Can you feel it? We’re just days away now and I have to admit I’m pretty damn excited. I think it’s time I watched Draft Day, a heist movie of epic proportions. Will Joe Douglas have a “[insert player name] no matter what” note tucked up in his trouser pocket? Let’s get into it...
Edge Rushers - If the value is there...
What do you do if Kwity Paye falls to #23? How about Jaelan Phillips, Jayson Oweh or Gregory Rousseau? Chances are at least one of them will be available when the Jets get on the clock for their 2nd pick in the first round. Would you draft an edge at that position?
We know that Robert Saleh loves his edge rushers, we know that the Jets’ new defensive system will heavily rely on the front-4 getting pressure without the help of exotic blitzes. We know that the Jets saw this as a big need heading into the off-season, landing Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry in free agency. We know that in the modern NFL, you can never have too many pass-rushers.
For me, there are no can’t miss edge rush prospects in this draft. Saying that, Kwity Paye is as fast as a cheetah and as strong as an ox, give him to Saleh and good things are going to happen. He has inside/outside versatility that will make him an attractive proposition. I’d be stunned if he lasted until #23.
The others all have big question marks. Jayson Oweh is coming off 1 season where he had 0 sacks on 171 pass-rusher snaps, which is a concern despite his freaky athletic ability. Jaelan Phillips has already retired once and has said he’s one concussion away from hanging them up, that’s a big red flag when you’re talking about spending a 1st round pick on them.
Gregory Rousseau is one hell of an athlete but hasn’t shown he can win consistently around the edge, most of his wins came inside against overmatched guards.
The Jets could elect to go edge at #23, but if it isn’t Paye it would make me a little nervous.
It almost seems like a given that the Jets will be selecting Zach Wilson with the #2 selection in the draft on Thursday night. However, he may not be the only BYU boy to head to the big apple.
We’ve focused on some of these guys in previous issues, but here are a number of players the Jets could focus on from BYU.
Brady Christensen - Not the most athletically gifted but a brilliant technician. Brady has allowed just 3 sacks in 3 years.
Tristen Hoge - Playing at right guard, Hoge was a staple for BYU. Played in the outside zone at BYU and has plenty of lower body strength.
Dax Milne - Milne isn’t a burner, but he manages to get open deep due to his release off the line. Milne & Wilson was a great connection at BYU.
Khyiris Tonga - A 6’3, 320lb nose tackle with plenty of pop in his hands. Doesn’t play with great leverage but a decent late-round prospect.
Matt Bushman - Missing the 2020 season, TE Bushman couldn’t show his value with WIlson. Good speed, good catch radius, little older at 26 this year.
Chris Wilcox - Elite speed and length for a corner, but doesn’t make plays on the ball. Perfect for a cover-2 heavy scheme where he can be aggressive.
Chandon Herring - A versatile offensive lineman who moved all over the line for BYU. Herring is athletically gifted and works well on the move.
Troy Warner - Fred Warner’s younger brother, Troy experienced multiple injury set-backs at BYU, but the defensive back has bags of athleticism.
Isaiah Kaufusi - 204 career tackles at BYU, Kaufusi is a powerful linebacker including 83 in 2020 alone. A team captain, he has intangibles for days.
Let’s Talk Chris Brown
If you want to talk scheme versatility, it’s time to talk Texas’s Chris Brown. Co-defensive coordinators Todd Orlando and Craig Naivar made the most of Brown’s athleticism, lining him up as a slot corner, free safety and box safety in 2020.
Brown is a little slight for the position and may need to pack on some lb’s at the next level as he looks to handle NFL receivers and tight-ends. However, he has good speed, good awareness and his length is ideal for the position.
He allowed just 11 receptions on 22 targets and showed talent both coming down and playing the run or dropping deep and playing the ball in the air. Inconsistency has been the problem.
His size and some questionable tackling attempts will put a lot of teams off, but because of his speed and length, if he can clean up his tackling technique he may be an interesting prospect to watch.