away while providing talent to build around for the long- term success. With this draft, Jets fans wont be crying “same old Jets” anymore.