The New York Jets out draft the AFC East
The New York Jets were thought of probable cellar-dwellar’s in the AFC East heading into the NFL Draft. Without a clear direction at quarterback, and many needs to fill throughout the offense and defense the Jets need to add talent quickly to their roster. They did.
Leonard Williams DE– I had Williams ranked as my number one player in the entire draft and was shocked to watch him fall to the Jets at six overall. The Jaguars missed the mark by drafting Dante Fowler over Williams. The addition of Williams gives the Jets and new head coach Todd Bowles a new toy to pair with an already dominant defensive line, that includes Muhammed Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Quinton Coples. With that pairing, I am confident saying the Jets defensive line is head-and-shoulders better than anyone else in the NFL, Seahawks included.
Devin Smith WR- I am not sold on Devin Smith as a second round pick, at least not at the spot the Jets drafted him, but I the pick makes sense to the makeup of the Jets team. With the acquisition of Brandon Marshall, pairing him with Eric Decker, Devin Smith provides New York with a deep-threat. Smith has amazing speed to break away from defenders and can stretch the defense in ways Marshall and Decker cannot. Devin Smith is a proven winner coming from Ohio State, every game he caught a touchdown pass (22) the Buckeyes won. He can’t be worse than the Stephen Hill pick right?
Lorenzo Mauldin OLB- I love this pick. Mauldin has the highest character of anyone in the draft and he will give you 100% effort every down he is on the field. Still raw and learning the position, Mauldin will be a pass-rush specialist his first few years in the league. Todd Bowles and his defensive scheme, fit perfectly with Mauldin a ‘tweener’ DE/OLB who can develop into something special with proper coaching and technique.
Bryce Petty QB- Drafting Petty in the fourth round makes sense. Although, I do not see him as an NFL quarterback (his game tape does not translate to the NFL), there is little risk with this pick in the fourth. Petty can sit and learn behind Geno Smith or whoever will line up under center for the Jets, he is 100% not NFL ready to play this season and needs to learn how to play in a pro-style offense. Check out my draft profile to see how I think he will translate to the NFL.
Jarvis Harrison OG- At 152nd overall, the Jets went offensive line for the first time in the draft, with a big mauler, Jarvis Harrison. Harrison is versatile, he can play both guard and tackle, but his true position in the NFL is guard. Nimble feet, Harrison will ultimately become a solid rotational/backup lineman in the NFL.
Deon Simon DT- The Jets nabbed Simon with their last pick in the draft. Simon is a three-technique, who should fit well in Bowles’ system. Not a great pass-rusher, Simon is not a quick, explosive tackle, he will stuff the run and uses his hands well to fend of blocks. He will be battling to make the team in training camp.
Zac Stacy RB- Zac Stacy obviously was not drafted, but he came over in a draft-day trade from St. Louis who made him expendable with drafting Todd Gurley on day one. Stacy will battle for carries with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell in a crowded backfield. I love the trade for New York, who gave up a measly seventh round pick, for a back whose production alone is more than a seventh round draft choice. Little risk-high reward for a back who was 20 yards short of 1,000 in 2013.
Overall Draft Grade: A-
The pick of Williams alone make this Jets draft a success. The Jets first three picks could all have long NFL careers and while I’m not sold on Petty, they did not risk a lot in the fourth round for him. The Jets had the best draft out of any AFC East team.
What do you think of the Jets draft? Let me know in the comments below…
Dan Schalk is the Founder of MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @ffsportstalk