How did the NFL Draft affect players on the Jets roster? Who should come away feeling better? Who should come away feeling worse? Let’s talk about it.
Christian Hackenberg: The Jets not taking a quarterback early means Hackenberg will get a legitimate chance to stake his claim as the team’s quarterback going forward. If the Jets had taken a quarterback in the first round, Hackenberg would have been facing an uphill battle. The focus would be on the drafted player, and Hackenberg would have needed to outperform him by quite a bit to have any chance of sticking with the team. Now Hackenberg has a year to show the team why it should view him as the answer.
Juston Burris: This was a deep class at cornerback, but the Jets did not take any players at the position until the sixth round. That means Burris will likely be penciled into a starting role for the team. One would figure the more experienced Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams are higher in the cornerback hierarchy than Burris so the NC State product would have been the first one bumped if the team went cornerback early.
Brandon Shell: While few considered this an exceptional offensive line class, that was due mainly to the lack of high end left tackle prospects. There were a number of potential starters at right tackle. The contract the Jets gave Ben Ijalana suggests they might view him as their starting right tackle, but Shell now remains the only viable competition for that role.
Calvin Pryor: The team’s seeming reluctance to pick up Pryor’s fifth year option suggested the writing was on the wall. Then the Jets took players at his position in the first two rounds. There is no way to frame this as good for Pryor. The Louisville product’s time with the Jets is likely nearing its end.
Jalin Marshall: Marshall’s chances of making the team were already tenuous with his suspension. The Jets invested a third round pick in ArDarius Stewart who projects to have a similar role. A third round pick is a fairly sizable investment in that player. That’s not good news for Marshall.
Charone Peake: Marshall isn’t the only young receiver who might be in trouble. The Jets drafting Stewart in the third round and Chad Hansen in the fourth means there aren’t many roster spots to go around. An unimpressive camp and preseason might send Peake to the practice squad.