The Draft is now in the books. We will be talking about it and continuing to change our judgments for years to come, but here are some initial thoughts I have on how the Jets fared.
Draft as Thanksgiving Dinner:
I think the Draft in some ways is like Thanksgiving dinner. I don't know about you, but I need turkey and mashed potatoes. If I have them, it is going to be a good meal. The first and second round are like turkey and mashed potatoes. If you find two impact starters, you've had a good Draft. Now it can be great if you add in things like stuffing, rolls, gravy, and cranberry sauce. That is like finding role players after the second round. Maybe one of the aunts makes a great second entree to go with the turkey. That is like finding a star on day three. There are rare cases where that can even make up for missing on your first round pick or turkey. At the end of the day, though, turkey and mashed potatoes are the keys for me. And because of that, I'm quite happy with what the Jets did. I like Calvin Pryor and Jace Amaro a ton. Heck, I would have loved Amaro at 18. Maybe I'm wrong, but I see both as high end starters for a long time. There are ten other players I'm less sold on to varying degrees. If maybe one or two of them develop into nice players, this could be a great Draft. It's been a long time since I've been this happy in a Jets class, though.
No trades up:
It has become kind of conventional wisdom in the NFL that if you have double digit picks, you need to trade up. With 12 selections, all 12 probably will not make the Jets roster. Would moving up had made sense? Maybe if you find a player you think will be vastly better than all other options available at that point. Do you need to trade up, though? Well, 9 of the 12 picks were on the last day where most prospects don't make much of an impact. Imagine the Jets had traded up and only had 9 picks. Were they really ever going to go 9 for 9 with every pick being worthy of a roster spot? Never in a million years would that happen. Keeping 12 picks means that some of the players drafted probably won't make the team, but it also gives the Jets greater margin for error. Having 12 lottery tickets gives you more of a chance to hit the jackpot than 1.
Favorite Pick: Jace Amaro
So New York, New York, becomes tight end, tight end.
I've been on the Amaro bandwagon since before the season ended. I think he's going to be an offensive force in this league. He's a matchup nightmare and has game-breaking talent. Upset the Jets didn't add an impact receiver? Amaro is the impact receiver.
Least Favorite Pick: Dexter McDougle
Last night based on what I knew about him, I didn't think he was worth a third round pick and that his ceiling was Kyle Wilson. After watching more film on him today, I think even more strongly he was not worth a third round pick and that becoming as good as Kyle Wilson might be a stretch. Every time I watched him it felt like he was getting beaten, not getting off a block, or taking a bad angle. I don't think he plays with much physicality and don't think he has great instincts.
I don't mean to keep bashing on the kid. He's apparently such a great guy his college team named an award after him. Hopefully he proves me wrong and becomes a star. I just can't get behind the pick at this point. A third rounder feels way too high.
Pick that felt like a reach that may not be: Jalen Saunders
A fourth rounder feels too high for a player like Saunders, but I see a scenario where Jets fans fall in love with him. He might become a dynamic punt returner off the bat. Then it depends on how creative Marty Mornhinweg can get. What if the coordinator can move him all over the field to get him the ball in space? He could line up in the slot, the backfield, anywhere. I'm a little excited.
Pick that felt like a steal that may not be: Dakota Dozier
I like the pick, and I like his potential. It can be a really rough transition for small school linemen, though. The game moves exponentially faster. The opponents are exponentially better and stronger. Many also enter the league with poor technique because they were so much physically better than college opponents that they can fall into bad habits not needing top technique to dominate. Changing habits that are years old is easier said than done. I could see Dozier working out, but it isn't a sure thing.
I'm pleased with this class. I won't give it a grade. However, two of the things I have been complaining about for years have finally been addressed. The Jets injected some talent into the safety position and finally have a matchup problem creating tight end. We'll just have to wait and see how the rest of this pans out.