The New York Jets almost lost every game and were looking like the top team to draft Trevor Lawrence. However, a year after Joe Douglas’ first full draft, the team played hard and would win two games. While the season wasn’t good, largely due to Adam Gase, the players from the 2020 draft should inspire hope in Jets fans. There were some bright spots across this roster that should continue to be contributors to this team. Overall, a potential cornerstone tackle in Mekhi Becton along with three other potential starters made for a somewhat successful draft. With that said, let us dive into the draft as a whole.
Be sure to check out all of Podloski’s 2020 NFL Draft Re-Grades.
- Round 1, pick 11: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
- Round 2, pick 59: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
- Round 3, pick 68: Ashtyn Davis, S, California
- Round 3, pick 79: Jabari Zuniga, DE, Florida
- Round 4, pick 120: Lamical Perine, RB, Florida
- Round 4, pick 125: James Morgan, QB, Florida International
- Round 4, pick 129: Cameron Clark, OT, UNC Charlotte
- Round 5, pick 158: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
- Round 6, pick 191: Braden Mann, P, Texas A&M
Best Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Becton is as close to a cornerstone tackle as you’ll see- the factor that leaves him off is some pass blocking technique that is coachable. With quick edge-rushers, it is difficult to gain the leverage needed. He gave up seven sacks but the pass blocking and awareness in space will improve his second year.
Overall, drafting a potential cornerstone left tackle is a significant feat in the draft. Becton was a force as a run blocker, showing dynamic power when he drove defenders away. In the run game, his quickness and awareness of rushing lanes are unique and paired with his size, it makes him a special player. Expect his ascension throughout the year if he can stay healthy.
Questionable Selection: Jabari Zuniga, DE, Florida
This selection didn’t make sense as Zuniga had some tools and flashed potential at Florida, but was never able to put it all together. Zuniga still has potential, but the selection in the third round was rich. Whatsmore, his development was hindered with an injury in training camp and then when he was placed on the injured reserve in September. Zuniga has been an unfortunate disaster, and one can only hope he can stay on the field for the coming years.
Late Bloomer: Ashtyn Davis, S, California
Let’s be clear, the expectations of Davis coming out and replacing Jamal Adams were excessive. With these high expectations, fans deemed his rookie season underwhelming. Yes, while his reading of the game and awareness in zone coverage needs improvement, he showed flashes of being an electric tackler and coverage player. If he remains healthy, he could be a solid starter in an otherwise poor secondary.
Player to Keep an Eye On: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Mims is a physical freak at 6’3”, 207 lbs, who has threatening vertical speed. In essence, he has the body type and athleticism to become a dynamic receiver in the NFL. Mims development is significant and has its own story. Not only was he drafted in a Covid offseason, but he had hamstring issues which limited the time he participated in training camp. Coming out of Baylor, he struggled with drops and a lack of concentration. The catching form was average at the college level, where some analysts believed he could develop quickly with the use of his long arms to snag the ball out of the air with ease. Overall, keep an eye on Mims and the dynamic catching ability he could develop, and whether he can become a WR1 as his potential dictated.
What they Should have Done: Cornerback Needs More Attention
The Jets needed to take more shots at drafting cornerbacks in the 2020 draft. While they drafted Hall, he’s a limited cornerback as he doesn’t have the necessary man coverage skill or long speed. These cornerbacks are going to be debilitating to the defense even with a Robert Selah scheme that can hide deficiencies. Overall, this could be one of the easiest secondary’s to pass against, for the second year in a row and should be a priority going forward.
The Jets gained a potential cornerstone piece at tackle, and If Becton continues his development, he’ll be an all-star. However, the rest of the draft remains a mystery. The development of Hall, Davis, and Mims will determine the success of this draft. With the rest of the picks, they remain below-average players who have yet to make any significant contribution. The only other one to expect anything from is Perine, who could be a change of pace back. As a result, the total grade goes from a B+ to a B with the lack of certainty if Mims, Davis, and Hall can be solid contributors.
Final Grade: B (Promising Draft with Several Potential Contributors)
Follow Brady Podloski on Twitter @BpodNFL
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images