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2017 NFL Draft ends with a successful new class for the Jets

By Bobby Kirschenbaum
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A general view before the start of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A general view before the start of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2017 NFL Draft is over and by the looks of it, the New York Jets had a successful draft class that addresses several needs on the roster.

The 2017 NFL Draft for the New York Jets was interesting, to say the least. The first night started off with what most would consider a pleasant surprise, a huge steal in selecting Jamal Adams, safety from LSU.

Adams was projected to go top five in Round 1 before the Jets were on the clock in just about all mock drafts. Jets’ fans everywhere were thrilled to see the talented defender fall to the Jets at No. 6 overall, and things were looking great. But then, night two, the Jets’ had the 37th overall pick.

After selecting Adams in the first round, it seemed likely the Jets would go after a cornerback or tight end, their biggest deficiencies, or would select the best available, possibly someone like Dalvin Cook, running back for FSU. The Jets did neither.

They selected Marcus Maye, another safety, from Florida, who has supreme talent but after selecting Adams, it left many fans perplexed. The rest of the draft was average–nothing too noteworthy, nothing too disappointing. However, following the draft, the team has filled many voids yet left many other positions questionable.

First, one of the biggest beneficiaries from the Jets’ draft was Christian Hackenberg. The Jets drafted Hackenberg last year in the second round and only dressed him for one game the entire season. In the offseason, they signed veteran Josh McCown and kept Bryce Petty on the roster, which left his future in doubt.

However, despite a deep quarterback class that included three being selected in the first round (Trubisky, Mahomes, and Watson), the Jets did not draft a single quarterback with any of their nine selections. This certainly shows some confidence from the coaching staff and management department to roll with what they currently have, especially after last year’s questionable four-quarterback dilemma.

It remains to be seen what the Jets exactly do as far as their depth chart, but the decision to not reel in another quarterback leaves the starting position up for grabs for the young Petty and Hackenberg.

New York Jets

Although the quarterbacks had to be pleased to see no new competition being brought to the Big Apple, the same can not be said for the safety position, in particular, Calvin Pryor. Pryor was the Jets’ first-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft and had a successful first year and an even better second season. However, last year, the defense was horrendous and the constant deep passes allowed fingers to be pointed directly at Pryor.

The Jets’ drafting safeties in both of the first two rounds show his tenure with the Jets is most likely coming to a close. Pryor is still a young player and has a bright future in the league, but it seems unlikely that his time with the Jets is long term, especially since they didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. He will certainly be in trade discussions in the upcoming weeks and months prior to the season, and fans will just have to see how the position unfolds with two top picks both going to the Jets.

Another huge area the Jets needed to improve on was the receiving group. The Jets have been missing a tight end for years now and many believed the Jets might even take O.J. Howard, the Alabama star, with the No. 6 overall pick, but that was before Jamal Adams fell down the draft board.

The Jets selected Jordan Leggett, Clemson’s tight end, in the 6th round, in hope that he can possibly bring some firepower to the helpless tight end position on the roster. He is huge and can make big plays, but during his college years, many questioned his effort and talked constantly about how he didn’t exactly use his size.

The Jets also selected two wide receivers in the 3rd and 4th rounds, taking Alabama’s ArDarius Stewart and California’s Chad Hansen. Stewart has the speed and the talent to be a big-time player in the NFL but didn’t get too many opportunities to prove himself with Alabama’s run-first offense. Hansen is more of a “roll of the dice” but he also will get plenty of opportunities this offseason. The Jets’ lost Brandon Marshall to free agency and Devin Smith tore his ACL and will miss the entire season. The young guys will be counted on to mature and develop quickly.

Next: Final grades for entire 2017 NFL Draft class of the Jets

Overall, the Jets had a very successful draft. The team will certainly be in more of a transition year this upcoming season, but the players selected in this year’s draft all possess a unique variety of speed, size and look to help fill the roster with young talent. Following the draft, general manager Mike Maccagnan was optimistic, as the fans should be too.

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