In this 2018 NFL mock draft, the New York Jets get lucky and land an exceptional quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick, they bolster their offensive line in Round 2 and add some much-needed depth at cornerback in the middle rounds.
For argument’s sake, I will assume the New York Jets don’t land a top quarterback in free agency this offseason. While fans would love to see them land Kirk Cousins or pull off a huge trade to acquire Nick Foles, I just don’t see either scenario happening.
It looks like the Jets will have to address the most important position on the team with the No. 6 overall pick. Of course, anything can and will happen during the 2018 NFL Draft. General manager Mike Maccagnan might be enticed to trade up to maybe the No. 4 overall pick to land a quarterback he knows is going to be a franchise player for years to come.
Could Maccagnan pull the trigger and part ways with valuable draft picks and/or players to move up in this year’s draft? Your guess is as good as mine but for my first mock draft of the offseason, I also don’t see that happening. The Jets will stay put at No. 6 and once again, get lucky as to who is still on their draft board when they’re on the clock.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the Jets land one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft as the football world goes ecstatic for the possibilities of everything he brings to the table. In addition to all the draft coverage you will find here at The Jet Press, please also visit Walter Football, DC Pro Sports Report, and EDS Football. Here’s my first full mock draft of the offseason for the Jets.
With the No. 6 overall pick, the Jets select quarterback Josh Rosen out of UCLA. He’s a smart quarterback that makes tough decisions look easy when he’s on the gridiron. He’s a leader of men, has impressive footwork, and will be ready to handle the tough media that comes with playing in the city that never sleeps.
In just three years at UCLA, Rosen totaled 9,340 passing yards, 712 completions, 59 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. He’s very accurate with his passes as he also ended his collegiate career with an accuracy percentage of 60.9 percent.
The Jets know Rosen is more than capable of pushing this franchise to heights they could only dream of. It’s time they made a bold move and instead of defining insanity by doing the same thing over again at quarterback, they drafted Rosen with the expectations of him being their starting quarterback come Week 1 of the regular season. No more going into a regular season with an older quarterback under center as Rosen will be ready to take the NFL by storm come September.
Rosen will bring a spark that has been missing for what feels like forever back to a franchise that has a loyal fanbase that just wants to see their team be a competitor again. Rosen has the incredible potential to be something special for years to come and for once, the Jets got it right and well, got lucky that Rosen was still there for the taking.
Next: Round 2 - A center that is quite versatile
Now that the Jets have their franchise quarterback freshly drafted, they need to give him the offensive line protection he deserves. Rosen won’t be able to translate all that success he had at UCLA in the pros unless he has a bolstered offensive line that will keep him upright to do what he does best.
With their first of two second-round picks, the Jets select center Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia. The versatile offensive lineman is so talented, he can do well as either a center, guard, or offensive tackle.
Since the Jets will be starting a rookie quarterback in 2018, it’s expected that new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates will bring a unique and fresh offensive system that should keep those chains moving. If he decides to emphasize running the football next season to compliment everything Rosen brings to the table, Wynn excels in run blocking schemes and will create solid rushing lanes and gaps for the ground game to take off.
Since Wynn has experience at guard and tackle, two areas that the Jets need dire help in, bodes well for him to be that perfect plug-and-play offensive lineman. Expect to see Wynn be an anchor for years to come on the Jets offensive line.
Next: Round 2 - Bringing another LSU star to the secondary
The Jets sure do love defensive backs from LSU, eh? Looks like in this year’s draft, they want to give Jamal Adams another LSU player to work alongside him on defense in 2018 and beyond. With their second Round 2 pick in this year’s draft, they select cornerback Donte Jackson.
Speed, speed, and more speed are what Jackson is all about. He can close the open gaps on defense by his incredible speed when covering top receiving threats. It will be great to see what his overall speed will officially be when he’s clocked during the 2018 NFL Combine.
Jackson is a natural born playmaker as he has a knack for tackling efficiently whenever a pass is completed in his vicinity. In his collegiate career, Jackson totaled 110 tackles, four interceptions, and 19 passes defended. Imagine the damage Jackson will do on a Jets secondary that features Adams, Marcus Maye, and Morris Claiborne if he’s re-signed this offseason?
Expect to see Jackson be a household name once he gets acclimated to life in the NFL. Luckily for him, he’ll be on a young and hungry team that wants to make their defense something to be feared of when opponents come to town.
Next: Round 3 - Time to add a solid pass rusher
It’s no secret that defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is going to be cut at some point this offseason. Besides having no trade value whatsoever, the Jets are going to need to add a pass rusher on their defensive line. One that will hopefully bring back that aggression that’s been missing from the positional group over the past few years.
With their third-round selection, the Jets will address their lack of a consistent pass rush with defensive end Harold Landry out of Boston. Landry is a beast of a defensive end that specializes in sacks, tackling for a loss of yards, and yes, bringing the heat against opposing quarterbacks.
In four years at Boston, Landry totaled 158 tackles with 48 of them being for a loss of yards, 25 sacks, and one forced fumble. Not only could he form a great tandem with fellow defensive end Leonard Williams, but he will be a force to reckon with every single time he’s on the field.
Maccagnan must have a lucky charm or a rabbit’s foot on his keychain since he once again got extremely lucky and landed this defensive stud that dropped all the way to the third round. Could next season finally be a huge turnaround year for the Jets? With a draft class like this so far, the Jets are looking like a team ready to rebound sooner rather than later.
Next: Round 4 - Adding a versatile running back
At some point this offseason, the Jets will more than likely cut ties with Matt Forte in a salary-cutting move and look to add another younger player to the positional group. They currently have Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire but would be wise to add one more name to the mix.
With their fourth-round pick, the Jets select running back Akrum Wadley out of Iowa. The versatile running back brings a lot to an offense since he can do some major damage on the ground or as an eligible receiver out of the backfield.
In four years at Iowa, Wadley totaled 2,872 rushing yards, 536 rushes, and 28 touchdowns. As a receiving option, Wadley totaled 761 yards, 28 receptions, and seven touchdowns. Imagine what kind of impact Wadley can have coming in as a relief option for Powell and McGuire?
Wadley would create a nice three-headed beast at running back for the Jets. Since Powell is a bit injury prone and McGuire hasn’t had much regular season playing experience, Wadley could get a good amount of reps. Wadley could also end up being quite the versatile weapon and due to his versatility, would be worth also seeing what he could do as a kickoff returner as he has experience there as well.
Next: Round 5 - A pass rushing linebacker
A great general manager knows how to find diamonds in the rough when it comes to the later rounds of an NFL draft. Such is the case here as Maccagnan is looking for overachievers and those that fit what the Jets are looking for in an outside linebacker that specializes in tackling and pass rushing.
With their fifth-round selection, the Jets draft outside linebacker Mike McCray out of Michigan. Not only is McCray likely to be a hidden gem in this year’s draft but fits the kind of outside linebacker the Jets need to round out their defense.
In four years at Michigan, McCray totaled 154 tackles, nine sacks, and two interceptions. At 6-4 and 242 lbs., McCray under the right coaching and training could turn into a top outside linebacker due to his keen defensive instincts and ability to take down anyone holding the football quickly.
McCray should be able to help the Jets out as quality depth as he hones his skill to the next level until it’s his time to shine. Considering that the Jets need better talent at outside linebacker, means it won’t be long for McCray to work his way up the depth chart into making a bigger impact on defense.
Next: Round 6 - Adding a new offensive weapon
The Jets need to keep infusing talent into their offense, especially at wide receiver. With the uncertainty around Robby Anderson and the fact that nobody knows how Quincy Enunwa will return from his severe neck injury last season, means that the depth at wide receiver is crucial towards success in 2018.
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Even though the Jets have ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen waiting in the wings, drafting wide receiver Michael Gallup out of Colorado State would be a smart decision by Maccagnan. In 2017, Gallup made college football history being the first football player to hit over 1,000 receiving yards in the FBS.
In his two years at Colorado State, Gallup totaled 2,685 receiving yards, 176 receptions, and 21 touchdowns. He will need some help with his route running but good coaching and extensive work with veteran receivers will get him to where he needs to be.
The Jets wide receiver corps could look very different next season with younger players leading the way. While Gallup might not make an immediate impact in his rookie season, he has the skill-set to develop into a very good wide receiver over time.
Next: Round 7 - One more piece for the offensive line
To win football games means to win the battle in the trenches. The Jets not only need to bolster their offensive line but add quality depth that can step right in and take care of business in case an injury happens.
With their final pick in this year’s draft, the Jets select offensive tackle Cole Madison out of Washington State. He’s a workhorse that is all about athleticism, durability, and overachieving when it comes to his assignments.
The Jets would be lucky to have someone like Madison to develop the right way towards being starting material. He has what it takes to get there and even though he does well in run formations, needs some work with his overall pass protection.
If the Jets develop Madison over the next few years, he will be a nice homegrown talent. He’s raw but has a good head on his shoulders to take his career to the next level. Reaction time is one of his strengths on the gridiron as well as picking things up quickly as he’s a fast learner.