As the 2020 New York Jets draft class prepares to enter their pivotal third season, the team has more questions than answers in regards to where the group is trending. While some fans have already written the class off as a collection of busts, the reality is that the jury is still out on the most important players in the class.
Left tackle Mekhi Becton threw defenders around in ways that few NFL fans have ever seen during his debut season but missed significant time due to injury. Then, with high hopes entering his sophomore season, Becton was knocked out for the remainder of the season in week one. It was a dislocated knee cap that did Becton in; the result of right guard Greg Van Roten being thrown in to the back of Becton’s leg.
Despite not being able to get on the field due to his dislocated knee, one could argue that Becton had a better second season that the disaster that was Denzel Mims. After a decent showing as a rookie, Mims saw his playing time and production regress in ways nobody could have imagined. From 357 yards in 8 games as a rookie under a lost head coach in Adam Gase, to just 8 receptions for 133 yards in year two.
As the top two picks in the class under Joe Douglas who made Becton and Mims the 11th and 59th picks respectively, their success is key to the class as a whole. Both flashed early on, but neither could have had a worse second season.
With his job on the line, it now appears Mims is working to re-shape his frame and become a more physically imposing receiver, rather than just relying solely on his speed.
Mims is said to be in great shape and finally 100% healthy. pic.twitter.com/fkyQegEvM1
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) May 4, 2022
After Becton and Mims the Jets went with safety Ashtyn Davis and defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga. To date, Davis has shown improvement and his ceiling is that of a quality starter. His floor likely being an NFL backup. Zuniga on the other hand, will be lucky to make the roster in year three. Through two seasons he has appeared in just 11 games, picking up eight tackles and one sack.
Right behind Zuniga was running back La’Mical Perine who will probably find himself on another roster in 2022 after being taken with the 120th pick. Quarterback James Morgan who was taken with the 125th pick is long gone and promising offensive lineman Cam Clark was forced to retire due to a spinal injury.
The best value pick in the class was fifth-round cornerback Bryce Hall who went 158th overall and should be a good starter at the position in the future. Punter Braden Mann has missed time due to injury but appears to be safe for now.
One of this team's best value picks in years. Bryce Hall stays in the receiver's hip pocket throughout the entire route before batting the pass away. pic.twitter.com/Vr1dkjxKWW
— Glenn Naughton (@AceFan23) December 23, 2021
So what does all of this tell us? That there were undoubtedly some misses in Zuniga, Perine and Morgan. However, should Becton manage to stay healthy and Mims find a way to contribute even as a fourth receiver, the class will have yielded starting level players at left tackle, safety and cornerback while finding some depth at receiver.
Not the best haul you’ll ever see, but it wouldn’t be all that bad for GM Joe Douglas and his staff’s first ever class. As Jets fans can attest…you can do a lot worse.