The topic is self-explanatory. There are the guys who, I think, are the top 6 players in the draft. I'm going to configure the board as though I'm drafting for the Jets, so these aren't my top 6 players purely based on talent, but with regard to fit, character, position, and all that jazz that would be best for the Jets.
Top 6 Big Board
1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Simply put, Jameis Winston to me has the ability to be special. He's a guy that I feel good with plugging him in under center, and he's going to be at worst a solid quarterback. When it comes to on the field, I don't have many issues with Winston. He has the tools- he's big, he has a strong arm, he has some functional mobility, and he throws with anticipation. But I'm more excited by his persona and his astute knowledge of the game. When Steve Mariucci tries very hard to stump you on the chalk board, and can't, that tells me something there. He sounded very astute in camp with Gruden breaking down FSU's variation of Spider 2 Y Banana, where they threw in a wrinkle that even Gruden was unfamiliar with. Furthermore, when you see this kid, the passion for the game is evident. He's the loudest, most charismatic, most team-oriented guy on the field. When you make a mistake, he's not going to bury you, he's going to pick you up. When the chips are down, he's not going to fall apart, he's going to go out there and put the team on his back. Those types of players are infectious. Count me in as a Jameis guy.
2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Do I think Mariota is the #2 player in the draft? Eh, maybe not, though I do have him as a top 6 guy regardless. But we need a QB, and that pushes him up on my board. Mariota is a guy who has the ability to be a great one. He has quick twitch athleticism, a good even if not elite arm, he's a bright kid and he comes with no off the field red flags. He has the system question surrounding him, and I think that it is a bit overblown. Marcus can't help the system he's in. I'm not entirely sure of his persona, to be honest. In watching the Gruden camp, the kid is clearly a smart, calm, collected kid. However, I came away thinking he might be TOO calm. There was no... well... fire. And that to me is, outside of the system, the biggest separator between Mariota and Winston. Now, I don't have all the information, of course. Mariota could be a throat cutter on the field, and in many ways he is. But when it comes down to it... Winston has a sort of presence that Mariota seemed to lack. When asked if he should go #1, Jameis Winston didn't hesitate. He said he should go #1, before Mariota, before everyone. Mariota... his whole attitude was kinda like "eh, it's up to you." I think a lot of people will look at his lack of ego as a positive, and I would highly disagree. Ego in sports is a good thing.
3. Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC
This guy is a stud in every sense of the word. By pure talent he probably tops the list. The guy is a mammoth at fighting through blocks, he can play anywhere on any line 3-4 or 4-3, he has very long arms and plays with great strength. There really is nothing bad I can say about the guy. He has yet to really develop his technique and physical and is still a dominant force, which spells bad news for anyone who has to block him when he DOES develop. No one should overthink this one.
4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
I bounced back and forth on Cooper all off season, and I finally settled upon him as the #1 WR in the draft. I don't believe Cooper is an elite WR prospect or has the upside of elite WR talents like DeMaryius Thomas, Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Josh Gordon, Julio Jones, AJ Green. But Cooper has a very high floor. I think you are guaranteeing yourself a consistent 1,000 yard receiver in Cooper, and that is very valuable. He has good size, large hands, a phenomenal route runner, and has great speed. In the Sports Science lab, which unlike the Combine uses infrared sensors to both start and stop the clock (whereas at the Combine, the athletes are started with a hand timer). Cooper (and Sammie Coates) actually ran a faster 20 than Kevin White and reached higher top speeds. Cooper is my #4 player.
5. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Running backs have been devalued. Gurley is coming off a torn ACL. He's gotten injured every season. I hear all of that. But when you watch the guy run, you know that there is something special. Gurley leads the RB draft class in elusiveness rating by a country mile per Pro Football Focus. He is, flat out, the best all-around back I have seen enter the draft since Adrian Peterson. He's strong. He's fast. He's agile. He's elusive. He has high character marks. He can catch the ball. He returns kicks! I would not be disappointed in the slightest if the Jets pick Todd Gurley tonight.
6. Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson
The Jets still have a crying need for an edge rusher almost a decade after Abraham left. Based purely on talent, my top pass rusher in the draft is Randy Gregory, but I have knocked him down on my board for the, you know, weed thing. My #2 is Vic Beasley, who is the best athlete at the position. There are certainly questions about Beasley and his ability to handle a full time, every down role, despite putting up like 35 bench press reps and showing great strength. Even if he cannot handle a full time role immediately, the Jets could ease him into snaps by allowing him to do what he does best; get on the edge and get after the QB.