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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Draft 3.0

In last blog's 2.0 draft we had the Jets trade down twice accumulating draft capital. In this draft the Jets are trading down to the Atlanta Falcons #16 spot after the Falcons call with an offer too good to pass up. While usually this would translate to the Falcons #3rd round pick the reluctant Joe Douglas holds out for a #7th round pick as a sweetener as he knows draft equity will fill much needed depth.

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
1.Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2.Washington Redskins, Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
3.Detroit Lions, Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
4.New York Giants, Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
5.Miami Dolphins, Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
6.Los Angeles Chargers, Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
7.Carolina Panthers, Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
8.Arizona Cardinals, Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
9.Jacksonville Jaguars, Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
10.Cleveland Browns, Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
11.Atlanta Falcons (fr. Jets), Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
12.Las Vegas Raiders, Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
13.San Francisco 49ers,Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
14.Tampa Bay Buccaneers, CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
15.Denver Broncos, Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
16.New York Jets (fr. Falcons), Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
17.Dallas Cowboys, CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
18.Miami Dolphins, K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
19.Oakland Raiders, Josh Jones, OT, Houston
20.Jacksonville Jaguars, Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
21.Philadelphia Eagles, Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
22.Minnesota Vikings, Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
23.New England Patriots,Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
24.New Orleans Saints, Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma,
25.Minnesota Vikings, Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
26.Miami Dolphins,  Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan
27.Seattle Seahawks, A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa,
28.Baltimore Ravens, K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
29.Tennessee Titans, Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
30.Green Bay Packers, Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
31.San Francisco 49ers, Justin Madubuike  DL, Texas A&M
32.Kansas City Chiefs, Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

Jet Picks
1. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia, Plug him in, he’ll be there for 10 years. Pro ready and blocks equally well on runs and passes.

2. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State, 65 catches, 1192 yards, 8 TDs. Ascending receiving prospect who has shown continued improvement every year. Aiyuk has size, speed and is a natural pass-catcher who plays with good energy.

3.Cameron Dantzler CB, Mississippi State, Started 13 games as a redshirt sophomore. Great cover guy who needs to tackle better but can be an NFL 10 year starter.

3.Bradlee Anae, Edge, Utah, Second time Anae wears the Jets green in our mock drafts. Played 39 games in college. 29 1/2 sacks and 40 tackles for a loss are too good to pass up. 

3.Matt Peart, OT, U. Conn., Bronx born super athlete who was a standout basketball players. His transition to football is right on schedule and after a year on the bench he starts.

4.Van Jefferson, WR, Florida, Jefferson is a polished receiver with a PhD in route running. Not a No.1 WR, his intelligence and crispness indicate he’ll serve as a valuable complementary piece.

5.KJ Hill, WR, Ohio State, Jets brain trust loves the competition that Buckeyes Hill played against. His consistency and reliability is a plus along with his punt return skills. 

6.Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State, Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 with 1,480 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 255 carries (5.8 per). He also caught 21 passes for 198 yards. 

6.Javelin Guidry, DB, Utah, One of the fastest players in the draft. Finished 6th in the 60-meter dash in the winter 2019 U.S. Indoor track Championships. Raw with ability to make squad through special teams.

7.Jason Strowbridge, Edge/DL, No. Carolina, Greg Williams face lights up when Stowbridge is the best athlete on chart. Had a better Jr. than Sr. year but blocked 3 kicks. Anyone remember Steve Tannen?

UDFA Require Real Talent Evaluations And Luck
There are always players that go un-drafted who end up making it in the NFL. The former Jet Robby Anderson is an example of a real good un-drafted free agent.  The following players most of whom you will recognize with some from a few years back were not drafted but went on to have distinguished NFL careers: Wes Welker, Tony Romo, Kurt Warner, Cliff Harris, Emmitt Thomas and Larry Little all had excellent careers. Among them there were 13 All Pro and 29 Pro-Bowl seasons which is great for players that no one gave a chance. And what about late draft picks? Well we all know about Tom Brady as a 6th round pick. Defensive back Richard Sherman was drafted in the 5th round and since entering the league has the most interceptions and defended passes of any active player. Making quality picks in the late rounds and scoring on un-drafted free agent signings is where the General Managers make their bones. Even though this is the first draft ever for Joe Douglas as GM, he is under enormous pressure to score big in this year's draft and 
un-drafted free agent market. The competition will be fierce as teams scramble when the draft ends making phone calls trying to convince the un-drafted world why signing with their team is the quickest pipeline to the make an NFL roster. I want Joe Douglas to look for athletes who are not locked into their college positions. He has to consider players that are wide receivers that may be converted to defensive backs or defensive linemen to offensive linemen (and vice versa). The Jets front office scouting department is made up of Chad Alexander,Phil Savage, Rex Hogan and Greg Nejmeh. All have great experience and they will all be looking for the next Wes Welker or Larry Little. This may be the most challenging year ever for the Jets and all the other NFL teams. Because of the Coronavirus organizations are hamstrung on college player's pro days, travel and bringing in potential signees for physicals. But no one is going to feel sorry for the Jets front office or any other front office. To help give the Jets front office a hand finding the next Cliff Harris or Tony Romo, here some players the Joe Douglas needs to sign if they are not drafted: 

Kendrick Rogers, WR Texas A & M, Sean McKeon, TE  Michigan, Colton McKivitz, OL West Virginia, Cameron Clarke,  OL Charlottesville, John Molchon, OL Boise State, Chauncey Rivers, Edge Mississippi State, Grayland Arnold, S  Baylor, James Morgan, QB Florida International, 

Do Jets Have Any Diamonds In The Rough Right Now
Could the Jets possible have some diamonds in the rough on their roster that may turn out, well maybe not stars but quality starters. Let’s look at a few.

Bless Austin DB, 24 years old,
This defensive back surprisingly started 6 games. I saw at least 3 quality games from him. After a stellar sophomore year at Rutgers, Austin got the injury bug two years in a row with two knee operations. Some medical people will tell you it can take up to two year to heal both physically and mentally from these types of injuries. His Player Profile after his sophomore year stated:

     "Austin came into the 2017 season as an up-and-coming prospect, catching         NFL scouts' eyes with 14 pass breakups as sophomore”

Durability is the main issue with Austin but this Queens born native has a shot to be a real good player. His man to man cover skills are excellent. The upside can be big for him. Let's see what Greg Williams does with this year. 

Tarell Basham, LB, 26 years old,
After being drafted by the Colts in the third round, Basham never fit into their defensive scheme. Once the Jets got him, he has shined in the short time playing for the Green and White. In 2019 Basham played in all 16 games starting 2 of them. In this small sample size he had 33 tackles, 4 for losses with 2 sacks and 1 interception. Why do I like Tarell Basham? He has made the most of the playing time he has received and he is always around the football. What if this unknown turns out to be the pass rusher the Jets have been looking for? Stay tuned. Number 93 may be a late bloomer. 

Braxton Berrios, WR, 24 years old,
I've written about this former 6th round pick of the Patriots. After a couple of excellent pre-season games, BB tried to bury him and sneak him through the waiver wire but Joe Douglass picked him up. Measuring 5 ft 9 in, Berrios fits the Wes Welker mould as a player with good acceleration, great hands and he returns punts. His receiving numbers this past season were modest 6 rec., 115 yds. 19.2 yds./rec. As a punt returner he showed great hands and with 21 returns for 11.4 yds. per return which ranked him 7th in the league. He looks like he would be perfect for slot but with Crowder there Gase should give Berrios every chance he can lined up wide.

Kyron Brown, CB, 24 years old,
This 24-year old is listed at 6’1” and 195 pounds and was a second-team all-MAC selection in college who intercepted six passes. Brown is a solid tackler, with good closing speed and range. He was promoted from the practice squad the second half of the season. Brown started one game, against the Dolphins only to leave after a season ending injury. In the pre-season I thought Kyron Brown played great. Hopefully he will open some eyes this summer.  

Kyle Phillips, DL, 23 years old.
As an un-drafted free agent from University of Tennessee. he started the season off with a bang after being inactive on opening day. He seemed to fade toward the end of the season. Nevertheless this overachiever had 7 tackles for a loss with 1 1/2 sacks and 39 tackles. His six quarterback hits placed him sixth on the team and there were at least three plays where he got to the quarterback as he was in the process of being brought down and easily could have been given credit for a half-sack. Phillips will have to improve his pass rush but this guy is a trooper and I predict he will be the biggest surprise of all these players mentioned.

Green Tidbits
... Darryl Roberts received a one-year, $2M deal with the #Lions. Including a $1M guarantee. He was due to make $6M from Jets. Cutting him was a no brainer.....QB craziness is starting to heat up with the draft. Now it looks like teams are getting hot on Oaklahoma's QB Jalen Hurts. Happens every year. Helps the Jets!.....Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reports the Jets have a huge interest in Temple center Matt Hennessy.....Michael Lombardi claims the Patriots have no interest in Tua Tagovailoa but love Justin Herbert.....XFL filed for bankruptcy after canceling season. I'm shocked!....ESPN Stats percentages which OL available at 11 for the Jets: Andrew Thomas: 53%, Jedrick Wills, Jr.: 42%, Mekhi Becton: 25%,Tristan Wirfs: 6%..... In Mel Kiper Jr.'s  2-round mock draft out today on ESPN. He has the Jets taking Alabama OT Jedrick Wills Jr. in the first round and Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool in the second.....Hopefully there will be no 2nd wave of the Coronavirus. But if it comes it will be when the Jets are 14-2 with a playoff bye. Our luck....

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
.....In my opinion, which is based on conversations with several talent evaluators, Jedrick Wills Jr and Mekhi Becton are the only two tackles I'd take with the 11th pick. If they're gone, I'd turn to wide receiver -- either Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs III. I'm leery of CeeDee Lamb because, in the defensively challenged Big 12 Conference, he didn't face many good cornerbacks or a lot of press coverage. Tackle Tristan Wirfs is a freakish athlete, but he's not as technically sound as the previous top linemen from Iowa. He will be a good player, but he's not as pro-ready as Wills or Becton.....(Joe) Douglas really likes George Fant at left tackle, but you can bet he's keeping an eye on the (Trent) Williams situation. He could change his tune if the Redskins and Williams drop their respective prices.....

Brian Costello, NY Post
.....The NFL Draft represents hope for teams and their fans. However, most of the time that is false hope. Teams get many more draft picks wrong than right. It is fun to debate how a team did immediately after the draft, but the truth is it often takes years to see how a draft actually went for a team.....The Jets need help on special teams. The only question is whether they get it during the draft or immediately after it. Kicker and punter are positions of need after a shaky 2019 season. How important is it for the Jets to find fixes at those positions? The only coaches who attended the Senior Bowl were special teams coordinator Brant Boyer and his assistant, Jeff Hammerschmidt. The kicker position was a mess from the start last season for the Jets. They decided not to bring back Jason Myers after a Pro Bowl season and replaced him with Chandler Catanzaro. That lasted about two weeks into training camp, when Catanzaro decided to retire after some major struggles. Taylor Bertolet replaced him, but did not make it out of training camp. They picked up Kaare Vedvik, who missed a field goal and an extra point in a one-point loss in Week 1. Sam Ficken replaced Vedvik and had some good moments, most notably a game-winner over the Dolphins. But Ficken was inconsistent, missing three extra points and seven field goals. Ficken remains on the roster, but the Jets won’t hesitate to replace him. They signed former Cowboys kicker Brett Maher on a futures deal after the season to compete for the job. The draftable kickers are Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship and Georgia Southern’s Tyler Bass. I would be surprised if the Jets used a draft pick on a kicker, but I expect them to sign one of the undrafted ones right after the draft.....

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