Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of the year is here and he has the New York Jets taking interior defensive lineman Quinnen Williams with the third pick.
The New York Jets find themselves in the enviable position of selecting third in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. Even more envious is the fact that they will not have to worry about spending that top draft pick on a quarterback with the position hopefully solved for the long term.
With that, the Jets could pivot and look to take an elite talent with their top selection or even explore the possibility of trading down with some team desperate for hope at the quarterback position. With glaring needs at edge rusher and along the offensive line, it would appear likely that the team would address one of those two positions with their third pick.
But ESPN’s resident draft expert seems to have other ideas in mind. In his first mock draft of the season, the longtime draft analyst has the Jets selecting Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with their first-round selection.
Williams has been a presence in the interior at Alabama for the last couple years but really saw his draft stock soar this season. The defensive lineman broke out in 2018 totaling 71 tackles, 19.5 for a loss, and eight sacks in his first year as a starter.
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The redshirt sophomore was a dominant force and will likely be an excellent player at the next level but it’s worth questioning if he would be the best fit for the Jets. While the Jets could certainly use a player of his caliber, the Jets have more pressing needs at edge rusher and other positions to attend to.
If all else fails, the team could always opt to trade down if the offer is there to acquire more picks. With a roster as thin as the one they’re working it, it would make sense to try and accumulate as many top 100 picks as possible to rebuild at positions of need.
It worked for the Indianapolis Colts last season when the team traded down three spots to help the Jets acquire Sam Darnold. The Cots were able to turn two of the picks acquired in the trade to select Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith, two key pieces of their offensive line in 2018.
The Jets could do that same thing if they wish to turn this team around as quickly as possible. Williams will likely be a great player in the NFL, but he just may not be the best fit for the Jets organization.