ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr released his latest mock draft today and he had the Jets going in an interesting direction in the second round.
In the first round, he had the Jets taking Broderick Jones out of Georgia. He had the Jets taking Jones in his lack mock draft, so he obviously likes the fit:
This is another pick I’m keeping the same from my previous mock draft, and we still don’t know what the Jets will have to give up in their eventual trade for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Surely we’ll know before the draft begins, right? Jones could play on the right or left side in the NFL — he was nearly flawless for the Bulldogs last season. When the Bucs added Tom Brady in March 2020, they picked plug-and-play tackle Tristan Wirfs at No. 13 overall the following month, filling a void. That move helped get them win a Super Bowl title in Wirfs’ rookie season. That’s New York’s best-case scenario here — assuming the Rodgers deal gets done with Green Bay.
I don’t have any issues with Broderick Jones, my preference is Paris Johnson who went #19 to Tampa Bay in this mock draft, but I could certainly live with Jones who had an outstanding year with the Bulldogs.
Then in the second round, Kiper does some outside-the-box thinking, projecting the Jets to take Luke Musgrave from Oregon State:
On paper, the Jets have several potential tight end contributors on their roster, led by Tyler Conklin, C.J. Uzomah and Jeremy Ruckert. I just don’t see much upside in the pass game there. Musgrave is a toolsy, 6-foot-6 tight end with great hands. He played just two games last season because of a knee injury, but he was starting to show his potential as a pass-catcher. If Aaron Rodgers finally ends up with the Jets, he’ll love throwing passes to Musgrave.
I haven’t really spent any time looking at the TE class this year, but unless you think you’re getting a George Kittle or Travis Kelce, I’d rather see what we have in Jeremy Ruckert before we jump into taking another TE. Conklin was a good addition last year and there is reason to believe he’ll be even better with a competent QB, Uzomah was underused and should also be better, and we have no idea what we have in Ruckert.
Again, if you think Musgrave has the potential to be a superstar TE, then I have no problems taking him, that’s what the top two rounds are for.
Kiper rounded out his mock with Joe Tippmann the Wisconsin center at #43. I like both Tippmann and JMS and would be happy with either, my preference is JMS, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either:
Tippman and John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota) are two starting-caliber centers likely to be drafted in Round 2. The Jets can’t go wrong with either one here. Tippman, who started 23 games in college, has excellent range as a run blocker and can move his feet well in pass protection. He would have a great chance to start over veteran Wes Schweitzer in New York.