2016 NFL Draft: Top 10 players to keep an eye on for NY Jets
Sep 26, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats linebacker Scooby Wright III (33) during the fourth quarter against the UCLA Bruins at Arizona Stadium. UCLA won 56-30. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
The 2016 NFL Draft will be here before football fans know it. Make sure to keep an eye on these top 10 players as they will no doubt gain popularity as the NFL offseason begins.
The draft is slowly coming upon us. As the days and months slowly creep by, we become more and more aware of what NFL people are saying about prospects, not just the “experts,” but those who are within organizations.
The draft is an inexact science. Some people slip through the cracks, like Tom Brady (pick #199 overall). Some are busts, like Ryan Leaf (#2 overall), and some are no brainers, like Cam Newton and Andrew Luck (#1 overall).
As the days go by, you will begin to hear a lot of chatter. Here are the top 10 players to watch for the Jets in the first two days of the draft.
Next: 10. A fast rising quarterback
Jan 9, 2016; Frisco, TX, USA; North Dakota State Bison quarterback Carson Wentz (11) throws a pass in the third quarter against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in the FCS Championship college football game at Toyota Stadium. North Dakota State won the championship 37-10. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
10. Carson Wentz The Jets may need to draft a quarterback, and according to Walter Football, there is a new top quarterback on many draft boards. His name is Carson Wentz.
They say he can make all the throws. He also has prototypical size and is good in the pocket.
They also like his off the field demeanor. He is also a winner and would be another smart player the Jets could add to hopefully have more options at quarterback in the future.
He’s been a member of the North Dakota State Bison for all five of their five conseuctive championships and started on two of them. The only thing that gives teams apprehension is him being able to get to NFL speed, because he faced lower competition in college.
Next: 9. Filling a need
Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Billy Price (54) and offensive lineman Taylor Decker (68) block against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Buckeyes defeated the Fighting Irish 44-28. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
9. Taylor Decker According to Walter Football, says Decker’s pass blocking is behind his run blocking. Also, some say his 6-7 frame is a problem for him most times.
Decker had some trouble with speed rushers in college. He has some technique problems, not gaining enough leverage by staying too tall.
With that said, his technique can be molded at the pro level with the right coaching. The Jets will need a right tackle, due to the upcoming salary cap casualties.
Depending on his performance at the 2016 NFL Combine, he could fall out of the first round. He’s a key player to watch at this position, among those that could be available for the Jets at No. 20.
Next: 8. Dynamic Return Man
Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Braxton Miller (right) is pursued by Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith during the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Buckeyes defeated the Fighting Irish 44-28. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
8. Braxton Miller Miller’s stats doesn’t necessarily impress many people. He had 68 touches for 601 yards and four touchdowns.
On the other hand, his top end speed will impress many at the combine. He may move up on many teams’ boards come April if he puts on a showcase.
Right now though, Walter Football has him as the 13th best wide receiver. This could help the Jets be able to select him later on in the draft.
He’s the most intriguing prospect to me in this year’s draft, because many people don’t make the transition from quarterback to receiver while in college. His unique set of circumstances actually helped his NFL Draft stock value, rather than hindering it.
Next: 7. Offensive line help
Dec 31, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (74) and Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) during the game in the 2015 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
7. Jack Conklin
Conklin is the #3 best tackle in this draft. However, the Jets definitely won’t get either of the top two at the No. 20 pick but if they’re lucky, Conklin might be available when they’re on the clock.
He played left tackle at Michigan State, but most scouts see him as a right tackle in the NFL. He was a good pass and run blocker for two seasons at MSU.
While he struggled at times against top pass rushers in the Big Ten, it could be a result of limited power. He will be able to gain more power from a strength program at the NFL level.
Pay close attention to his bench press drill at the combine and his eventual pro day. He could move up many draft boards as a result of those.
Next: 6. An intriguing pass rusher
Dec 19, 2015; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Arizona Wildcats linebacker Scooby Wright III (33) tackles New Mexico Lobos running back Richard McQuarley (3) for a loss during the first half in the 2015 New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
6. Scooby Wright III
Miller is the most intriguing player in this draft. Like Miller, Wright is the most intriguing defensive player in the draft.
The intrigue for Miller is because of a position transition. However, Wright is intriguing, because he was injured in 2015 and has a long way to go in order to boost his draft stock.
He injured his foot and missed 10 games. He’s going to have to impress the scouts at the combine and with individual workouts.
Wright shined in his bowl game with 15 tackles (3.5 for loss) and two sacks. He also shined in 2014 when he had a breakout season with 164 tackles (31 for loss) and 15 sacks. If he’s healthy, he would make quite the impact on the Jets next season and beyond.
Next: 5. Dual threat back
Sep 26, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back C.J. Prosise (20) runs for a touchdown in front of Massachusetts Minutemen cornerback Kelton Brackett (1) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 62-27. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
5. C.J. Prosise Prosise had an interesting career at Notre Dame. He began his career at receiver as he totaled 36 career receptions coming into 2015.
Last year, he became a starting running back due to injury. He proceeded to rush for 1,029 yards (6.6 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns in just 10 games.
The Jets may not be able to re-sign Bilal Powell or even Chris Ivory, but Prosise would be a perfect replacement. He can run any assigned routes and even play the slot receiver position if needed.
He’s going to more than likely be a second-day pick. That means the Jets should be patient and wait for him to fall to them to possibly find a hidden gem in this year’s draft.
Next: 4. A skilled edge rusher
Nov 14, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) gestures to the sidelines during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
4. Shilique Calhoun
The Jets are in dire need of an outside pass rushing threat. They were only able to muster 27 sacks from players not named Muhammad Wilkerson.
Calhoun is the man to watch at the 3-4 outside linebacker position. He has excellent moves and strength for the NFL level.
He was not only a pass rusher for Michigan State, but he showed additional support in the running game. He added 15 tackles for loss to his 10.5 sacks in 2015.
He could be an added improvement to an already stout defense. Adding a pass rusher like him would only help the back end of the Jets’ defense.
Next: 3. A premier running back
Dec 26, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Paul Perkins (24) is tackled by Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Dedrick Young (5) and Byerson Cockrell in the second half at Levi
3. Paul Perkins Chris Ivory showed signs of slowing down at the end of 2015. With that, he may have showed that he can’t handle being a number one back in the NFL.
Like Prosise, Perkins is also a dual-threat kind of running back back. The difference between him an Prosise is that he’s more of a threat as a runner.
Perkins has showed he can handle running up the middle and on the outside as well. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry with 29 touchdowns (14 in 2015 alone).
He would be a good replacement for Ivory. If they can get both, the tandem of Prosise and Perkins would be a killer backfield combo.
Next: 2. An elite pass rusher
Nov 14, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) breaks up a pass intended for Wake Forest Demon Deacons tight end Cam Serigne (85) in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 28-7. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
2. Jaylon Smith In his recent mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Jets picking Jaylon Smith at No. 20. His stock is falling due to tearing up his MCL and ACL in the Fiesta Bowl.
He won’t be available till the end of the season unfortunately. When I first saw this, I was very skeptical that he would even be a first-round talent.
The Jets need an outside pass rushing threat to continue their momentum from last season. However, after careful consideration, the Jets could use Smith.
The combination of Muhammad Wilkerson at defensive end and Smith on the inside would be a dynamic duo. It would create a great pass rush for the Jets and help their defense become even more efficient.
Next: 1. Top pass rusher in entire draft
Sep 5, 2015; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Leonard Floyd (84) tackles Louisiana Monroe Warhawks quarterback Garrett Smith (13) during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Louisiana Monroe 51-14 in a game shortened by thunder storms. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
1. Leonard Floyd
ESPN use to air a great show known as “Numbers Never Lie” which eventually became known as “His & Hers.” In Floyd’s case, the numbers don’t tell the whole story on his ability.
The Walter Football scouting report from the beginning of the season says he needs to improve in stopping the run. The Bulldogs used him as both an edge rusher and inside linebacker, and he definitely showed why he could be quite the force to reckon with. With the defense of the Jets, he could be exactly what they need to address their pass rushing needs nicely.
Floyed showed that he can defend against the run with 10.5 tackles for loss. He also added 4.5 sacks when pressuring the quarterback.
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The 4.5 sacks is where the stats actually lie, because of how Georgia used him. He was an excellent pass rusher and he would be a great 3-4 edge rusher for the Jets.