Drafting two safeties was a smart move to make by the Jets
By William Bologna
Fans were a bit surprised when the New York Jets selected back-to-back safeties in the 2017 NFL Draft but it was a smart move towards the future.
With their first two picks of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected two safeties by taking Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Taking back to back safeties received a lot of criticism, but it could prove to be the best move the Jets could’ve made.
Jets Couldn’t Defend the Long Ball
Giving up the long ball was one of the biggest issues for the Jets defense this past season. The Jets allowed 52 completions for 20 yards or more and 13 completions for 40 yards or more in 2016. In many games, one or two big passing plays against the Jets proved to be the difference between winning and losing. Citing an aging Darrelle Revis and a lack of talent at corner for this problem is the easy way out. It is important to also remember the importance of safety help over the top.
We saw many instances last year where big plays were given up due to a lapse in coverage and deep help by both safeties Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist. While this may not have appeared as the greatest position of need for the Jets, the combination of Pryor’s struggles, Gilchrist’s health issues and the fact that the two best players available to the Jets being safeties make drafting two safeties, especially these two safeties, the best move the Jets could’ve made.
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Selecting these two safeties along with the acquisition of Morris Claiborne immediately makes the Jets secondary much better. Not only will these safeties help the Jets pass defense, but we are now beginning to see a new breed of safeties that make plays all over the field. Adams is this type of safety, often being compared to New York Giants safety Landon Collins. Adams won’t only help the Jets against the pass, but can even drop down to the box and help out in run support, similar to Keanu Neal of the Atlanta Falcons.
Best Player Available Remains the Best Draft Strategy
Regardless of who the Jets selected with any of their 9 picks, they will more than likely not be competing for the Super Bowl next year, or even the NFL Playoffs. In a time like now, the best draft strategy is to simply add as much talent to your roster as possible, which is exactly what the Jets did with their first two picks. The intent behind the Jets’ selections was not to win now, but rather to build for the future.
Say Good-Bye to Pryor and Gilchrist
It is safe to assume that the Jet careers of both Pryor and Gilchrist are as good as over. Pryor will be shopped and don’t be surprised if the injury-plagued Gilchrist gets cut. The intent of this draft was to build for the future, but expect Adams and Maye to make an immediate impact this year.