Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Darron Lee (Ohio State) after being selected by the New York Jets as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
For the New York Jets, the 2016 NFL Draft was a success as these video highlights show early glimpses of solid talent ready to make some noise.
The New York Jets completed their second NFL draft under the jurisdiction of general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles. The Jets took some chances and improved on offense and defense alike.
So what will these players do in green and white uniforms? The answer is simple, exactly what they did in college. Each player will bring something to the table that will hopefully push the envelope for the Jets this upcoming season.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at all of the rookies for the Jets and some of their top video highlights from their collegiate careers.
Next: This Buckeye is destined for greatness
Inside Linebacker Darron Lee, Ohio State
With the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Jets selected inside linebacker Darron Lee. Lee will sit behind veteran Erin Henderson, until he is ready for a starting role on defense.
One of the keys for the Jets in the offseason was to add speed to their defense. With the selection of Lee, the Jets did that in troves.
Lee blew through the 2016 NFL Combine as expected, and specifically in the speed drills excelled. He clocked in with a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash, a 4.20 in the 20-yard shuttle and a 7.12 in the three-cone drill.
In his highlight reel, you see an intriguing combination of power and speed with tremendous instincts. And perhaps most importantly, a nose for the football, something he can put to immediate use here with the Jets.
Next: The quarterback of the future
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
One of the most polarizing players of the entire draft was and is quarterback Christian Hackenberg out of Penn State. He was the only quarterback drafted in the second round and with that come lofty expectations.
Fortunately due to the depth at the position, Hackenberg shouldn’t see an NFL field for some time. In an ideal world, the Jets would like to keep it that way, that’s if Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith can take the reigns of the team.
In the highlight reel, you can see some of the reasons the Jets fell in love with the former Bill O’Brien product. He’s got prototypical size for the position, can make all the throws, just not consistently.
By sticking with Penn State through all the troubles, he changed his NFL destiny, for better or for worse. The Jets are hoping that toughness will translate to the next level and help them finally solve their quarterback issues.
Next: Another pass rusher in the third round
Outside Linebacker Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
For the second straight draft, the Jets selected a pass rusher in the third round. Last season, it was linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin out of Louisville and this time around it is Jordan Jenkins out of Georgia.
Both are expected to help the youth movement at the outside linebacker position. Again, the Jets were trying to improve their speed at the linebacker position and they certainly did that with this selection.
While Jenkins was often cast in the shadow of fellow Bulldog Leonard Floyd, who ended up going in the top-10 of this year’s draft, Jenkins is just as talented, if not more so. He just doesn’t have the gaudy stats or body frame of Floyd.
Jenkins has been categorized by analysts as a blue-collar workhorse kind of player that is an all around good athlete. While he may not be a double-digit sack guy immediately for the Jets, they can always use good football players.
Next: Adding another cornerback to the mix
Cornerback Juston Burris, North Carolina State
The Jets have an interesting combination of cornerbacks on their roster, with a nice mix of young guys and veterans. With cornerback Antonio Cromartie being shown the door, the No. 2 spot is up for grabs for the Jets.
While much of the talk is around former top 10 pick Dee Milliner, veteran Buster Skrine and rising upstart Marcus Williams for that starting gig, cornerback Juston Burris should be involved in that conversation, despite no NFL experience, yet.
Burris played man-to-man coverage in college, so it should be an easy transition to the defensive schemes of the Jets. The only concern for him in his bump and run coverage is his 40 time, which was clocked at a pedestrian 4.55.
Burris has nice defensive skills, despite collecting only three interceptions in the past two seasons. He will get his chance to make an impact early on with openings ahead of him on the depth chart.
Next: A versatile offensive lineman
Offensive Tackle Brandon Shell, South Carolina
One of the biggest areas of need for the Jets heading into the draft was the offensive line. The Jets would’ve had to wait till the seventh round to address it, if they hadn’t traded up into the fifth round.
The Jets were so in love with Shell that they were willing to give up future considerations in the draft for his services. He’s got the look of a future starter (6’5, 324 pounds), but he’s a bit raw.
The great thing about Shell is that he’s got a lot of experience playing along multiple positions on the offensive line. Shell played a lot at right tackle, an area the Jets could use improvement in.
But also as his short highlight video above suggests, a move to guard may be inevitable. Again, another area of need for Gang Green is inside the trenches.
Next: A punter from down under
Punter Loc Edwards, Sam Houston State
Why not draft a punter in the seventh round? The Jets had an opening after Ryan Quigley signed on with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Aussie product born and raised, caught the attention of the Jets with his directional punting skills.
Previous to 2016, the Jets hadn’t drafted a punter in 25+ years, when they chose Craig Hentrich in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft.
In three collegiate seasons, Edwards averaged 42.8 yards on 185 punts. He put 45 punts inside the 20-yard line.
The Jets needed a punter and drafted one as Loc Edwards should be able to beat out the relative easy competition for the starting gig. Edwards has great size for a punter (6’5, 205 pounds) and should be able to take the punishment of oncoming defenders.
Next: An intriguing final pick at wide receiver
Wide Receiver Charone Peake, Clemson
Wide receiver Charone Peake was projected to go as early as the third round, unfortunately due to a rash of injuries earlier in his career, he slipped all the way to the seventh. More bad news for Peake early on was that he was buried on the depth chart by future superstars at the position in DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.
He finally got his chance last season to be a full-time player and he responded with 50 catches, 716 yards and five touchdowns. Peake blazed the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds at his Pro Day, displaying an impressive size-speed combination.
The Jets have great depth at the receiver position, so it’ll be tough to make the roster. If he does, he’ll be a fourth or fifth option on offense.
As a role player for the Jets, he could have an impact quickly. The key is staying healthy as if he’s able to do that, the Jets might have a seventh-round gem on their hands.