Jets Draft Earns High Marks; What Does it Mean?
The New York Jets wrapped up the three-day long NFL draft after coming away with arguably the top player in the class, then adding one of the top pass rushers of 2018 in Florida’s Jachai Polite. Offensive lineman Chuma Edoga projects as a possible starting left tackle and you can already feel the beginning of a cult following for battering ram tight end/fullback/H-back Trevon Wesco.
The class was rounded out with a coverage linebacker/special teams player in linebacker Blake Cashman while the oft-injured but highly talented Blessuan Austin was the team’s final pick in round six.
Gang Green’s approach was questioned by plenty of onlookers as the addition of a center and cornerback was expected but such a move never materialized. The team is still racking up some high praise from draft pundits who seem to like many of the choices for a variety of reasons.
Now, what does that praise mean in the grand scheme of things? Nothing. Not one thing can be taken from the high draft grades because while it’s fun to sit back and speculate as to who will do what, we know from experience that those grades are often nowhere close to what transpires on the field. With that being said, let’s take a look at the early impressions the Jets draft class has had on a wide variety of evaluators.
NFL.com liked what the Jets did and graded them as an A-minus. Weighting in on Jachai Polite, saying his tape “shows the power and bend to terrorize NFL quarterbacks”.
ESPN Mel Kiper saw this class as a B, but then hilariously dinged the Jets for a lack of picks due to their trade up for Sam Darnold last season. Yes, just imagine, Mel. If the Jets hadn’t traded up for Darnold, they could have stolen Daniel Jones in this year’s draft.
CBS Sports graded the Jets picks as a B-, with possibly the most impressive comment being that it was “hard to find” a weakness in the class. In the end, the “weakness” they chose to go with was Jachai Polite’s off-field issues.
SNY says the grade comes down due to there being no “safe” picks outside of Quinnen Williams. The result? A slightly above average C+.
PFF: Opting for one reason or another to forego a letter grading system, the folks at Pro Football Focus handed the Jets a grade of “above average”. PFF loved the selection of Blake Cashman, saying “But it’s the Blake Cashman pick at No. 157 for the Jets that takes the cake as the team’s best selection on Saturday. Cashman earned a 90.0-plus overall grade this past season and tested out as one of the most athletic linebackers in the class at the combine en route to the No. 59 overall spot on PFF’s big board.”
North Jersey.com gives the Jets a B-, but criticised them for waiting as long as they did to address the cornerback position, but acknowledging that Blessuan Austin could become a starting cornerback should he return to his previous form.
So yes, fans and pundits will talk about and weigh in on who was taken where, but remember, until the pads go on and the results start coming in, the grades don’t amount to much of anything more than banter and speculation among the die-hards.