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ESPN NFL Mock Draft 2017: Mel Kiper Jets Grade A Edition

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Mel Kiper is out with a new three round mock draft. Unlike his normal mocks, he is not making a prediction of whom each team will pick whether he agrees with it or not. In this case he makes selections that would result in an A grade for this class.

Here are his Jets picks.

New York Jets

Round 1 (6): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Round 2 (39): Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Round 3 (70): Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana

Round 3 (107): Alex Anzalone, OLB, Florida

The Jets might be hesitant to take a tight end so high, but Howard has all the traits of a future All-Pro. In this scenario, I have the Jets passing on a quarterback at No. 6 -- remember, I don't have Mitchell Trubisky as a top-20 prospect -- and taking Watson with their second pick. I don't expect Watson to make it to Round 2, but he's my third-ranked quarterback. Yes, that's back-to-back second-round picks on quarterbacks for the Jets, who took Christian Hackenberg last year, but I don't see their long-term starter on their roster. Watson has a lot of potential, but he had an inconsistent junior season. Feeney was a four-year starter who also played some tackle for the Hoosiers. Anzalone had injury issues throughout college and played only 31 games, but he has the size and athleticism to play inside or outside linebacker.

The clear surprise here is Watson in the second round. Then again, this is not a Kiper prediction. This is what Kiper thinks teams should do. Many of us believe Watson would be a better fit in the second round, but the value of the quarterback position will likely lead teams to take somebody much higher.

Howard is a polarizing prospect at six. I am guessing you have a strong feeling one way or another.

A guard in the third round is probably going to irritate people, but it shouldn’t. Hear me out. Third round picks usually aren’t starters as rookies so it doesn’t matter that the Jets have James Carpenter and Brian Winters. If a guard develops as a rookie and could slide into a starting role in year two, the Jets could move on from Carpenter and save some money.