In this 2018 NFL Mock draft specifically on the New York Jets, Site Expert Luis Tirado Jr. of The Jet Press sits with Christa Levitas of Locker Room Update to see what decisions make the most sense for a brighter future.
When it comes to the New York Jets, they’ve been the talk of the offseason thanks to pulling off a blockbuster trade heading into the 2018 NFL Draft. In the grand scheme of things, it was a move that undoubtedly needed to happen in order to secure a future franchise quarterback.
The Jets traded up in this year’s draft from the No. 6 overall pick to No. 3 in order to guarantee one of the Big 4 at quarterback. They’ll be able to choose from either Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, or Sam Darnold with hopes that one of these fine quarterbacks will be “the guy” under center for years to come.
For my latest mock draft, I wanted to sit with another draft guru to see what ultimately makes the most sense for our beloved Jets. I got with Christa Levitas of Locker Room Update to do a co-mock draft to see which players she thought would be perfect for the Jets. Besides writing about the Jets, she also does amazing interviews with future prospects heading into the NFL. I’m a huge fan of her work and recommend to check out her Facebook author page as well as her awesome interactions on Twitter.
We here at The Jet Press would like to thank Levitas for taking the time to do this as she’s truly a walking draft resource. 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. Without further ado, here’s our mock draft for the Jets! As always, ladies go first as she’ll have her selection, explain why she made such a pick, then I’ll put mine and do the same.
Next: Round 1 - No. 3
LTJ: Hey Christa! Welcome and again, thanks for taking the time to sit with me and do our annual co-mock draft together!
CL: It’s always a pleasure working with you! Thank you and The Jet Press for the opportunity and for having me!
LTJ: Anytime, my good friend! Alright, the Jets are now on the clock with the No. 3 overall pick. Who are you picking and why?
CL: With this pick, I have the Jets selecting Josh Rosen out of UCLA. As of right, I believe the Cleveland Browns will select Sam Darnold with the Giants No. 2 overall pick being the ultimate wildcard. The Jets traded their two 2nd round picks this year and next year’s 2nd round pick in order to position themselves to land their franchise quarterback. In order to increase their odds of pushing more quarterback options with the No. 3 pick, the Jets made that move since I can’t say there would have been as many options in terms of quarterback if they stood at No. 6. I also feel like he would be a good fit for the Jets offense and a great quarterback for Jeremy Bates to mold.
LTJ: Great minds think alike, Christa! I also have the Jets taking Rosen with the No. 6 overall pick since out of the Big 4, he’s the one with the most upside. He has the stats to prove it, accuracy, leadership, and he can be molded to be the next big thing in the city that never sleeps. What I love the most is he wouldn’t have the pressure to immediately start come Week 1 of the regular season. With the Jets bringing back Josh McCown and signing Teddy Bridgewater, I see general manager Mike Maccagnan’s big plans were to not throw Rosen to the wolves too soon. Do you think Rosen will see any playing time during the upcoming regular season or will the Jets sit him for his rookie year like they’ve done with others in the past?
CL: I agree with you about the traits and intangibles that Rosen has which is why I believe why if he’s there, the Jets will select him. The Jets will not rush because like you said, they have Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater on deck based on their contracts. I do see Rosen starting at least a few games, though. With Teddy’s knee, I’m not sure but we all have to see how preseason pans out. Personally, I see Rosen as a guy who can compete and start right away for the Jets. It’s about when the Jets feel comfortable and when they think he’s comfortable going out there to start.
Next: Round 3 - No. 72
CL: I could also see the Jets drafting an offensive lineman here however the Jets are in desperate need of more help when it comes to getting to the quarterback. Last year, the Jets had a difficult time getting to the quarterback and it did not help that Leonard Williams was getting doubled teamed because of it. The Jets made a run at former Arizona Cardinal outside linebacker Kareem Martin but he chose to sign with the New York Giants. With zero second round picks, I have the Jets addressing the need at pass rusher first by drafting Nwosu out of USC. Nwosu is a linebacker who has the ability to stop the run, drop into coverage, who is also explosive and get to the quarterback when needed. He’s is also a very smart player who I believe would be a great fit the Jets defense and would help with our lack of pass rush.
LTJ: That’s a great pick Christa and I agree, the Jets have to do something here when it comes to their pass rush. Ideally, I’m down for a great linebacker like Nwosu but for me, I have my eyes on defensive end Jalyn Holmes out of Ohio State. I consider Holmes a sleep pick since he’s yet to hit his ceiling since as you know, the Buckeyes tend to use rotate their defensive linemen depending on situations. Either way, whichever player the Jets select here, should hopefully add more to their pass rush since they’re not going to win many football games unless they get to the quarterback consistently. If the Jets don’t take a pass rusher here, should they go with an offensive guard or an offensive tackle?
CL: I agree with you which is why I think addressing the position like you did could be the way to go if they want to address the defense. If the Jets don’t take a pass rusher here, I would go with an offensive tackle. Simply because I know the Jets signed Ben Iialana and Brent Qvale which are good depth but I believe they could use even more and especially competition at the two tackle spots. Spencer Long is a guy who is versatile who can also fill in at guard when needed. Kelvin Beachum was a good signing last year but I believe the Jets should mold and have their future LT on deck.
Next: Round 4 - No. 107
CL: The Jets resigned Ben Iialana who is a versatile offensive lineman for the Jets back to a one year deal. The Jets also resigned Brent Qvale as more added depth at offensive line, however, I believe they could always continue adding more talent to develop in the positional group. Cosby is a very good run blocker who has a mean streak to him like Brian Winters has. Cosby also has experience playing both left and right tackle which could be very valuable to the Jets. With Beachum and Brandon Shell as the starters, Cosby would help bring depth and competition at the tackle position.
LTJ: I’ve heard of Cosby and agree that he would be a very good offensive tackle with the potential to be starting material after a year or so being developed. For me, I love finding those hidden gems in the rough that a good general manager and his scouting team believe can be a real steal. In Round 4, I got the Jets taking offensive tackle Greg Senat out of Wagner. Every year, I watch the East-West Shrine game and he stood out with his 6-6, 302lb self. He’s huge and looks like he could be an anchor on the Jets offensive line for years to come. He’s quick off the snap and looks like he has a plethora of strength. Do you see Maccagnan doing more wheeling and dealing in this year’s draft to acquire more draft picks like last year or not really? Do you see any current players on the trading block to make such moves for more draft capital?
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CL: Good pick! I like Senat as well! I was actually tempted to pick him. The Jets can’t go wrong selecting either. Maccagnan did mention he is going to be very active in the draft. I would imagine he would try and acquire more picks like last year. As for current players, it all depends what happens in the draft. I’ve seen some beat writers throw around the idea of trading Jermaine Kearse, however, I do not see that being a smart move since he is a good reliable wide receiver on offense. With Pryor coming off an injury, Quincy Enunwa’s neck injury and Robby Anderson who could be suspended at the start of the season, trading Kearse would be foolish.
LTJ: I’m throwing the wild card out there since I think this might very well happen, but I can see the Jets potentially shopping around running back Bilal Powell to perhaps add another mid to late round draft pick. Could that be a possibility or not really?
CL: I’m not ruling it out. Bilal Powell will be 30-years-old next season. I’m a huge fan of him and I love him but if the Jets decided to trade him I could see why because of his age. I think a lot depends on who falls to them. I have noticed the Jets have been doing a lot of due diligence on mid to late round prospects at running back.
Next: Round 5 - No. 157
CL: Although the Jets signed wide receiver Terrelle Pryor and Andre Roberts, I have them selecting wide receiver Braxton Berrios. With Robby Anderson’s possible suspension at the beginning of the season, Quincy Enunwa’s neck injury and Pryor coming off an ankle injury, Berrios provides more depth and competition on special teams. Wide receiver is not a huge need, it would not surprise me if the Jets did not draft a wide receiver at all but Berrios also has value as someone who can contribute and help out the Jets on special teams. Roberts is a very good option for special teams but he is also on a one-year deal. Adding Berrios adds more competition in hopes the Jets finally solve their issue on special teams.
LTJ: Wow Christa, it’s like we’re both in the same state of mind! I also wanted the fifth-round pick of the Jets to not only possibly provide a weapon on offense but finally address their lack of a dynamic kickoff/punt returner. I got the Jets selecting wide receiver Russell Gage out of LSU. Gage has incredible speed and excels in both kickoff/punt returns and also is a gunner as he has a knack for taking down anyone holding onto the football on special teams coverage. I’d like to see the Jets take a chance on him and groom him mostly for special teams and then incorporating him on offense down the road once he starts to make a name for himself. Gage has impact player written all over him.
Next: Round 6 - No. 179
CL: I have the Jets selecting two offensive linemen in this mock draft. The Jets did a good job adding more depth at the center position by signing Spencer Long, Travis Swanson, and re-signing Jonotthan Harrison. Demby was a four-year starter at Maine who played well in the Senior Bowl. He is also a versatile player who scouts project can also play guard. Although he is raw, he adds depth for the Jets at offensive line.
LTJ: One can never go wrong with adding more offensive linemen. For me, however, I want the Jets to add more potential playmakers on offense. Besides Austin Seferian-Jenkins last year, they haven’t had many good tight ends that kept those chains moving and scored a plethora of touchdowns. Hopefully, Jordan Leggett steps up and delivers but the Jets added a lot of depth this offseason. They signed Clive Walford and even Bucky Hodges. If anything, more options are better than fewer ones so I see the Jets adding one more to the mix in tight end Chris Herndon out of Miami. He had a very good collegiate career and excels those famous two tight end formations Miami loves to run against opponents. I see the Jets tight end situation evolving to be more of a focal point on offense. Who do you think ends up starting at tight end for the Jets next season?
CL: Interesting pick there! The Jets seem to really like and be high on Leggett. They selected him in last year’s draft, unfortunately, he got hurt last year. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Eric Tomlinson but I believe Jordan Leggett winds up the starting tight end for the Jets.
Next: Round 7 - No. 235
CL: With the last pick the Jets have in the 7th round I have them selecting Lanning who is an intriguing prospect who was also a former quarterback. Although the Jets signed Avery Williamson as a replacement for losing Demario Davis to the Saints and that they also signed Kevin Pierre-Louis and Brandon Copland at linebacker for depth.
LTJ: Nice pick! For me, I know the Jets need more depth at defensive end and figure since it’s Round 7 and usually a crapshoot, I’m going with defensive end Mike Love out of South Florida. He’s got good speed as an edge rusher and knows how to get after the quarterback. In his three years in college, Love totaled 64 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and six passes defended. Overall, this was a blast to do and based on your mock draft, if you had to make a prediction right here on the spot over our cups of hot coffee, what will be the Jets final record in 2018?
CL: Great pick! I agree we definitely could use more depth at defensive end. This was a blast! Thank you again for the opportunity! As of right, that’s tough, this is subject to change but right now I want to say 7-9 wins. Hard for me to judge, to be honest, but I believe the Jets are heading in the right direction!
LTJ: Sweet! I’m going bold here and based on my own mock draft and after the solid additions the Jets made in free agency, I see them going 8-8 since they’ve improved the roster nicely compared to last season. Christa, as always, a pleasure and thanks again!