Perfect Picks: New York Jets
With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Draft Network Mock machine and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.
We will highlight five players that could help each team. This will include a ‘flex’ pick where we give you two ways a potential pick could go depending on how the board falls. All in all you will get picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper.
Joe Douglas gets his first crack at the NFL Draft as a GM for the Jets in 2020. Adam Gase is in a precarious position as Head Coach and this season could be his final chance to prove the doubters wrong. There are a host of offensive players set to hit free agency, while the defense underperformed considering they have major pieces at each level. With a few clever additions could the Jets finally be a force in the AFC East?
Round 1 - Pick 11 - CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Jets need to build around Sam Darnold. Providing him with adequate protection has to be at the top of the shopping list. However, sitting at pick 11, that could be tricky for them. The offensive line group is strong at the top. With a host of teams needing tackles, 4 or 5 of the top rated guys at the position could be off the board.
With that in mind, rather than reach for a man in the trenches, they may look for a go-to receiver and could get their pick of the bunch. If that’s the case CeeDee Lamb would be a great fit. He might not show blazing speed in testing but turn on the tape and you see an ultra athletic playmaker, who makes things happen with the ball in hand. He can be used on screens and in the backfield but is a tough receiver who can also win in contested situations.
Flex Pick - Pick 11 - K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
Another option at 11, would be for the Jets to address the issues they have getting to the opposition QB. Despite spending draft capital in recent years on the spot, the Jets have failed to unearth a legitimate pass rusher. Last year’s gamble on Jachai Polite failed miserably so it’s inevitable that they are back in the market.
K’Lavon Chaisson was part of the National Championship winning LSU Tigers but doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves. His long and lean frame means that some have type cast his as purely a ‘speed off the edge’ guy. While Chaisson is a QB hunter, his efforts in the run game are equally strong. His athleticism makes him a good fit for a 3-4 defense where he can thrive as a stand up rusher and also survive dropping into a coverage zone.
Round 2 - Pick 48 - Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Should the Jets miss out on offensive lineman in the first round they would certainly be looking hard at the second tier available. With four out of their five 2019 starters set to hit free agency, even with resignings, drafting one or two players as reinforcement is key.
Prince Tega Wanogho’s story is what the NFL Draft is all about. Having grown up in Nigeria, he came to the US to chase a career in the NBA. After switching sports to football, he is a newcomer not only to the position but to the game itself. As expected, Wanogho’s technique is still a work in progress but he has the potential to develop into something special.
Mid Round Gem- Pick 110 - Michael Onwenu, IOL, Michigan
As discussed earlier in the piece the protection of Darnold is paramount and guard Alex Lewis could be in high demand if he hits the open market. Despite the worry of losing a lot of starters, the Jets have an opportunity to rebuild their underperforming line. It’s highly likely they make moves in free agency but adding depth through the draft is vital.
The Michigan offensive line didn’t get many plaudits through the season. However, as analysts dig back through the tape, opinion is changing. Two names that are rising on boards are center Cesar Ruiz and guard Michael Onwenu. Shea Patterson appears to have been the main reason a talent laden offense never got moving and out of that vacuum Onwenu has impressed. After a solid display at Senior Bowl he is exactly the type of player the Jets could target in the mid rounds.
Late Round Sleeper - Pick 171 - Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis
Le’Veon Bell’s decision to take a year out from football didn’t really work out for him, or the Jets. The well rested Bell didn’t hit the ground running in New York. While he remains under contract for 2020 there could certainly be some interest from the Jets in acquiring a running back in the later rounds.
Memphis’ Antonio Gibson doesn’t fully fit that bill. Despite taking snaps as a running back for the Tigers, the 6’2 Gibson will work out as a receiver at the upcoming combine. In the modern NFL, teams are likely to be unconcerned about defining Gibson’s role. His speed and change of direction are impressive for his size. While, his punt and kick return ability make him fantastic value at this spot.
Draft in full
11. CeeDee Lamb (WR)
48. Prince Tega Wanogho (OT)
68. Cam Dantzler (CB)
79. Jabari Zuniga (Edge)
110. Michael Onwenu (iOL)
140. Albert Okwuegbunam (TE)
171. Antonio Gibson (RB)
202. Cam Brown (LB)
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com