New York Jets 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Super Bowl Edition
With the Super Bowl firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to fully focus our attention on the offseason. Here is an updated 7-round mock draft for the New York Jets post-Super Bowl.
We are now a day removed from Super Bowl LIII which means the 2018-19 NFL season has officially come to an end. For the New York Jets, the season had ended quite some time ago but it is officially time to shift into full offseason mode.
The Jets have one of the most barren rosters in all of the NFL meaning they’re going to have to do a lot in the offseason to add legitimate building blocks to set the team up for success. While free agency could be a good place to acquire some of those pieces, the best teams are successful at building through the draft.
Last year’s draft netted them a couple key pieces on their offensive unit in 2018 with quarterback Sam Darnold and tight end Chris Herndon looking like hopeful mainstays on the roster for years to come. But if the Jets are truly going to build a roster built for contending, they must be more consistent with hitting on their draft targets.
This year’s crop of prospects isn’t overloaded with top-tier players but has enough talent for the Jets to make the right moves to set the team up for future success.
It should be noted that there will be no trades in the mock draft for the sake of simplicity, although it may just be best for the team to trade back come April. With that, let’s take a look at an updated mock draft for the Jets directly following the Super Bowl.
Round 1, Pick 3: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
This may not be the pick that will excite Jets fans the most, but it may just turn out to make the most sense.
There are a ton of factors that will go into who the team opts to select here at No. 3 overall including who the team signs in free agency and what the two teams above them do. In this scenario, Nick Bosa and Josh Allen were the first two off the board leaving the Jets without a true option at edge rusher.
Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell could be considered here as can Alabama’s Jonah Williams but this seems like a bit high for both of them and each could be better options if the team trades down. Quinnen Williams is one of the few elite prospects in this class and he could still be a fit for the Jets if the team makes other moves in free agency.
If the Jets add an interior offensive lineman and an edge rusher in free agency, those positions become less of a need meaning the organization doesn’t have to reach here. Instead, the Jets could take the talented Williams and pair him up with Leonard Williams to create a two-headed monster of 3-technique defensive tackles.
The Alabama product is a menacing force up front and with an increased focus being put on interior pressure in today’s NFL, having the “Williams brothers” in the middle of the defense could give the Jets a true strength and identity on defense. That is if Leonard Williams is able to bounce back from back-to-back disappointing seasons.
This isn’t a case of neglecting more important positions, rather simply addressing them in different ways while still landing an elite talent.
Next: Round 3, Pick 4
Round 3, Pick 4: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
The plan wasn’t initially to address receiver here but with a talent such as Deebo Samuel falling in the Fanspeak.com mock draft simulator that was used, the temptation was too much to resist.
Samuel is a legitimate top-60 talent that slipped a bit in this mock to the beginning of the third round. The Jets need to build around Darnold on offense and although an offensive lineman would be ideal here, Samuel fits what the team needs as well.
Pairing him up with Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa gives the Jets a hopefully solid trio at receiver with the addition of a veteran in free agency making the core even deeper. Combine that with Herndon at tight end and the addition of another running back in free agency and the Jets could have a much-improved cast of options for Darnold to work with in 2019.
Samuel is perhaps the best route runner in the class with ideal agility and quickness to work well in new head coach Adam Gase‘s scheme. He can play both in the slot and on the boundary allowing the team to alternate between Enunwa and Samuel on the inside.
The South Carolina product has dealt with his fair share of injuries throughout college but provided he can stay healthy, Samuel projects as another chess piece for Gase to play with on offense.
Next: Round 3, Pick 30
Round 3, Pick 30: Garrett Bradbury, Center, NC State
The Jets finally address the offensive line in the draft with center Garrett Bradbury. But just because they waited until their third selection, it doesn’t mean that they won’t get an instant impact starter at the position.
Bradbury has the ability to step in and be a Day 1 starter on the offensive line whether it’s at the center position or at guard. For all intents and purposes, the Jets are fine for the time being at offensive tackle with Brandon Shell looking like a true building block on the line and Kelvin Beachum still holding down the fort at left tackle.
Where the really need help is in the interior.
The NC State product is a versatile and flexible offensive lineman who will be able to compete for a starting offensive line spot at whatever position the team doesn’t address in free agency. If the Jets can find a way to bring in Denver Broncos center Matt Paradis, Bradbury can compete with Spencer Long for the starting left guard spot. If they sign guard Rodger Saffold, the two could compete at center.
Bradbury isn’t the most powerful blocker and isn’t going to maul defenders in the run game, but he has the athleticism to get up into the second level and block opposing linebackers. His impressive lateral movement and flexibility make him an ideal fit in a zone blocking scheme if the Jets continue to deploy that scheme.
Either way, a potential immediate starter with a late third round pick is too good to pass up.
Next: Round 4, Pick 3
Round 4, Pick 3: Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky
The Jets go back to the defensive side of the ball with their selection of cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. here in the fourth round. Cornerback is a low-key big need for the Jets this offseason and Johnson could be a value pick to jump in as a future starter along the boundary.
Trumaine Johnson will return and be asked to contribute as the team’s No. 1 cornerback, regardless of how poor he played at times last season, but the remainder of the Jets cornerback depth chart is a bit sketchy. Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine, and Darryl Roberts will all be free agents and it’s unlikely the team even brings back two of the three.
This leaves a huge hole at the corner position and Johnson is prime to fill that hole. The Kentucky product is a monster of a cornerback prospect standing at a whopping 6’3″ and weighing in at over 200 pounds. He has the size and length to be an excellent outside corner in a Cover 3 scheme.
He lacks the speed and hip flexibility needed to turn and run with receivers which could hinder his development at the next level. Despite his large stature, his press coverage still needs some work as well but he can be counted on to effectively tackle in run support.
This fits in well with the system the Jets have been running on defense as of late meaning Johnson could simply slide in to replace Claiborne or be groomed to take over long-term.
If you’re looking for a massive, physically imposing cornerback, there’s no better prospect in this class than Johnson.
Next: Round 5, Pick 2
Round 5, Pick 2: Te’Von Coney, LB, Notre Dame
Much like cornerback, linebacker may not appear like the most pressing need on paper but that doesn’t mean the Jets couldn’t use a player like Te’Von Coney.
With the Jets expected move to at least some variation of a 4-3 defense, the team will be using three stand-up linebackers for the first time in quite some time. Darron Lee and Avery Williamson will likely occupy the WILL and MIKE roles respectively but the team lacks a true SAM.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
They could always opt to try Jordan Jenkins at the role but the Georgia product has never really played that position at any level before. Neville Hewitt is also an option if the team brings him back but he remains more of a special teams kind of player.
That could leave a hole for a player like Coney who could develop into a true run-stuffing off-ball linebacker if given the chance. Coney doesn’t offer much in the coverage department but that wouldn’t be the role he would fill for the Jets.
Lee and Williamson would occupy the linebacker position in the nickel package but in the base 4-3 or on running downs, Coney could step in and be a presence filling gaps and stuffing running lanes. His tackling prowess could also lead to him being a very effective special teamer in the pros.
While not an obvious pick with the highest of upsides, Coney could be an effective role player for the Jets for years to come.
Next: Round 7, Pick 3
Round 7, Pick 3: Wes Hills, RB, Slippery Rock
Taking a seventh-round flier on an unheralded running out of a small school is far from the worst use of a late-round draft pick. Wes Hills is a local talent having gone to high school in Wildwood, NJ before attending college first at Delaware and later Slippery Rock.
The Jets will have the opportunity to revamp the running back position this offseason with longtime tailback Bilal Powell unlikely to return. The team could also opt to move on from Isaiah Crowell after just one season with a possible out in his contract. Free agency could also be an option the Jets explore with players like Le’Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, and Mark Ingram set to hit the open market.
Hills is an intriguing prospect who could come in and compete for a roster spot with the potential to become a rotational back in a backfield committee. The Slippery Rock product isn’t the fastest or most athletic prospect but he runs with power and stands at an intimidating 6’2″ and weighs in at 218 pounds.
Hills lit it up at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and was named the game’s MVP which allowed him to parlay that success into a Senior Bowl invite. At the very least, Hills high-motor and leadership abilities could make him a solid special teams piece for a team giving him a chance to put together a lengthy NFL career.
He may never be a feature back in the NFL, but any team could use a player like Hills on their roster.