I can’t tell you enough about how thrilled I was to watch the Jets’ Draft in the first round. To me it was amazing for the Jets to pick 3 players who I had rated in my top 10 overall players. This is the start of something great for the Jets in my opinion. We haven’t had a GM who understands value plus the talent of players like Joe Douglas. Joe Douglas really impressed me last night, and if you have followed anything I has said about the Jets Drafts over the last decade then you realize it’s not said lightly.
Draft picks that had me Irate (John B knows this) like Darron Lee, Christian Hackenburg, Devin Smith, Calvin Pryor, Dexter McDougle, and Tajh Boyd (Rex’s son’s friend) to just mention a few were the norm instead of the exception.
It’s kind of a shock to me to feel great after a first round. I almost feel like saying “forget the rest of the Draft” so this feeling (I have really never had) doesn’t go away. I know that is not possible nor would I want it to be, but I’m basking in the glow of last night as long as possible. For years I feel I have made much better selections (Actually I know I did.) than the Jets brain trust but last night I was schooled by Joe Douglas. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he could get all those players in the first round. Bravo, Joe! irst round picks get 4 year contracts with an optional 5th year plus potential franchise tag status after that so the Jets can have these players for a long time if they choose.
Okay so Joe did great and impressed me but this is a, “What have you done lately for the Jets?” type of situation. The Jets amassed only 3 players. They need more so great Draft acumen is still needed throughout the weekend.
So what can we look forward to the next two days?
Well first I think that (knowing what we do about him) Joe will trade down with the #38 pick to try and recoup some of the capital he lost in the trade up for pick #26. I think that would be a great move to gather more picks. I don’t have many players the Jets might need in that 38 to 55 range so trading down to there could yield some great capital like picks 55, 87, & 201. Arizona didn’t make a pick yet since they traded their pick to Baltimore for Hollywood Brown. They may have an eye for a player they covet and be itching to make a trade. The felt like they were a championship contender last year so they may feel they don’t need the depth but instead a couple of high profile players early.
Players the Jets should have an interest in on Friday night:
Players in Rounds two & three:
Alec Pierce or Calvin Austin WR’s
Pierce will probably be gone by pick 55, but Austin (I hope) should still be there. It is imperative the Jets get a playmaker for the slot. I realize Garrett Wilson can play there as well, but I don’t want to rely on a rookie who has a lot on his plate by learning two different positions. et’s let him find his groove on the outside then work into more roles as he feels comfortable doing so. Let’s not jam him up with too much at once. Plus I want him to work on a particular set of routes he and Zach Wilson can get into some type of rhythm with. Pierce is not really a slot player, but he is smart and would be fine there for the season; Austin is just incredibly dynamic and would be a steal where ever the Jets get him. Austin I think is a near must get.
Channing Tindall or Christian Harris LBs
I think Tindall was overshadowed quite a bit by his cohorts on the Georgia defense, but he has a great skill set to play as an ILB. Nakobe Dean got a lot of the praise, but he had a lot of freedom to rush the passer and chase plays from his position. He is under 6’ with short arms so he misses a lot of tackles plus gets hung up on blocks.Tindall did the dirty work. and he can spend a year working next to CJ Mosley learning the ins and outs of the defense. He has a great upside.
Harris played inside at Alabama, but I would like him more as a Will. He has very good speed and would be a great chase LB as a player who can be moved around. He has all the physical traits you want. Saleh would turn him into a stud; a Fred Warner type talent although Warner is an ILB while you would still see Harris all over the field.
Travis Jones or Logan Hall DT
The Jets can use another big body like Jones on the inside to replace Foley Fatukasi as the run stuffer. Jones impressed the Jets big time at the Senior Bowl so they may want to invest in his type talent. Jones will need to get by Tampa Bay first which may not happen.
Logan Hall is another John Franklin-Myers type of inside outside threat. I really believe he would be better on the outside, but he had the talent to play in both spots. It is good to have a guy who can play multiple spots especially with Lawson coming off a severe injury.
Nick Cross or Marcus Jones DBs
Cross would be my first choice as the Jets are in need of a speedy safety to eventually take over for stop-gap safety Lamarcus Joyner. Cross could spend the year as a special teams maven and third safety-passing downs LB while he learns from Joyner. I had hoped for Dax Hill or Lewis Cine, but they both went at the bottom of the 1st round. It’s where I had them on my board but was hoping they would drop. Of course they didn’t.
Marcus Jones fills two places as a slot corner plus a dynamic return man. The Jets have made their secondary a strength this offseason but they lack an above average slot corner. Jones has the skill to do that if he develops. Imagine the Jets with a lights-out secondary.
Max Mitchell OT
The Jets are thin at the tackle position, and with Mekhi Becton coming back from injury we need a viable swing tackle. Chuma Edoga is horrific as a backup with zero upside. If Joe Douglas can trade him for a tuna sandwich he would be a wizard. itchell is technically sound and could be a steal on day two.
Saturday rounds 4-7
The Jets currently don’t have a lot of picks on day three as of now, but you know Joe D is a trading fool so that could change. This Draft is only about 4 rounds deep with the rest of the players being long range prospects who you wouldn’t want to count on early (or at all) in the 2022 season.
Damarion Williams or Decobie Durant CB
These are also two slot type corners who can play outside but will probably be relegated to the slot in the NFL. If the Jets don’t secure this position on Friday they may look to fill it on Saturday, and these players are worth the late pick.
Luke Fortner IOL
I really hope that the Jets use one of their 4th round picks on Luke. He is a center prospect who was the unquestioned leader of the Kentucky offensive line. He went up against Jordan Davis in two games solo and gave up nothing. He is super intelligent, and Jets fans will love this guy. I think he could be a replacement at center in 2023 and play there for a decade. If the Jets get him in the third round it’s okay also.
Daniel Bellinger TE
Bellinger is probably the best blocking TE in this class. He was on a run first SDSU offense so he had lots of practice. He flew under the radar until he tested off the charts at the Combine. He has really good speed to run the seam plus very soft hands.
Pierre Strong RB
Strong is an enigma as a RB in that he has near world class speed but gained his yards running between tackles for a team with a porous offensive line. He has a strong upper body (16 bench reps) with powerful thighs to break tackles. He has the speed (4.37/40) to be perfect in a wide zone scheme where he can put his foot in the ground and explode though a hole. He has the type of speed that makes safeties take bad angles. He is a home run hitter who can take it to the house on any play. I really want this guy.
Aaron Hansford ILB
Again if the Jets don’t fill the need on Friday Hansford is an option of Saturday. He is a big, strong kid with great speed and long arms. His instincts are not the greatest, but Saleh has a way of changing that. He can be a special teams guy in 2022 while also playing in sub packages with an eye to starting in 2023. He is the type of player with a high ceiling if he develops. This is why you have position coaches.
John Ridgeway DT
He is another big run stuffer who the Jets can use on early downs to fortify the interior defensive line. Whereas JFM is a great pass rusher he is lean and can be pushed around a little. Ridgeway doesn’t have that problem. He would immediately make the Jets line much more stout against the run.
Kerby Joseph or JT Woods S
Both of these players are great athletes who would be nice backup that could become starters. Joseph has real good size with great length and huge hands. He is more of a strong safety as he can cover TEs and play in the box but lacks great speed. Woods on the other hand is more of a free safety with near elite speed (4.36/40) with 8 INTs in his last 23 games. He lacks some instincts and played undisciplined at times but would have a year of work with coaches and peers to refine his game.
These are just some of the player I was hoping for the Jets, I like them all, but the Jets have limited Draft capital. I hope ole Joe is watching and he can impress me again; in fact I’m counting on it. This Draft has the makings of an epic triumph if Joe continues his mastery. If he can get us more talent over the next few days my new nickname for him is going to be Wizard. I hope Joe calls on his inner draft Wizard for the next two days.
The Jets need that. Good luck, Joe!
Who do you like on day two and three?