Draft

Top 5 bold predictions for the Jets in 2017 NFL Draft

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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
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
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new york jets
new york jets

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

Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, here are the top five bold predictions for the New York Jets.

The 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us as the New York Jets will have their opportunity to bolster their team by ushering another youth movement. It won’t be easy but with seven draft selections to work with at this point in time, the Jets are in good shape to leave this year’s draft with a solid group of players ready to contribute.

It’s hard to make a case if the Jets should consider trading down or even trading up in this year’s draft but general manager Mike Maccagnan knows exactly what to do. He’s done a good job so far in his tenure with the team as it’s best to trust him to get the job done.

With the No. 6 overall pick, several experts have weighed in their thoughts as NFL.com believes the Jets should take a premier offensive player. Others at ESPN feel the Jets need to bolster their defense with a cornerback or safety.

It’s hard to predict what will happen but here’s my shot to make some bold predictions as to what might transpire. Without further ado, here are the top five bold predictions for the Jets heading into this year’s draft.

Next: 5. Jets stay put at No. 6

new york jets
new york jets

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

5. Jets stay put at No. 6

There will be a plethora of temptations but when all is said and done, expect to see the Jets stay put with their No. 6 overall pick. The reason being, while it’s tempting to trade down in the draft order to acquire more draft picks, the No. 6 spot would give the Jets an extremely high caliber athlete.

The Jets can see what direction the five teams ahead of them go in and no matter what happens will still be able to land a premier player. They could land the best available cornerback, safety, running back, or might even decide to draft another quarterback.

While it makes more sense for the Jets to draft a quarterback later on in this year’s draft, again, the Jets will have so many incredible options to pick from once they’re on the clock, it’s best to keep their first-round pick. While there have been a lot of rumors about teams wanting to trade up and perhaps even get the No. 6 spot from the Jets, they’ll ultimately stick with what they got.

Maccagnan knows a top-ten pick is huge in the NFL and he won’t want to part ways with it considering the possibility of landing a franchise player. One of which that will be the face of Jets for years to come.

Next: 4. A heavy emphasis on defense

new york jets
new york jets

Mar 5, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State defensive back Marshon Lattimore speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

4. A heavy emphasis on defense

Last season, the overall defense of the Jets was an absolute nightmare. They had no aggression, no sense of urgency, and they played without any pride whatsoever. The purge that occurred so far this offseason means the Jets will need to shake things up defensively and bring in players that fit the mold of a contending team.

Expect to see the Jets use the majority of their draft picks on defense, especially for their secondary. In my only full first-round mock draft of the year, I have the Jets selecting cornerback Marshon Lattimore out of Ohio State with the No. 6 overall pick.

Yes, he has a history of hamstring issues but when healthy, will easily be among the best cornerbacks playing in the NFL within the next year or so. It’s important the Jets address their main issues at cornerback and safety right off the bat in this year’s draft.

If they aren’t enamored with Lattimore and are worried they might have a Dee Milliner 2.0 situation on their hands again, even if they take the “best player available” approach, they need to focus on a defensive player. A top cornerback or safety is ideal to start things off in the first round.

Next: 3. Adding one more quarterback

3. Adding one more quarterback

At this point in time, the Jets only have Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, and Josh McCown on the roster at quarterback. Yes, it’s more than likely going to be the case that Petty or Hackenberg will be starting next season but if things don’t work out, then what?

McCown was brought in this offseason by the Jets to be a mentor to the young quarterbacks around him. If he has to start at any point, the Jets will have some serious questions to answer if they made a mistake drafting Petty and Hackenberg if they can’t beat a journeyman backup quarterback.

Adding another quarterback in this year’s draft is ideal. In my 7-Round mock draft on the Jets, I have them landing quarterback Nate Peterman in Round 3. He would be such a great option to have on the Jets just in case things don’t work out with Petty or Hackenberg.

Until a franchise quarterback is revealed on the Jets, they need to keep drafting them until one is found. It won’t be easy but as always, more options are always better in the long run. The Jets will absolutely draft another quarterback in this year’s draft.

Next: 2. Adding another offensive playmaker

new york jets
new york jets

Nov 26, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Stacy Coley (3) stiff arm Duke Blue Devils cornerback Mark Gilbert (28) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami won 40-21. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Adding another offensive playmaker

Whether the Jets decide to draft another running back or wide receiver, they need to add some more “pop” to their offense. Last season, the Jets were terrible in the red zone and well, didn’t score touchdowns on a consistent basis.

More from The Jet Press

This year’s draft is stacked with a solid amount of playmakers that can not only stick to a receiving role but also double up as a special teams returner. Speaking of which, the special teams of the Jets also leaves much to desire.

That’s why the Jets need to find one of those versatile offensive playmakers that can cause damage every single time the football is in their hands. Expect to see the Jets draft a wide receiver that can do well on offense and also turn some heads on special teams.

It also wouldn’t hurt the Jets to consider drafting a running back for this specific purpose. Matt Forte is getting up there in age and Bilal Powell is a bit injury prone. Bringing in a fresh pair of legs that also can double up as a receiving threat would be great for an offense in dire need of more playmakers.

Next: 1. Trading Sheldon Richardson for more picks

new york jets
new york jets

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Trading Sheldon Richardson for more picks

Instead of the Jets trading up or down from the first round, it’s best they use one of their defensive players in a trade to acquire more draft picks. It’s no secret that defensive end Sheldon Richardson has caused more distractions than anyone else on the Jets over the past few years.

Since the Jets are rebuilding for a brighter future, it’s important to have the right kind of locker room for all these younger players and set the right culture. Richardson is far from leadership material as it makes sense to cut their losses now and trade him away from another draft pick or two.

Realistically, the Jets will be lucky if they can get a fourth round pick, heck, they might even have to settle for something lesser in value to unload him. Either way, this is a move that needs to happen that would send a stern message across the locker room that the Jets are serious about working hard to being contenders again in the future. The focus should always be what is on the gridiron and not off-the-field controversy.

Next: Jets take best weapon in 7-round mock draft

Richardson has a ton of potential to have a very successful NFL career but reality says he’s too much of a headache to keep around. Even if the Jets have to settle for something as low as a fifth-round draft pick to trade him, they should do it to move on once and for all.

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