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New York Jets Monday Mailbag: Mid-round prospects, draft steals, & more

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Trayvon Mullen #1 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates his sack against Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Trayvon Mullen #1 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates his sack against Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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"In the New York Jets Monday Mailbag, we answer all your Jets Twitter questions weekly. In this edition, we discuss third-round picks"

Welcome to this week’s edition of the New York Jets Monday Mailbag here on The Jet Press! This is a new series that will look to answer any and all questions you may have about anything and everything pertaining to the Jets.

To have your question included in future editions make sure to follow us on Twitter at @TheJetPress and be on the lookout for a tweet every weekend asking for your questions.

In this edition of the series, we discuss mid-round prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft, draft steals, and much more. With that, let’s get on with our questions.

If the #Jets stay at No. 3, who do you see falling to No. 68 that could fill a void?

— Michael Pallas (@mtpallas) March 24, 2019

Unlike the limited options the Jets would have if they stayed at the No. 3 overall pick, there is a myriad of possibilities the team could explore with their next pick at the beginning of the third round. Some of that will depend on who they ultimately select with their first pick, but positions like center and cornerback will need to be addressed regardless.

If any of the top center prospects are available with that third pick — Garrett Bradbury, Elgton Jenkins, and Erik McCoy — the Jets would be wise to snag them before they fall any further. Out of all of those, McCoy would be the most likely to still be available.

For cornerbacks, players like Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen or Michigan’s David Long (more on them later) could be options. Other potential targets could be Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin or Vanderbilt’s Joejuan Williams, although they’re seen more as second-round prospects.

If the Jets don’t address edge rusher with their first pick, expect them to tackle the position with one of their third-round picks. I have my eye on TCU’s L.J. Collier and Ben Banogu as players who could fall in that range. Collier is larger and less explosive while Banogu is a bit undersized but is a more experienced pass rusher.

If all else fails, the Jets could hope that one of the projected top-50 wide receivers falls to them. With a very deep receiver class concentrated around late Day 1 to mid-Day 2 picks, some players like Deebo Samuel, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, or Riley Ridley could be around at this slot. Even so, there are a ton of other receiver options to target to give Sam Darnold more to work with next season.

Do you think the jets go trayvon Mullen/David long with the no.68 pick or OL ?

— rip g-baby (@barrybongz_0) March 24, 2019

This is essentially the same question as our previous entry so I’ll make this quick.

If the Jets do go cornerback with their first third-round selection, I would absolutely love if the team could land a player like Mullen. The Clemson product excels as a press-man cornerback who has the size and physicality to body opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage.

But unlike other physical, press corners, Mullen is plenty fast as he clocked in with a 4.46 40-yard dash time which is exceptional for a player of his stature. He still needs to work on the intangibles of playing zone and his footwork can be a bit clunky at times, but he would be an excellent fit at the top of round three and would immediately step in and compete for the No. 2 cornerback job.

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I’m not quite as high on Long, however. He also does well as a press-man corner but just doesn’t have the size and length that Mullen has. It’s hard for me to see him developing into a starting corner in the NFL, and at best projects more as a reliable No. 3 or 4 option. Long simply doesn’t possess the same upside that Mullen does.

If they attack the offensive line as you mentioned, expect them to target the interior line. I don’t expect the aforementioned Bradbury or Jenkins to be there but if they are that’s an obvious pick. Personally, I have McCoy higher on my board than Jenkins as I love his power and age (only 21-years-old) making him a fantastic pick if he’s there at No. 68.

If all three top center prospects are gone, the focus would then shift to Oklahoma’s Dru Samia or Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom as feasible interior line targets.

Is there any late round projected player you see being a steal if they fall to the Jets?

— Josh Kerr (@JoshKerr829) March 25, 2019

Currently, with just six picks in this year’s draft, the Jets are going to have to make each of their picks count meaning that they might need to hit on a late-round draft pick or two.

Without a 5th-round pick at the moment, this could limit their “late-round steals” to the final two rounds of the draft. Still, there’s always the chance to find a gem late on Day 3.

A player I’ve done a bit of research on is Indiana center Nick Linder, the brother of current Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder. Linder has the upside you look for with a late-round pick and his versatility playing at both the guard and center positions could be appealing for a team like the Jets looking for help all over the interior line.

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However, the best chance of hitting in the later rounds generally comes with skill position players. I expect plenty of decent wideouts to still be available in the final two rounds with some notable names maybe being Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow, Georgia State’s Penny Hart, and Baylor’s Jalen Hurd.

If the Jets wanted to go local, Buffalo’s Anthony Johnson and Syracuse’s Jamal Custis could also go in the later rounds with Custis having the best chance of still being available in the sixth.

If we’re including fourth-round picks as “late-round steals,” I’d keep an eye on Ohio State’s Michael Jordan as a potential starting center option early on Day 3. Jordan’s combination of size, power, and age (21-years-old) make him a high-upside pick in the fourth round if he’s still on the board.

Do you think that Mac has had a good offseason or a bad one? We still have a lot of holes around and was not as aggressive for big needs in center and CB. Roster still needs a bit of work

— Mike Lucadamo (@M_Luc_) March 25, 2019

Alright after all this draft talk we finally move on to something else. Interestingly enough, this question is very similar to an article I just did on the Jets offseason thus far — cheap plug, click here for a more in-depth response.

As a whole, I think it’s still a bit too early to declare this offseason a success or failure, but so far the results have been more mixed than people may think. Yes, the signings of Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, and Jamison Crowder were all excellent and will hopefully do wonders for the team on both sides of the ball, but it’s fair to question some other offseason moves.

Or rather, lack thereof.

The Jets haven’t addressed the edge position at all nor have they been able to secure a new starting center. On top of that, the cornerback situation is a mess as a Week 1 trio of Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts, and Brian Poole is certainly worrisome.

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Front office defenders will claim that the draft could be used to fix all of these needs but that’s a lot to expect from a team that currently has just three top 100 picks. I go more in-depth in the aforementioned article (final plug I promise), but it isn’t wise for the Jets to back themselves into a corner here where they must fill those three holes with their first three picks or risk going into the season with a glaring weakness.

That’s not to say that they should have (or could have) signed the top center, edge, and cornerback options in free agency. But it’s very reasonable to have wanted the Jets to address the positions in some meaningful way as opposed to relying on the draft as a crutch for three major needs.

Even a minor signing such as a deal for edge rusher Shaquil Barrett or one for remaining free agent center Stefen Wisniewski would have been enough to appease. At least then the team would have a fallback plan.

Still, it would be unfair to claim that the entire free agency period has been a mess. The value that Bell, Mosley, and Crowder will bring is immeasurable and the Jets likely did come out of free agency as one of the league’s biggest overall winners.

But the issue is that they could have done more.

Next. Breaking down the Josh Allen/Quinnen Williams debate

Regardless, there’s still time to address the concerns either with remaining free agents or, of course, the draft. For now, the jury is still out.

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