The end of the NFL season has finally arrived and the guys over at Fansided have dropped their first Post-Superbowl Mock Draft. The draft order is officially written in stone and since the Jets didnt win the Superbowl they are still picking 9th so here we go with their selection…..
“~~~> 9. New York Jets – Star Lotulelei, DT/Utah
This is a little different for New York but it could end up working. He might not fall this far but if he somehow makes it to the New York Jets, he may not be falling any further. New York could use a stout nose tackle to plug the middle, and if anything they need to upgrade that defensive, and Lotuleleli is the best in the draft at defensive tackle. Scouts say Lotulelei is the most complete and NFL-ready tackle in the draft and he’d help plug a terrible run defense in Carolina as well as penetrate the line.<~~~~”
My Thoughts on the Pick:
First let me say; I without a doubt believe that Star Lotulelei is the best NT prospect in the draft and far be it for me to or any Jet fan to be upset if the Jets feel as though he is the piece to take the Jets defense to that next level. Lotulelei is as polished and NFL ready as they come. He is a certified STUD up the middle and would cement a 3-4 NT position for the next decade.
In the run game, Lotulelei not only has a quick first step but he does a good job of anticipating the snap count. When he can get off the line of scrimmage fast, it allows him to get leverage on offensive linemen and bully them. Lotulelei has no problems utilizing his upper body to move linemen around and his legs to drive them backward. He has quick hands to shed blockers and move toward the ball.
Lotulelei, like most NTs, doesn’t really have many pass rushing moves is primarily utilizes the bull rush to overpower Guards/Centers, he without a doubt has the power to push linemen back and disrupt the pocket.
There’s no denying Lotulelei’s potential as a 3-4 NT on the next level but I believe the Jets will be OK at the NT position with Sione Pouha (granted he’s not cut or cut and brought back at a reduced rate), Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison competing for the position this summer. Pouha is as solid a NT as there is but suffered through some lingering back injuries that he should be healed from and Ellis and Harrison flashed at times last season. With the emergence of Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson on the D-line, the Jets really don’t need to go after a dominant NT (of course if Pouha, Harrison or Ellis emerge into one than that would be great) in the draft as there are more critical positions on both sides of the ball that should be addressed before the NT position. Guard for one, is a position that needs to be addressed before NT and in THIS mock, Chance Warmack is sitting on the board at #9 and I can say without a doubt that I would be “madder than a hornet” if they passed on him. Warmack like Lotulelei is an immediate starter for the next decade at least but unlike the NT position on the Jets, the Guard position is headed into dire straights with 2 starters (Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore) possibly not returning and Warmack would instantly upgrade the O-line and the entire offense as a whole.
I love Lotulelei’s potential as a NT in the NFL but he’s not what the Jets need especially in the first Round and especially with someone like Chance Warmack just sitting there…. I’ll pass
Here’s some Highlights on Start Lotulelei from the past season…….enjoy;