The title is important here, as this is just an opinion on the Jets draft class. Take this with a grain of salt, as I am by no means a professional, and as someone who loves the sport, I wouldn't want to claim I know an inkling as much as the guys actually running professional teams. Well, some of them at least ;). Anyway, let's get to it.
I'm sure most wanted a trade back, myself included, but nothing materialized and you have to assume that's because Macc wasn't offered fair value. It seemed everything I read regarding said failed trade back revolved around a team trading up to take one of the "top" quarterbacks. The QB class gets hyped up every year, even when it isn't warranted, and I think this was one of those years. It's the most important position in the game but it just felt like an off year. Outside of Kyler, I didn't like any of the QB prospects nearly as much as the top 5 from last year, and I think that was reflected in the draft.
The hype around the Jets trading up into the top of the second round felt a lot like Macc liked at least one prospect but couldn't pull the trigger. I understand the argument that we don't have the draft capital to trade up, but I disagree. No pick is ever a guarantee. Countless times we've all heard the phrase "Can't miss prospect" and countless times those exact same words have been wrong. At the end of the day all you can really do is take a guy you believe can have a positive impact on your team now and/or in the future. While you certainly need draft picks to actually take guys like that, if you believe in someone then take the necessary moves to get him. Who is to say that the picks you trade away are going to turn into those types of players, when you believe there's someone you can make the trade to get, available on the board? My biggest proponent of that argument is the Steelers. I think we can all agree that they have been a very successful team for a long time. Six superbowl wins doesn't happen by accident, and a lot of that hinges on taking calculated risks to better your team. They gave up a kings ransom to move up to pick 10 to select Devin Bush. All of the trade charts suggested this wasn't a smart move for the Steelers to make, but they identified their guy, and moved heaven and Earth to get him. Time will only tell if this was a smart move, but the organization wouldn't have gone through with it if they didn't believe it was. My point is, if you want a guy, get him. Do what you have to do to make sure he's wearing your teams colors next season, and don't worry about what some made up chart states. Now, for the actual selections.
It's hard to find fault with the first three rounds of the draft. Personally I really liked them. I think Q Williams makes a ton of sense in a league where a D tackle just won defensive MVP with 20 sacks. Polite seems like a great prospect who could end up being a steal in the third, and Edoga could be a franchise tackle for us outside of the first round. Initially this seems like the best top half Macc has had yet, not that the bar was set very high to begin with. My issue comes with the picks following the third round. I know I'm probably echoing some people here, and I want to be wrong, but I truly think Macc deserves an F for rounds 4-6.
I have a ton of issue with taking a blocking tight end in the fourth round, especially with the talent that was available on the interior of the offensive line. Blocking tight ends are easy to come by, we've just had a bad one on the roster for way too long. Where as the further you get from the top few rounds, the harder it is to find a quality center or guard and we're going into another season with a massive question mark in the center of our line. This isn't a knock on Wesco, I think he's going to be good when he's blocking, but that doesn't offer much value in today's NFL where you want production in the pass game first and foremost from a tight end. It would be one thing if we were talking about a phenomenal athlete here, like say OJ Howard, but we're not. Watching his tape, he looks very slow. Sure on a few of the 28 passes he caught he was able to carry defenders on his back, but in the NFL that's not going to be nearly as easy. Had he been selected in the sixth or seventh round, then I could justify this selection. But as it stands, it just seems like a massive reach at a position that shouldn't be prioritized.
Blake Cashman could be a decent starter in the NFL, and finding that in the fifth round isn't an easy feat. That being said I don't understand drafting a player at a position with almost zero need, when you're neglecting others. Before drafting Cashman, we probably had one of the deepest inside linebacking cores in the NFL with Mosley, Williamson, and Lee being the headliners. You don't draft players only because you have a need at a their position, I'm well aware of that, but if you're going to sink a ton of money in free agency and a first round pick into that one spot, then why are you taking another guy who plays in that exact same position? Especially when you have needs at receiver, corner, and along the offensive line. Maybe it's the fifth round and maybe I'm just nitpicking, but this seems like another case of Macc overvaluing the need of one position, over several more important ones.
The Blessuan Austin pick felt like a throw away. The guy played 5 games over the last two years so watching tape on him seems like a waste. How this guy is going to come back after two major knee surgeries is anyone's guess, which could give value to the pick, but it also feels like we could've had him as an UDFA. He might've been getting first round consideration prior to going down, but so was Mark Gilbert, who went undrafted. Rutgers fans seem to love him, which is nice, but as a Delaware fan, I love Paul Worrilow so a school's opinion on someone doesn't really mean much to me.
The thing is, I think I would defend these selections had Macc had a history of even decent draft classes. But he hasn't. The reason we've had $90 million plus to spend in free agency these last two offseason is from not having in house free agents to resign, which comes directly from poor drafting. I'll never root against anyone who dawns the gotham color's, least of all late round selections who are already facing an uphill battle, but from my perspective it seems like another waste of picks from the front office. Again, I truly hope I'm wrong about these guys, and we're looking at Six future all-pros.
Thank you for reading through that way too long opinion piece, and let me know you thoughts in the comments.