Welcome to draft week. After months of mock drafts, stressing over this prospect or that prospect, we’re finally just days away and I couldn’t be happier. This week represents an opportunity to get better, an opportunity to improve the roster, and an opportunity to make some young players' dreams come true. So let's dive straight into it.
Speed, Speed & More Speed
The Jets have tried to address the receiver position in several ways over the last 12 months, whether that’s drafting Denzel Mims, or signing Corey Davis to a big free-agent contract, but there’s still a distinct last of top-end speed in the unit.
Mims, Davis, and Crowder look set to be the main three receivers for the Jets next year, and I’d argue that’s a good trio for a rookie QB. One reliable slot guy, two big outside receivers with a good catch radius. However Wilson loved taking shots deep at BYU and while LaFleur’s system will look at the horizontal game and getting players the ball in space, the ability to stretch the field will keep defenses honest.
Mims and Davis have the capability to get deep, but I think the Jets could be in the market for some speed when the draft comes around.
Receivers who timed under 4.4 in their forty:
Ja’Marr Chase (4.34)
Kadarius Toney (4.37)
Elijah Moore (4.35)
Rondale Moore (4.31)
D’Wayne Eskridge (4.39)
Tutu Atwell (4.35)
Anthony Schwartz (4.25)
Racey McMath (4.39)
Chase is a top 10 player, so we can largely forget about him. Elijah Moore, Rondale Moore are both likely a back-end of the first-round prospects along with Toney, who I see going between 20-40. The Jets could potentially look to select a receiver there, but chances are they’re going to want to put some protection around Wilson at that selection.
There are concerns around Tutu Atwell’s weight at the next level, considering he weighed in at just 149lb’s. Racey McMath is a huge project who showed a lack of effort at times and may go undrafted.
For me, the choice is between D’Wayne Eskridge in the 4th round for Anthony Schwartz in the 5th round. Schwartz is an absolute burner, but a little one-dimensional, which is why I have him in the mid to low 5th round. Eskridge is a better receiver than Schwartz and was ranked #1 in college football with 14.4 yards after the catch per reception, a ridiculous number. With the top-end speed and YAC ability that LaFleur will covet, don’t be surprised if the Western Michigan man is targeted by the Jets.
Let's Talk Tre’ McKitty
Tre’ McKitty is an interesting prospect in this years draft class, he’s coming off a season where he caught just 6 passes for 108 yards and 1 TD. He ended his college career with 56 receptions, 628 yards and 3 TD’s over four years. Hardly impressive numbers.
However, last year after transferring to Georgia he showed a willingness and ability to be a good run blocker in a pro-style offense earning a 75.8 run blocking grade from PFF. He flashed very little in the receiving game, but he’s got big hands and did show some wiggle when he did catch the ball.
The fact he was only targeted 9 times is a concern, the fact he’s had so little production in college is problematic. His upside may be as a heavily blocking TE2 in a pro-style scheme, but he may be a player who has a better NFL career than a college one. He was recently named as the top TE at the Senior Bowl, which would have impressed a team or two.
He did have a knee injury last year that slowed him at Georgia, but he didn’t show any signs of that injury in Mobile during senior bowl week.
McKitty is smooth for his size and shows good body control through contact, I firmly believe he’s a better prospect than his stats would indicate. He has a good physicality to his game and a toughness that coaches will love. I have a late 5th, early 6th round grade on him and I’m interested to see how he performs.
Let’s Talk About Jaylon Moore
If I were to say that a prospect gave up 3 sacks in under 200 pass-blocking snaps, it wouldn’t sound very good, especially if I said those performances came against the likes of Eastern Michigan, Ball State and Northern Illinois.
Stats only tell half the story here though as Jaylon Moore has so much talent, so much potential, it’s hard not to get excited about him. He’s a 6’4, 311lb tackle who will be asked to kick inside at the next level.
Known for being explosive off the snap, Moore has huge hands that lock onto and push defenders back with ease. He has the perfect combination of power and athleticism that can be harnessed into excellent guard play with the right coaching.
Moore’s issue is that he was asked to play left tackle at Western Michigan and his balance issues got him in trouble on the edge. However inside he’ll be able to use his explosive power to better use, and his 80.4 zone grade indicates that he’d be a decent option for the Jets if they’re looking for a developmental prospect.
He’s a 5th round talent with huge potential.
Click below to expand my final offensive lineman rankings. I’ve looked at a large potion of the lineman in this draft. I’ve then broken them down by scheme fit (green) and then picked out who I believe to be the ideal Jets selection in each round. This is just my evaluation, but I’ve spent a lot of time watching these guys and the positive is there is a lot of green on this sheet. There are some in here that were on the border and could make the step to our system, but as I haven’t seen them do it I’ve left them blank.
5 Interesting Stats
- Justin Fields has 17 TD’s of throws 30+ yards down the field since 2019. Best of any QB in the NFL draft.
- North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz allowed 0 sacks and 1 hit over his last 350+ pass blocking snaps.
- Iowa edge Chauncey Golston recorded a 1.56 second 10-yard split in testing, that’s in the top 95% percentile at his position, showcasing his explosion.
- Tight end Hunter Long ran a 4.63 second forty at 6’5 and 253lbs at his pro day.
- Devonta Smith ranked #1 in the country in deep catches, deep yards, screen catches and screen yards.