New York Jets Mock Draft Roundup
Thanks to an extra two weeks of waiting for the NFL draft to roll around, analysis and mock drafts are as hard to come by as sugar in a candy store.
Among this saturation, what could be more appropriate than to analyze the analysis about the NFL draft?
While there are a handful of logical selections the New York Jets could make with their 18th overall pick, there is no way to tell which direction they will go in given their massive needs at multiple positions. Much of what they do will depend on how the board plays out, leading to a variety of predictions from the top analysts.
Here is a roundup of the picks some of the top experts are mocking to the Jets.
My Pick: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Much of what the Jets will do in Round 1 is dependent on who is available when they pick at No. 18, but cornerback ultimately provides better value as a solution to a greater need position.
Darqueze Dennard is a perfect fit for Rex Ryan's defense as a man-to-man specialist who is at his best in bump-and-run situations. While he is a bit slower than most would prefer, he can step in on day one and start opposite Dee Milliner to solidify the position once and for all.
With the rest of the draft loaded with talent at the receiver position, the Jets would be wise to focus their attention on their other needs in the early rounds, then take advantage of the unusual receiver depth this draft has to offer with their 12 picks.
- Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
- Mel Kiper, ESPN (subscription required): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
- Todd McShay, ESPN (subscription required): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
- NYJets.com: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
- Evan Silva, Rotoworld: Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA
- Gang Green Nation: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
My Pick: Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss
With the cornerback position locked up, the Jets can focus the rest of their attention on the offensive side of the ball and attack the wide receiver position head-on.
Donte Moncrief has a ton of potential as a 6'3" target who can stretch the field with his explosive speed.
The downside to Moncrief is that he is not polished as a route-runner—which, unlike speed and size, can be improved upon once he gets to the pros. Moncrief has as much upside as any player who is likely to be available at this point.
- NYJets.com: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
- Gang Green Nation: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
My Pick: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
The Jets take advantage of the receiver depth with back-to-back picks at the position. Somewhat overshadowed by Sammy Watkins at Clemson, Martavis Bryant is an even more intriguing prospect than his star teammate.
At 6'4", Bryant has the ideal height for a perimeter receiver—which is exactly what the Jets are in the market for. He has good timing and leaping ability to give him a chance in jump-ball situations and long arms to overpower shorter cornerbacks.
If Bryant can put on a little more mass without losing his speed, he could be a steal in the third round as a perfect complement to Eric Decker who can alternate playing time with Moncrief.
- NYJets.com: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
- Gang Green Nation: Terrance Brooks, S, Florida State
Round 4 (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
My Pick: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Now that the cornerback and receiver positions have been addressed, the Jets can take care of their third-biggest need with the addition of Iowa product C.J. Fiedorowicz.
While not a supreme athlete like Eric Ebron or Jace Amaro, Fiedorowicz is a rare commodity as a two-way tight end who can step in a play right away as either a blocker or a receiver.
Adding a player like Fiedorowicz gives the Jets a backup receiving option to Jeff Cumberland while supplying the team with the blocking presence it lacks at the position. His upside is a bit limited because of his relatively average athleticism, but he is an instant-impact player who is a great value in the fourth round.
- NYJets.com: Carl Bradford, LB, Arizona State
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville
- Gang Green Nation: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
My Pick: Brandon Thomas, G/T, Clemson
With their top needs taken care of in succession, the Jets can now start to address some of their secondary needs along the offensive line. There are two starters in place in Willie Colon and Brian Winters, but Winters was inconsistent at best as a rookie, and Colon is recovering from a torn biceps injury.
Brandon Thomas has good size with long arms (34.75", per NFL.com). He played both tackle and guard at Clemson, but he will be limited to the guard position because of his slow feet—which is perfectly fine for a Jets team that really only needs depth on the interior.
What is more concerning about Thomas is a recent ACL injury that makes him a big question mark for this upcoming season. If he is not able to return to form by the start of the season, the Jets could simply stash him on the depth chart and eventually use him to compete with Oday Aboushi and William Campbell for the veteran Colon's starting job.
- NYJets.com: Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
- Gang Green Nation: Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana
Round 4 (Compensatory)
My Pick: Keith McGill, CB, Utah
Rex Ryan can never have too many cornerbacks, even after using a first-round pick on the position in consecutive seasons.
Keith McGill certainly looks the part at 6'3", fitting the mold of the increasingly popular big cornerbacks in the NFL. A man-to-man specialist, McGill has good speed, body control and acceleration between movements, giving him some upside to work with at the next level.
He also has experience at safety, making him even more valuable to a team that needs some young talent at the position.
McGill, however, could use some more bulk to hold up in the run game, as durability has been a concern for him—he missed most of 2011 and all of 2012 with a shoulder injury. He is also 25 years old, limiting how much more his body could develop at the next level.
Still, McGill has a lot of tools that would make him an excellent press-man cornerback in Ryan's scheme if he can stay healthy.
- NYJets.com: Jack Mewhort, T, Ohio State
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
- Gang Green Nation: Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma
My Pick: Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor
The Jets have a serviceable pair of safeties to get through the season in Antonio Allen and Dawan Landry, but they will need to prepare for life without the unspectacular Landry when his contract expires after the season.
Ahmad Dixon shares many traits with Landry as an in-the-box run-stopper, but he is much more explosive and can cut down angles much more quickly. Dixon plays with an attitude and is not afraid to jump routes to make game-changing plays.
However, unlike Landry, Dixon allows his aggression to get the best of him at times. He does not wrap up consistently and can get beat in the air because of his overaggressiveness. If he can learn to channel his aggression and play more efficiently, Dixon has a chance to be a very effective player at the next level.
If selected by the Jets, Dixon would be able to ease his way into the starting lineup behind Landry.
- NYJets.com: Prince Shembo, LB, Notre Dame
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Matt Patchan, OT, Boston College
- Gang Green Nation: Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon
My Pick: Crockett Gilmore, TE, Colorado State
A former defensive lineman, Gilmore can be a terror in the open field to bring down. His good hands and strength make him a good security blanket in the middle of the field for any quarterback.
Because of his relative inexperience at the position, Gilmore is very unrefined as a route-runner and a blocker. He is also a bit lean relative to his NFL counterparts, raising questions about his durability.
With more time to learn the position and fine-tune his game, Gilmore would fit right in with the Jets as a developmental player who can contribute on special teams early on.
- NYJets.com: Antone Exum, S, Virginia Tech
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Vinnie Sunseri, SS, Alabama
- Gang Green Nation: Ryan Groy, T, Wisconsin
Round 6 (Compensatory)
My Pick: Michael Sam, DE/OLB, Missouri
Ignoring the off-field attention he brings as the first openly gay NFL prospect, Michael Sam brings a lot to the table that the Jets are lacking from their outside linebackers.
Sam struggles to seal the edge against the run, but he is an explosive pass-rushing specialist who could be the final piece of the puzzle to the Jets' rebuilt defensive front. As a rookie, Sam would be able to contribute on obvious passing downs, letting the veteran Calvin Pace handle the run duties on first and second down.
The Jets have been linked to Sam, as Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun reports.
Sam is a bit of a one-trick pony who will need time to develop into a full-time player, but the Jets would be a perfect landing spot to give him both a specialized role and time to develop.
- NYJets.com: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Tre Boston, FS, North Carolina
- Gang Green Nation: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
Round 6 (Compensatory)
My Pick: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Even after adding Michael Vick, the Jets cannot be content with their quarterback depth chart until they find themselves a long-term franchise player.
Tajh Boyd has taken a steep fall down draft boards since his stellar 2012, going from a first-round talent to a late-round project. While he still has a quick release, his inconsistent fundamentals and decision-making exposed Boyd as being surrounded by stellar offensive talent rather than being a dynamic talent in his own right.
Still, Boyd has enough physical tools to entice a team to stash him as the second or third quarterback to develop.
- NYJets.com: De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Kasim Edebali, OLB, Boston College
- Gang Green Nation: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Round 6 (Compensatory)
My Pick: Mike Davis, WR, Texas
The Jets have made massive improvements to their receiving corps with this draft, but they still need to bulk up their depth to finish the overhaul of their receiving corps.
A heavily recruited high school prospect, Mike Davis is a developmental player with good size (6'2"), hands and body control that make him an excellent sideline target. He has a large catching radius, able to "pluck" the ball out of the air—making him extremely valuable in the red zone.
He is a bit stiff as a route-runner and takes some time to accelerate, but he has enough tools to be a dangerous downfield threat if used properly.
- NYJets.com: Tre Boston, S, North Carolina
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley
- Gang Green Nation: Matt Patchan, OT, Boston College
My Pick: Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford
A strong leader with tremendous football instincts, Ed Reynolds is a younger version of Rex Ryan favorite Jim Leonard. Like Leonhard, Reynolds is a bit limited athletically but was used in many different ways, both in deep and man-to-man coverage.
A team captain, he is fearless on the field and unafraid to take on players much more imposing than him. He also has NFL bloodlines—his father, Ed Reynolds Sr., was a linebacker for 10 seasons, a league executive and UFL president.
Reynolds would have to make his bones as a special teams ace and work his way onto the field from there.
- NYJets.com: John Urschel, G, Penn State
- Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: DeDe Lattimore, ILB, USF
- Gang Green Nation: James Morris, OLB/ILB, Iowa