Top 5 strategies for the Jets in Round 1 of 2017 NFL Draft
By Michael Pallas
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets enter the 2017 NFL Draft in complete rebuild mode. Here are the top five strategies they should consider with their No. 6 overall pick.
The New York Jets have a lot of holes to fill, and they couldn’t address them all during free agency. The NFL is the only league of the four major sports in which you fill your gaps with the draft after the free agency period.
The Jets need to avoid drafting a quarterback early. They also need should stay away from the front seven, if they can, and it could be possible to stay away from defense alltogether.
Their future begins with the 2017 NFL Draft. So let’s examine their possible strategies for this year’s draft. Here are the top five that make the most sense when all is said and done.
Next: 5. Drafting a quarterback at No. 6
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
5. Drafting a quarterback at No. 6
In this draft position, you’d have to think a franchise quarterback is there. The problem is that there probably isn’t a franchise quarterback in this year’s draft.
The Jets have used picks 39, 103 and 51 overall on quarterbacks in three of the last five drafts, including the last two. This is the worst option for the Jets, because it will say that they don’t believe in the two quarterbacks on their roster, and they are already moving on.
General manager Mike Maccagnan would have to deal with the backlash in the New York press if he were to draft a quarterback high in his third consecutive draft. The questions would start being asked if he’s fit to run the Jets, and rightfully so.
They may feel that they need to draft a quarterback. If they do at No. 6, expect boos and questions abound.
Next: 4. Draft the best player available
Oct 15, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers safety Jamal Adams (33) celebrates after picking up a fumble during the third quarter of a game against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
4. Draft the best player available
Many people advocate using the best player available (BPA) model when drafting. Most of the time that’s ok, but not in the case of the Jets.
The Jets are in rebuild mode, and they can’t simply take the best guy they have on their draft board because it won’t necessarily help for the future. While under normal circumstances, it would be ok, but in this particular year’s case, it’s not.
For instance, let’s say, for some reason, one of the quarterbacks is the best player on their boards. It would be a huge mistake to take one of them now because none of them are ready.
So, for 2017, it’s not advantageous for the Jets to go BPA. However, in the coming years, it might be.
Next: 3. Fill a position of need
December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Marshon Lattimore (2) tackles Clemson Tigers running back Tavien Feaster (28) in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
3. Fill a position of need
For the first round, and in no particular order, the Jets would need to address running back, tight end, offensive line, and defensive back. There are plenty of players that could fall to No. 6 for the Jets at those positions.
You may have to go down your draft board a little, but for the Jets, this year, they need to start building a foundation. Building a solid foundation for the future is key in 2017, especially after trying the win-now philosophy for the last two seasons.
There are plenty of foundational players in this year’s draft, and the Jets will begin on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Once you have the foundational players, you can start drafting BPA.
Next: 2. Move down and acquire more picks
Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan before a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
2. Move down and acquire more picks
Maccagnan wants to build this team through the draft. The best way to that is by acquiring more draft picks and moving down from No. 6.
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According to James Parks of CBS Sports, that’s what he wants to do:
“Philosophically, that’s been sort of our focus. We just haven’t really always had the opportunity to move back and acquire more picks, as much as we would’ve liked over our two years here.”
According to Pro Football Talk, their first round pick is worth 1,600 points. They would have to find a trade partner.
It might be prudent for the team to move out of the top 10 in order to draft the team they want to. Plus there could be viable teams that would want to move into the top 10. Oakland, Tennessee, and Philadelphia come to mind, and they would get multiple picks, even potentially picks in 2018.
Next: 1. Just draft a non-QB skill player on offense
1. Just draft a non-QB skill player on offense
Whether you think the future is Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, or the purported No.1 overall pick in 2018, Sam Darnold, one of them will need weapons to succeed. Even Tom Brady has had Rob Gronkowski to throw to, in recent years.
The Jets haven’t drafted an offensive skill position player in the first round since 2009 when they drafted Mark Sanchez. You have to go back 21 years to when they selected a wide receiver, running back or tight end in the first round when they selected Keyshawn Johnson.
If Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams, Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, and/or Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is available, the Jets need to select one of them. As the Jets learned from the Geno Smith fiasco, a quarterback can’t win without quality weapons.
Next: 7-Round Jets 2017 NFL Mock Draft with Christa Levitas
The league if offense-driven in 2017, and they have to think from that standpoint. Selecting a defensive player hasn’t worked., and as Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”