The New York Jets had been rumored to be wheeling and dealing during draft day and that almost resulted in them nabbing offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil according to reports.
From the Muhammad Wilkerson trade speculation, to the number one overall pick rumors, many thought the Jets might trade up in the 2016 NFL Draft. It nearly happened Thursday night according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) April 29, 2016
According to the report, the Jets were heavily monitoring Tunsil’s draft stock as it continued to plummet. Despite the fact the Jets only have six picks in this year’s draft, including the one they used on Darron Lee last night, it almost came to fruition.
Earlier this week, I spoke with both Eric Allen (New York Jets: Exclusive Interview with Eric Allen) and Joe Caporoso (New York Jets: Exclusive Interview with Joe Caporoso) earlier this week about the potential for the Jets to take some risks in this year’s draft.
Feb 26, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ole Miss Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil (48) participates in workout drills during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
General manager Mike Maccagnan is a best player available kind of guy and this report speaks to that. Tunsil was widely considered a first overall pick kind of prospect a few weeks ago.
The reason for his slide was because of a wild draft day disaster where Tunsil states that his social media accounts were hacked. While the social media portals were reportedly under someone else’s control, a video was posted to his Twitter of Tunsil smoking a bong out of a gas mask.
Then later that night on his Instagram account, screenshotted messages were posted of conversations between Tunsil and a representative of Ole Miss talking money. Tunsil later that night confirmed that the Twitter video was two years old and that he in fact accepted money from Ole Miss.
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So looking a bit deeper into the ideology, were the Jets simply doing their due diligence on one of the best players on their board?
Or were the Jets showing their hand in terms of their desire to improve the offensive line early in the draft?
While it may be no secret that the Jets need to get depth and quite possibly two new starters on their offensive line, it raises some speculation.
Could the Jets be looking at their offensive line with their 51st overall selection? Or perhaps even in the third round?
There are concerns about his durability, but the medical staff of the Jets checked him and felt comfortable he’ll be able to bounce back. Center Nick Mangold is a Pro Bowler as well but is also getting long in the tooth.
The Jets need depth at every position on the offensive line and Brian Winters and Breno Giacomini are average at best. Look for the Jets to kick the tires on guys like offensive linemen Nick Martin out of Notre Dame or Jason Spriggs out of Indiana. Both are prominently featured in this full two round mock draft and could serve to give you a sneak peek of tonight’s festivities.