It’s Draftmas! In about 10ish hours, we should know at least one new player the Jets will be bringing to 2016. Now I know every single person in here is waiting with bated breath for me to drop a mock, so without further ado, here it is.
I’m going to list my mock first 5 picks so that you can see who was on the board when you tell me how much you hate it.
CLE: Myles Garrett- Moving right along...
SF: Solomon Thomas- Creates an interesting mix with Armstead, Buckner
CHI: Jamal Adams- Chicago takes who they call the BPA
JAX: Leonard Fournette- they probably already have the draft card filled out
TEN: Marshon Lattimore- surprisingly few holes for this team, but CB is definitely one of them.
And with the 6th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select... Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
The deeper I go into this, the more convinced I am that unless Fournette is on the board, Hooker is my guy. A lot of people say that Hooker is one dimensional, injury prone, can’t tackle, etc. I don’t think he’s THAT bad in run support, he’s a willing tackler, but furthermore I don’t care. This is your single high safety for the next decade. He’s going to virtually erase the deep ball and create picks. I don’t want to call him the next Ed Reed but I’m just saying... he’s the next Ed Reed.
2016 stats: 74 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 7 INTs, 3 TDs
Second Round: Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State
In the second round, I gave the Jets Derek Rivers. This dude is just a phenomenal player. I know he played at Youngstown State, but whatevs. He’s clearly athletic enough for the league and he has good technique. He just wins battles. He produced against any team he faced, including Power 5 teams. He went to the Senior Bowl and continued to kick butt. I honestly don’t know if he’ll be here in the second round but if he is, I’m all over it. He doesn’t have the long arms I look for but everything else about him is top flight. Having him rush off the edge with Wilk, Sheldon (who I think stays at least this season) and Leonard? Ohhh baby.
2016 stats (according to Youngstown State): 58 tackles, 19.5 TFL, 15 sacks, 1 FF
Third Round: Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State
I have no clue if Curtis Samuel is going to last this long. Because he’s sicker than the town in Erin Brockovich. Forte showed last year that he has one foot into the running back graveyard, and Powell seems to work much better when he can be kept fresh. Someone is going to use a first round pick, an early one, on Christian McCaffery... nah... give me this guy in the 3rd instead. It doesn’t matter what offense Morton is bringing. This guy is going to bring the juice. Call him Ecto Cooler because his juice is rare. He will line up out wide, line up in the slot, line up in the backfield, start in the slot and motion into the backfield. He can run the stretch plays and finds the cutback lanes. He also did some inside power at Ohio State. He’ll be a fun toy no matter what system is implemented.
2016 stats: 97 carries, 771 rushing yards, 7.9 YPC, 8 TD; 74 catches, 865 receiving yards, 11.7 yards per catch, 7 TD (1636 scrimmage yards, 15 TD)
Third Round (Comp): Shaquill Griffin, CB, UCF
Griffin is a guy who’s flown under the radar for reasons I’m not quite sure. He has one of the best stories in the draft, for those who aren’t aware: his twin brother Shaquem had a rare birth defect which caused him to have his hand amputated when he was 4 years old. Shaquill made the determination that he was not going to go play college ball without his brother. He wound up telling his dream school, Miami, that he would not consider them if they didn’t offer his brother a scholarship. He wound up at UCF, with his brother, a linebacker who just had 11.5 sacks on the season with one hand. As far as his ability, he is a tremendous athlete (4.38 40, 38.5 inch vertical, 11 foot broad) with a feistiness to stop the run. He has good size and length (6-0, 194 pounds, 32 3/8 inch arms). Aggressive in run support and aggressive with the ball in the air, can play the press. I’m a fan of his tape and I would be perfectly fine with taking him here.
2016 stats: 49 tackles, 2 TFL, 4 INT, 1 TD
Fifth Round: Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International
Projecting picks this late is like spitting in the wind, I have no idea who will or won’t be available. However, I can’t leave this draft class without a TE, and Jonnu Smith is a guy I like. Though he’s smallish, he is an all out player with some enticing athletic traits. He’s a 4.6 move TE who posted a 38 inch vertical. He plays tough to the whistle and is a fluid mover. Not the biggest guy in the world, which might help sink his stock some, but did play some in-line at FIU. He’s a guy I like.
2016 stats: 42 catches, 506 yards, 12.0 yards per catch, 4 TD
Sixth Round: Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss
Yes, I know he has red flags. Yes, I know his tape shows all sorts of inconsistencies and brain farts and issues. Yes, he’s currently injured. But to me, if you are going to get a developmental QB, and I personally believe that you should never leave the draft without a QB, why not gamble on the guy who might be a home run? His arm talent is excellent. He can move a little bit. When he sets his feet, he can be incredibly accurate. ESPN Sports Science has done a draft combine for the past 5-6 years, where they put prospects through position specific drills, use all sorts of lasers and technology to get measurements, then give the player a composite score based upon how they performed. So for QBs, they test accuracy, they test eye movement, they test ball velocity, etc. Chad Kelly went into the lab and came out graded as elite. He scored much higher than Patrick Mahomes who also participated. He edged out Jameis Winston. This isn’t to say that he’s better than Winston or Mahomes, but the tools are there. If he flames out, no big loss. But he has significantly more upside than your typical late round QB.
2016 stats: 205/328, 2758 yards, 62.5% completion, 8.4 YPA, 19 TD, 8 INT (9 games played)
Seventh Round: Aviante Collins, OT, TCU
At this point, I don’t have the faintest idea who will be there. So I’m plugging in another late round guy that I like in Collins. Collins is a tremendous athlete. He posted the best 40 time and the second most bench press reps of any OL at the Combine, so you know he puts the work in. He doesn’t have ideal size (6-4, 295) or length (33 3/8 inch arms), but he’s not vastly behind in those areas either. He could fit as a potential jumbo package TE, with the upside to possibly be a swing tackle. For a 7th rounder, sign me up.
2016 stats: lol, Lineman stats
Well, there you have it. I would have us leaving this draft with Hooker, Rivers, Samuel, Griffin, Smith, Kelly, and Collins. Make sure to hit the comments to tell me how awesome (or terrible) this class is.