2015 NFL Draft: New York Jets First Round Scenarios
Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles against the Kansas City Chiefs at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Now that the Jets have named their new head coach Todd Bowles, and general manager Mike Maccagnan, it is time start looking at how this duo might attack the draft. The New York Jets are thin at almost every position on the team except for defensive line, so almost any pick, as long as the talent is there, would help improve the roster. So let’s take a look at some possible scenarios that the Jets might pursue in the first round of the upcoming draft.
Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterbackJameis Winston
(5) at press conference after the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game against the Oregon Ducks at Rose Bowl. Oregon defeated Florida State 59-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterback: This one is obvious for many reasons, with the Jets still looking for a franchise QB probably being the biggest one. This one is a long-shot as the Jets hold the 6th pick and the top quarterbacks will likely be gone by the third. However, if Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston fall to the Jets, they may very will draft one of the two. Both these guys have question marks surrounding them and are considered to be risky. Winston has had off the field issues consistently in his college career, while many analysts are skeptical that Mariota will struggle switching into a pro style offense. However, both these guys have won the Heisman and there could be real potential with either.
Next: Wide Receiver
Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide receiverAmari Cooper
(9) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Ohio State Buckeyes cornerbackEli Apple
(13) in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Wide Receiver: There is a chance, although slight, that this year’s top WR prospect, Amari Cooper from Alabama, could drop to the Jets at number six. If so, it could be a good way to add quality talent to a thin unit with question marks (Percy Harvin staying or going?) hanging over it. The problem here is how comfortable fans will be taking a wide receiver in the first round the year after what could end up being the most prolific wide receiver draft class in the history of the NFL.
Next: Offensive Line
Jan 2, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; IIowa Hawkeyes offensive linemanBrandon Scherff
(68) before the start of their game against theTennessee Volunteers in the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Trading back and focusing on Offensive Line: The Jets have had their struggles on the offensive line and without quality play here it is difficult for any team to get an offense going. The Jets could trade down, get an additional pick maybe in the second while still having a first round pick, albeit much later. With this pick and the potentially added second rounder the Jets could focus on the O-line and draft a guard or tackle. Not the sexiest of picks but it would add crucial depth and competition to a struggling unit.
Aug 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Headshot of New York Jets cornerbackDee Milliner
(27) during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Trading back and focusing on the Secondary: A similar situation as above but instead focusing on cleaning up what was an anemic and under-talented group last season. While there is the potential for previous first round picks CB Dee Milliner and S Calvin Pryor to have strong seasons, what we have seen so far has left the Jets worried. Even if Dee can come back and stay healthy and Pryor has a bounce back season, hopefully in his natural position of strong safety, there are still questions at the other positions. Jets fans will be wary of taking DB’s in the first round due to the bad taste left by not only the aforementioned Milliner and Pryor, but also Kyle Wilson.
Next: Defensive Line
Jan 1, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel, defensive linemanShane Ray
(56), and defensive linemanMarkus Golden
(33) celebrate the victory during the second half in the 2015 Citrus Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Missouri wins 33-17 over Minnesota. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Sticking to Defensive Line: In Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft, he has the Jets drafting defensive end Shane Ray out of Missouri. It is an interesting pick considering the Jets have drafted defensive linemen each year from 2011-2013. It is the strongest unit of the Jets but perhaps Kiper is predicting a switch for the Jets from a 3-4 to a base 4-3. However if that were the case the Jets have the option to move Quinton Coples back where he belongs on the defensive line.
These of course are just some of the options, and as I mentioned before as long as the talent is there it will be hard for the Jets to make the wrong choice, unless it’s a punter or kicker.