Brady Podloski | April 10th, 2020
The New York Jets made substantial additionals in free agency. They have completely redesigned their offensive line, adding the four new starters in Alex Lewis, Greg Van Roten, Connor McGovern, and George Fant while adding depth with interior offensive lineman Josh Andrews. Other notable additions include Breshad Perriman, Patrick Onwuasor, Brian Poole, and Pierre Desir. The free agency period has primarily filled the outstanding needs the team had, mostly being the offensive line. With the departure of Robby Anderson, signing Perriman fills the deep threat role. However, there is still a need for a reliable and dangerous wide receiver. As well, there has been a perennial need at the edge position, but there isn’t the depth in the edge class to fill the need.
Moreover, the Jets are in a significant offseason, as this will be the year that will define Sam Darnold’s career, and determine if he can fulfill his potential. New general manager Joe Douglas has a six-year contract, where he has a single objective: to ensure Darnold can take the next step. Douglas can accomplish this by gaining reliable weapons, adding depth to the weak points, and shoring up the offensive line position. Going forward, the Jets have eight picks to accomplish this and to add depth to the defense. Overall, they’re in a good position going forward with the additions they have made in free agency.
To simulate this mock draft, I used The Draft Network simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 11: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
There are a few considerations with this pick. Is there a way to trade down and still come away with Lamb? I suspect there is, however, in this simulation, there are no trades. Ultimately, this pick comes down to who can have a more significant impact on Darnold’s development. While the tackle class is excellent for this position, Lamb can transform the passing offense in short areas screens, the red zone, and the intermediate passing game.
Lamb projects to be the top wide receiver for me, and he has all the characteristics to be an elite producer in the league. He can line up outside and be a red zone target with his leaping ability and contested-catch skill. But Lamb has a great run after the catch ability and always keeps defenders guessing. He is a complete receiver and, in my opinion, will be the best receiver from this class.
— CeeDee Lamb (@_CeeDeeThree) February 28, 2020
Round 2, Pick 48: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
At pick 48, there were no other viable tackles available. Jackson is a value here in the middle of the second round because many others have him going in the first round. However, there is still a need at tackle for the Jets, despite redesigned their offensive line. I would start Fant at right tackle as he has experience there during the 2018 season with the Seahawks. This would allow Chuma Edoga to compete with Jackson for the starting left tackle role. Jackson is 20 years old and has lots of upside with his size and fundamental athleticism. He lacks technique in the passing game, where he can improve with time to become an above-average starter.
Round 3, Pick 68: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
A starting cornerback in round three? This is a steal, as Arnette can be the number two cornerback on the team as he develops. He has adequate man to man skills to play in the Jets system and he is a sure tackler. But, he’s one of the best press-man players in this draft but has some problems in zone coverage. Overall, I think Arnette can be a viable starter in the league but needs to be in a system where they allow him to press.
Round 3, Pick 79: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
This draft class is too good not to get an additional starter at receiver and getting more weapons would reduce the stress Darnold is under. Coming out of the draft and having two starting receivers would be huge for the offense, as Darnold would have four to five weapons, each who could score a touchdown every play. Peoples-Jones could be an explosive wide receiver in the league. He excels at route running in intermediate and deep routes while having sure-handed catching ability. He is a dynamic playmaker with size, making him a threat all over the field.
Round 4, Pick 120: Alton Robinson, EDGE, Syracuse
The most significant need on the defense I would argue it’s the edge position. While Jordan Jenkins re-signed with the team, he’s not a viable edge long term. The Jets have been plagued with finding a consistent edge that would fit the scheme, but with a weak draft class, they push it to the later rounds. By drafting Robinson, the team not only gets excellent value as he can be the edge or outside linebacker in their 3-4 system, but he has some upside to become a long-term option. Robinson has excellent length and explosiveness off the edge and is a consistent threat to get to the passer. If he can develop more pass rushing moves and rush with a plan, I believe he can be an above-average edge who gets pressure every game.
Former #Syracuse star Alton Robinson broke out the swim move to sack Jalen Hurts early on in the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/5TnJ60YcIC
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) January 25, 2020
Round 5, Pick 158: Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska
Additional depth at a corner is essential, as you need three starting corners in the league now. Jackson is a lengthy and physical corner who is 6’2, 208 lbs. He also plays very well in the press-man scheme but doesn’t have the same explosiveness or technique as Arnette. Jackson is mostly a project with lots of upsides which primarily comes from his rare size. In a few years, he may be a starting corner, and a good one.
Round 6, Pick 191: Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA
Le’Veon Bell is 28 years old and the Jets need additional running backs for depth. Kelley is the perfect skillset to compliment Bell this year, and could possibly replace him next year if Bell declines. Kelley is a physical runner who will be capable of handling a large carry load. His best skill set is being able to run between the tackles and falling forward for extra yards.
Round 6 pick 211: Scott Frantz, OT, Kansas State
The need for good back up offensive linemen is significant, especially when there are plenty of injuries each year on the offensive line. Frantz has the versatility to be an excellent back up who can play both tackle and guard. He can be a fine depth player with his size, at 6’5 and 303 lbs. His best ability is being able to run block and get to the second level. Overall, Frantz’s ability to be a reliable tackle and strong run blocker makes him worth this pick.
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