2017 NFL Draft class brings an aggressive theme to Jets defense
By Michael Pallas
The 2017 NFL Draft is now complete and the New York Jets actually did a good job. General manager Mike Maccagnan was focusing on one specific theme in this year’s draft and that’s bringing back aggression on defense.
The New York Jets got two top-notch safeties and two physical cornerbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft that definitely sends a signal that the attitude of this franchise is shifting. General manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles are beginning to show what they want this team’s identity to be.
Building a team through the draft, like Maccagnan wants to, is very tricky sometimes. The key to building a good draft is picking well in Rounds 2-5 and finding the hidden gems in Rounds 6 and 7.
Maccagnan lived up to his promise of moving back via the Jets official Twitter account as this is what he ultimately did. Trader Mike pulled off five trades in this year’s draft. He turned what was originally seven draft picks into nine, and he did well with them, especially in the middle rounds.
Early on in the draft, the Jets made it clear what they want their identity to be. Maccagnan and Bowles want to build a tough and physical football defense. One that is hard-hitting and makes a statement every single time the unit steps foot on the gridiron.
They drafted two safeties who will play downhill against the run and protect the middle of the field. New safety Jamal Adams has the talent to play against both slot receivers and tight ends, a rare ability. There’s no doubt these new defensive players will infuse this locker room with a new attitude. Undoubtedly, they need it.
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Most noteworthy, the Jets waited until their last two picks to fix their cornerback issue. Since they want to play aggressively, they need corners who can press, and cover. Therefore, they had to select bump-and-run types who can stay with their man.
As a plus with Derrick Jones, coaches are getting someone relatively new to the position of cornerback, and they can develop him, rather than fix issues from college. Both late corners are good bump-and-run players, which will allow the front seven to blitz more often.
Bowles probably wants to build Cardinals East, as far as the defensive philosophy, and he’s on his way to that. Clearly, this team has a good future ahead of it. It’s still early in the evaluation process for this class as a whole but the potential is there for these new defensive players to be solid picks.
Maccagnan addressed a major need on the roster by bolstering the defensive secondary of the Jets. Now, with the draft already in the books, it’s time to continue the course of the offseason and get ready for the upcoming season.