By Glenn Naughton
I know…enough with the mock drafts already, but with just hours remaining before the start of the actual draft, we take a look at what developments and/or rumors over the past week may have changed what the Jets can and will do when festivities kick off this evening.
Round 1 (12th overall):
Alabama TE OJ Howard- If the Cleveland Browns are in fact enamored with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, it’s been the worst-kept secret in the league. Lots of talk about teams who might take him before he falls to the Jets, but Cleveland waits it out and does a deal with the Jets, giving New York picks 12, 52 and 188.
With pick 12, the Jets get a tight end who has been compared to Jimmy Graham and Greg Olson. If Howard is anywhere close to that, fans upset over taking a tight end this early will probably get over it.
Back up plan: Ohio State S Malik Hooker
Round 2 (39th overall):
USC CB Adoree Jackson- There’s too much talent in the secondary for the Jets not to take advantage of it and re-build their beleaguered unit. Jackson is one of the most physically gifted corners in the draft and immediately gives them a player who can be an elite punt returner and an option for a few gimmick plays on offense. Jackson is that good.
Back up plan: Wisconsin OLB TJ Watt
Round 2 (53 overall):
Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis- Once again, cornerback is a huge need for the Jets in this draft and they’ve just snagged two of the best available.
Back up plan: Colorado CB Ahkello Witherspoon
Round 3 (70 overall):
Pittsburgh QB Nathan Peterman:- The Jets still need to address the QB situation, and Peterson is the best fit left on the board. Albert Breer of MMQB said today that two personnel people he’s spoken to have Peterman ranked in their top-5 QB’s in this class. Pererman took almost 30% of his snaps from under center at Pitt.
Back up plan: Penn State WR Chris Godwin
Round 3 (supplemental, 107th overall):
North Carolina WR Ryan Switzer- The Jets have a promising group of young wide receivers, but nobody good enough to justify passing on Switzer who will be an elite slot receiver in the NFL, who also returned 7 punts for touchdowns with UNC. Switer and Jackson give the Jets two dynamic options to return punts.
Back up plan: LSU C Ethan Pocic or Ohio State C Pat Elflein.
***We’re projecting a Sheldon Richardson trade to the Indianapolis Colts for the 121st pick overall.***
Round 4 (Trade: 110th overall):
University of South Florida Running Back Marlon Mack- The Jets need as much firepower on offense as possible and Mack brings that. Arguably the most elusive back in the class, Mack has excellent burst and hips that allow him to make defenders look foolish.
Back up plan: USC OT Chad Wheeler
Round 5 (132nd overall):
Boston College Safety Josh Johnson- Johnson is a converted cornerback with plus cover skills who is an excellent tackler. His versatility will give Todd Bowles a useful chess piece on defense.
Back up plan: Arkansas TE Jeremy Sprinkle or Michigan TE Jake Butt
Round 6 (165th overall):
Pitt Outside Linebacker Ejuan Price- Price missed significant time at Pitt due to injury, but a player with the ability to get around the edge to get after the quarterback is too tempting to pass up this late. Jets will be asking Dennis Green to earn his money right away. Price had 24.5 sacks over his final 2 seasons at Pitt.
Back up plan: Ole’ Miss QB Chad Kelly. He’s immature, but he might grow up real quick after plummeting this far. Jets fans bemoan “never catching a break” in the draft, getting a QB with this much talent, this late, could change that.
Round 6 (188th overall):
West Virginia C Tyler Orlosky- If Pocic or Ohio State’s Pat Elflein weren’t taken earlier, here’s a good spot for the Jets to address the center position where Wesley Johnson was given just a one-year deal with no guaranteed money.
Back up plan: Syracuse WR Amba Etta-Tawo
Round 7 (195th overall):
USC Defensive Tackle Stevit Tu’ikolovatu- The nephew of former Jets defensive lineman Sione Pouha, Tu’ikolovatu gives Gang Green another true nose tackle to back up Deon Simon.
Back up plan: Michigan LB Ben Gedeon
So for a quick re-cap, here’s what we’ve got:
1(12)- OJ Howard
2(39)- USC CB Adoree Jackson
2(53)- Mich CB Jourdan Lewis
3(70) Pitt QB Nathan Peterman
3(107) NC WR Ryan Switzer
4(110) USF RB Marlon Mack
5(132) BC S Josh Johnson
6(165) Pitt OLB Ejuan Price
6(188) West Virginia C Tyler Orlosky
7(195) USC NT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu
Happy draft day, Jets fans!