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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Jets Draft Grades

Trivia Time Jet Fans:
The Jets first pick Jamal Adams is from LSU. Name the last Jet from LSU who made the Pro Bowl? The answer will be later on in the article and stay off Google for the answer. I’m watching you!

We are posting opinions of the Jets draft from different media outlets. We have been huge followers of Walter Football over the years. They have a very good track record rating players. The good news is they think the Jets did a great job in the draft. The bad news is many other media outlets did not agree. Like all the other teams in the league, we will not know initially until about mid-season in the short term. In the long term it takes three years to determine if a team had a successful draft. Here we go……

The Jets' 2017 draft: 
1. Jamal Adams, S, LSU 
2. Marcus Maye, S, Florida 
3. ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama 
4. Chad Hansen, WR, Cal 
5. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson 
5a. Dylan Donahue, OLB, West Georgia 
6. Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette 
6a. Jeremy Clark, CB, Michigan 
6b. Derrick Jones, CB, Ole Miss

Undrafted Free Agents Signed To Date (there should be more to come)
Austin Calitro, ILB, Villanova
Xavier Coleman, CB, Portland State
Jareid Combs, DE, North Texas
Brisly Estime, WR, Syracuse
Anthony Firkser, FB, Harvard
Patrick Gamble, DT, Georgia Tech
Connor Harris, ILB, OLB, Lindenwood
Rickey Jefferson, S, LSU
Javarius Leamon, OT, South Carolina State
Gabe Marks, WR, Washington State

Walter Football

 New York Jets: A Grade 
Goals Entering the 2017 NFL Draft: The Jets happen to be in the worst shape of any team in the NFL. Like the 49ers and Browns, they are devoid of talent almost everywhere. However, they lack the cap space to do anything about it outside of the draft. With so many holes on the roster, the Jets need to trade down early and often to acquire as many rosterable players as possible. 

2017 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Jets had to move down early and often, as suggested, and that's exactly what they managed to do. General manager Mike Maccagnan did a masterful job of wheeling and dealing throughout the weekend, acquiring resources on numerous occasions. This was absolutely imperative, as Daniel Jeremiah echoed what I wrote in the goal mock prior to the draft: The Jets, at least prior to the draft, had the worst roster in the NFL. 

Not only did the Jets move down many times, but they also picked up some talented players in the process. They began the weekend by selecting two talented safeties, and yes, they needed two. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye will automatically improve one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Meanwhle, three offensive weapons were added in ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen and Jordan Leggett. They were quality selections, especially Leggett, who was a steal in the fifth round. 

I'm sure some will consider this a failure of a draft for the Jets because they didn't acquire a quarterback. However, that was never the plan. Charlie Campbell reported back in January that quarterback was not in play for the Jets because they liked how Christian Hackenberg was progressing behind the scenes. And even if Hackenberg sucks, the 2018 NFL Draft is loaded with better quarterbacks- so the Jets can just wait to acquire Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen. 

The Jets had a terrific draft overall, as Maccagnan did what he could to upgrade the talent on the roster as many ways as possible. There's still a long way to go, but this was a nice start. 

Jets Draft 2017

1. Jamal Adams, S, LSU
A Grade (Walter Football)
The Jets have done a great job in the draft for the most part lately because of their stance of selecting the best player available. That's exactly what they're doing here rather than reaching for need.

2. Marcus Maye, S, Florida 
A- Grade  (Walter Football)
Back-to-back safeties!? It makes sense, as the Jets had multiple needs at the position. The Jets just broke a lot of hearts, as many teams were hoping he'd fall to them in the second round. I guess it wasn't very realistic because there was some speculation Maye could go late first. He'll pair well with Jamal Adams to bolster New York's atrocious secondary. 

3. ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
B Grade (Walter Football)
Most teams we spoke to had ArDarius Stewart in the third-round range, so I'm definitely not surprised to see him taken in this area. He also fills a need for the Jets, who had to replace Brandon Marshall. This is a solid pick for the Jets. At the very least, they'll get great special-teams play out of Stewart. 

4. Chad Hansen, WR, Cal
A- Grade (Walter Football)
I thought Chad Hansen could potentially be chosen in the third round, so I like this value, and Hansen obviously fills a need. Hansen was a productive receiver at California who made acrobatic catches, but his speed is a major question mark. 

5. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
A Grade (Walter Football) 
And yet another great tight end value pick in the fifth round. This tight end class is tremendous, and I'm surprised that some of these players didn't go earlier. The Jets won't complain, as they might be able to finally fill their massive need at the position. Leggett is a poor blocker, but figures to be a productive pass-catcher. 

5a. Dylan Donahue, OLB, West Georgia 
C+ Grade (Walter Football)
Dylan Donahue nearly made my mock draft, but he didn't make the cut. He could have though, as he was very productive in college, albeit at a small school. Donahue is 25, so that's a negative, but he could end up being a rotational pass-rusher for the Jets. 

6. Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette 
A- Grade (Walter Football)
The Jets are quietly having a stellar draft, as they've traded down a bunch to pick up lots of resources, which they desperately needed. Elijah McGuire is a value selection, as I had him going off the board 50 selections earlier than this. McGuire tested poorly during the pre-draft process, but he's an effective pass-catching weapon coming out of the backfield

6a. Jeremy Clark, CB, Michigan 
B+ Grade (Walter Football)
Jeremy Clark may have snuck into the second day of the draft had he not sustained a torn ACL in September. Clark dropped all the way to Round 6, but the Jets are getting decent value with him. He has the potential to emerge as a starter in 2018, but the durability concerns are real. 

6b. Derrick Jones, CB, Ole Miss,
B Grade (Walter Football)
The Jets are swinging for the fences here, which is fine. Derrick Jones has elite athleticism, but not very much production. He has starter potential, but could also fail to make the roster. 


New York Jets: C-

This was as confusing a draft class as any team put together this year, even more so because it started off so dang well with S Jamal Adams at No. 6—he can be a focal point of the Jets’ defense for years to come. Second-round safety Marcus Maye (No. 39) is a talented guy himself, and incumbent Marcus Gilchrist is coming off a knee injury. O.K., fine, two safeties. Time to hit the other needs, right? Well, yes, except the Jets didn’t really do so. They spent their next three picks on a pair of WRs (ArDarius Stewart at 79, Chad Hansen at 141) and a TE (Jordan Leggett, 150). They did not hit cornerback until picks 197 and 204 (Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones, respectively); their only linebacker pick was Dylan Donahue (No. 181), a pass rusher transitioning from his role as a college DE. Oh, and no quarterback.

SB Nation

New York Jets C+

The Jets fixed their safety unit in this draft by picking Jamal Adams in the first round and Marcus Maye in the second round. That could spell the end for Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist in New York. Along with free agent Morris Claiborne, the Jets have put resources into the secondary. The Adams pick was great. I viewed him as a top-three player in the daft. For me, No. 39 was a little early for Maye.

After them, the Jets doubled up on wide receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. Stewart is a really good athlete and Hansen has reliable hands. Fifth-round tight end Jordan Leggett might get more targets than the both of them. He fits perfectly with new offensive coordinator John Morton, who likes to flex tight ends out to create mismatches.

Washington Post

New York Jets B

Analysis: The Jets certainly liked their safeties and wide receivers in this draft, taking two of each in their first four selections. Should they have addressed the QB position? Perhaps. But Mitchell Trubisky was gone by the time they picked at No. 6 and it could be argued that neither Deshaun Watson nor Patrick Mahomes was worthy of that selection. Safety Jamal Adams certainly was worthy of it, and he should be a difference-maker in the Jets’ secondary. Third-round WR ArDarius Stewart should be an asset to the offense. 

Fox Sports

New York Jets B-

Two safeties, two wide receivers in the first four picks — I wonder where the Jets thought they needed to upgrade. Big fan of the Ardarius Stewart and Jordan Leggett picks. Waiting until round six to pick cornerbacks might prove regrettable.

What the Jet scribes are saying:

Rich Cimini, ESPN
Taking the glass-half-full view, the Jets turned a weakness into a potential strength. The safety position has grown in importance in the NFL, and we've seen in recent years how a dominant safety tandem can galvanize a defense. The Seattle Seahawks, with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, come to mind. You need good safeties to handle the New England Patriots and their band of tight ends, led by Rob Gronkowski. On Friday, Adams said one of the first thoughts that came to his mind after getting drafted was that he'd have to face Gronk.

Manish Mehta, New York Daily News
Help me. I’m confused. I don’t understand the logic behind the decision to draft two safeties in the first two rounds when your team is riddled with holes. Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles are no dummies, but it’s a curious way to construct a roster given all the other deficiencies that could have been addressed seven picks into the second round of the NFL Draft Friday night…………

There’s a school of thought that safeties aren’t worthy of high first-round picks. History provides ample evidence of players plucked out of later rounds that flourish in the league. When Adams became just the ninth safety to be selected in the Top 6 since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, conventional wisdom suggested that the Jets wouldn’t double down at that position.
There’s little denying that Bowles needed a massive upgrade on the back end. Adams and Maye’s arrivals doesn’t bode well for former first-rounder Calvin Pryor and injured veteran Marcus Gilchrist. (The Jets shopped Pryor without any luck).

Brain Costello, New York Post
There is a new “Trader Mike” with the Jets.
General manager Mike Maccagnan made three trades on Day 3 of the NFL draft, bringing his total to five in this draft, a franchise record. Maccagnan kept trading back to accumulate more picks to help his talent-starved roster. He also acquired a pick in next year’s draft.
“We were very busy today,” Maccagnan said.
In terms of player acquisition, the Jets added six players Saturday to bring their total to nine in the draft. They entered the draft with seven picks, a number Maccagnan was open about hoping to increase. He was able to do that with a number of deals. Former general manager Mike Tannenbaum had the nickname “Trader Mike,” but he loved trading up for players, not back.
We will know in time whether this was a strong plan or a flimsy one. It will depend on how many players develop out of their mid- and late-round picks and if any of the players they passed up on develop into stars.

Jet Tidbits: 
Devin Smith seems to have the Jet second round draft pick jinx. Reminds me of the college basketball player Greg Oden who seemed to get injured every first day back from rehab……Leave it to the NFL to drag out the draft for 3 days claiming they want more people to experience the draft live. But the advertising dollars didn’t hurt……Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL network was not shy claiming the Jets have the worst roster in the NFL. Not sure I agree with him. Maybe the worst coaching….. Picking up undrafted free agent WR Gabe Marks from Washington State may have been the Jets best move….I want Sheldon Richardson to stay a Jet and play every down with his hand in the dirt and no more drop into coverage nonsense….Former Jet Kevin Mawae went to college at LSU and made the Pro Bowl 6 times

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