The silliness of giving grades a few days after picks were made isn’t stopping many writers. Let’s take a look at the next round of Draft grades the media is handing out.
Top needs: WR, OL, Edge, CB
The Jets hired a new general manager after the draft last year, so this is Joe Douglas’ first time in charge of a draft board, and I thought he had a good first two days, particularly without premium picks. Adam Gase’s team had a strong end to 2019, finishing 7-9, which pushed it outside of the top 10 picks. That meant playing the waiting game. And with huge voids along the offensive line and at wide receiver — Robby Anderson is gone, and the Jets don’t have a true top guy — the Jets got lucky that this class was deep with premium tackles and wideouts.
You can argue about whether they should have gone with a wide receiver at No. 11, but they ended up with offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, a 6-foot-7, 364-pound mountain of a man who should be an instant starter. There aren’t many guys that athletic at that size anywhere. Douglas and Gase then addressed the hole at WR in Round 2, and Denzel Mims (59) went 20 spots lower than I had him rated. Can he be the Jets’ No. 1 right away? No. But with 4.38 40-yard dash speed and a 6-foot-3 frame, the tools are there long term. Sam Darnold needs Mims to be good.
The Jets traded down twice on Day 2, adding extra picks. I liked safety Ashtyn Davis (68) early in Round 3; the former Pac-12 hurdling champion worked his way from walk-on to starter, and he’s a great athlete. Safety doesn’t look like a clear hole, but teams always need extra defensive backs in today’s NFL. Edge rusher Jabari Zuniga (79) played only six games last season, but he has some upside.
On Day 3, La’Mical Perine (120) was a reach early — he was my No. 12 running back. James Morgan (125) is an interesting, toolsy quarterback, but the Jets had needs in other spots, and Jake Fromm was still available. I do like offensive tackle Cameron Clark (129), who plays with good technique and whom I called a potential sleeper last week. Braden Mann (191) is my top-ranked punter. The Jets also added a 2021 sixth-round pick when the Patriots traded up on Day 2.
This is a B class because New York was able to get starters at its top two needs early.
New York Jets: B+
Best Pick: Third-round safety Ashtyn Davis is one of my favorite players in this draft. With Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, it’s a pick for the future, although defensive coordinator Gregg Williams could get creative with him.
Worst Pick: Third-round pass rusher Jabari Zuniga has some ability, but that might have been a tad high for my liking.
The Skinny: They filled a major need taking tackle Mekhi Becton in the first round and then added receiver Denzel Mims in the second to fill another. Davis is a good player and good be a message that Adams might be on the move. It was a solid first draft for Joe Douglas.
New York Jets
Picks: 1-11: Louisville OT Mekhi Becton; 2-59: Baylor WR Denzel Mims; 3-68: California S Ashtyn Davis; 3-79: Florida EDGE Jabari Zuniga; 4-120: Florida RB Lamical Perine; 4-125: Florida International QB James Morgan; 4-129: Charlotte OG Cameron Clark; 5-158: Virginia CB Bryce Hall; 6-191: Texas A&M P Braden Mann
Favorite pick: Mims
The player I compared Mims to during the process was D.J. Chark, a former second-rounder of the Jaguars who had first-round traits but third-round tape. Chark broke out with a 1,000-yard season in Year 2 and is a player on the rise. I could see a similar progression for Mims, who was discussed in the Round 1 range but surprisingly fell to the 13th receiver selected. We’ll bet a few ducats that he ends up better than that. Does he round off his routes and suffer a few concentration drops? Yes. But he also makes highlight-reel grabs and can help Sam Darnold attack downfield more. The Packers, picking three spots later, wanted Mims and just missed out.
Least-favorite pick: Zuniga
And really, none of their picks was a massive overreach or a poor fit. Zuniga has the traits to be a solid rusher, but injuries have held him back and he needs technical work. Maybe assistants Joe Vitt and Andre Carter can go to work on him and mine that talent. I had Zuniga pegged as a fourth-rounder, just outside my top 100 prospects, but the positional value didn’t make him a reach here. I liked most of the Jets’ picks in general.
Overall: General manager Joe Douglas’ first draft with the Jets appears to be a nice haul overall. Becton over Tristan Wirfs was a debatable call, and I made my very soft case against Zuniga, a picking of nits here. The Jets needed talent influxes all over, and they checked a number of boxes while mostly maximizing value. A few of the players they picked are wait-and-see projections, but we’re confident there isn’t a high bust factor to this class unless Becton’s weight becomes an issue. The later picks of Morgan, Clark, Hall and Mann were smart. There’s a lot to like overall in this group, and they smartly used the extra draft ammo traded for vets Leonard Williams and Darron Lee.
15. New York Jets Grade: B+
Draft picks: OT Mekhi Becton, WR Denzel Mims, S Ashtyn Davis, DE Jabari Zuniga, RB La’Mical Perine, QB James Morgan, OT Cameron Clark, CB Bryce Hall, P Braden Mann
The Jets did well for themselves early back to back with Becton and Mims, perfect fits for their offense. Their best picks after that were Zuniga and Hall, good values for defensive needs. Davis was a reach and Morgan was a wasted pick. Perine is someone to watch behind Le’Veon Bell.
New York Jets: B-’
Who was your favorite day three Jets pick?
This poll is closed
I liked the trade for Wilson better than any of the picks