During the draft, the Jets built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.
Round 1, Pick #3: Quinnen Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Williams might just be the best player in this entire draft. The only flaw that can be seen in his game is his experience, as he has only played one notable year. Williams is a dominating player who can absolutely take over games. It is more than rare to see this man lose a one-on-one battle and that was proven at Alabama. Under Nick Saban, Williams notched 91 total tackles and 10 sacks in his two years. Williams may have little experience, but in his one breakout year, he was one of, if not the best, defensive player in the country.
His repertoire is filled with slick and powerful pass-rushing moves that close on the quarterback quickly. Even with double teams, he can make the big plays and can free up tackles, edge rushers, and linebackers. Williams is a complete player who will be expected to be starting for the Jets immediately.
Round 3, Pick #68: Jachai Polite, Linebacker, Florida
Polite is a defender who is fast off the edge with his excellent first step. When he plays, he seems like a natural pass-rusher. He has active hands, good vision and a very physical presence on the football field. Running backs and quarterbacks in the AFC East may have a player to fear here. In his three years at Florida, he totaled 78 total tackles for loss and 15 sacks. His weaknesses at Florida showed that he is not a great run defender, as he can often be pushed back into his own gap. Off the field, Polite is going to need to mature himself if he wants to reach his ceiling in the NFL. If he can fix his character, the Jets may have gotten themselves another efficient player.
Round 3, Pick #92: Chuma Edoga, Tackle, USC
Coming out of USC, Edoga did not have the eye-popping stats that everyone was looking for. Edoga’s mobility caught my eye. His foot speed and quickness are his more potent traits coming to the next level. His natural length/wingspan gives him a wide range to ride out defenders. Edoga’s flaws include being too soft at times. Edoga should not be considered for a starting spot just yet as power, strength, athleticism, and effort are all things that need work as he transitions to the NFL.
Round 4, Pick #121: Trevon Wesco, Tight End, West Virginia
In terms of blocking, Wesco provides just that to the Jets. coming out of West Virginia, Wesco had a potent quarterback in Will Grier. His first two years at West Virginia were below average at best. But including his third season, he would have 373 yards and two touchdowns in his college career. For a team that had an upward trending year and a great quarterback, that is just disappointing. It is unfortunate to say it but receiving may actually be one of his biggest weaknesses. While his “versatility” is his biggest strength, Wesco is another player on this list who is going to need mass development in his game.
Round 5, Pick #157: Blake Cashman, Linebacker, Minnesota
At 6-foot-1 and 237 pounds, Cashman is a hard-worker on the field. However, his ceiling may not be as high as other people because of the fact that he had surgery on both of his shoulders last year. Nevertheless, in his four years at Minnesota, he had 183 total tackles and 12 sacks. Cashman is someone with a non-stop motor and a true nose for the ball. He is efficient and excellent when it comes to blitzing. Unlike most linebackers though, Cashman lacks size and strength with his small arm + hands adding onto that as well. He is expected to be a backup. For him, if he can heal, why can’t he become a starter?
Round 6, Pick #196: Blessuan Austin, Cornerback, Rutgers
Medical issues are a huge concern for Austin. At 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, there is a huge amount of potential available for Austin. He can be as physical as any other player at his position. Austin is able to burst out with both pace and ease which will serve to be beneficial at the next level. At Rutgers, he had a career total of 89 tackles after only playing in one game in 2018. Austin’s only weakness can be the lack of film on him due to his senior-year injury. As the Jets’ last pick, he is only their biggest mystery.
The Jets already have an improved team from last season. With the defensive players acquired in the draft, and with the right development, these players can truly make New York a force. The Jets front office did a very nice job in this draft, especially with the pick of Quinnen Williams. Considering all factors, the Jets 2019 draft will either flourish or completely flop. They took many risks but also got a complete stud on the line. Only time will tell how this draft ended up.
Overall Grade: B