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New York Jets: Top 5 trade back targets in the 2019 NFL Draft

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 30: Montez Sweat #9 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts after a tackle for loss against the Louisville Cardinals during the TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field on December 30, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs won 31-27. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 30: Montez Sweat #9 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts after a tackle for loss against the Louisville Cardinals during the TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field on December 30, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs won 31-27. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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JACKSONVILLE, FL – DECEMBER 30: Montez Sweat #9 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts after a tackle for loss against the Louisville Cardinals during the TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field on December 30, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs won 31-27. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL – DECEMBER 30: Montez Sweat #9 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts after a tackle for loss against the Louisville Cardinals during the TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field on December 30, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs won 31-27. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The New York Jets will have a ton of possible targets if they decide to trade back in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. Here are some of the team’s top options.

The New York Jets have the luxury of sitting in a very enviable position in this year’s 2019 NFL Draft. They currently hold the No. 3 overall pick but could be at liberty to trade down if the price is right.

While they may be able to land a more premium player at the top of the draft — be it Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, etc. — the potential trade package might be too much to pass up. The Jets are a team with a ton of holes at the moment and it could make sense to trade down and accumulate more draft capital rather than relying solely on their only top 65 selection to get the job done.

Since the Jets don’t select again until pick No. 68, the team could trade back with a quarterback-needy team looking to acquire their franchise signal-caller of the future. For Gang Green, the extra couple of top 100 picks could be extremely valuable and ultimately prove to be the best decision.

But who exactly would they target if the traded down?

Of course, much of this would depend on who is still on the board at whatever number they are selecting. For the following scenarios, we will assume that the Jets do not trade back any further than No. 15 where the Washington Redkins pick and no earlier than No. 6 where the New York Giants select.

That gives us a range from No. 6 – No. 15 where the Jets could land another solid talent in the first round. With that, let’s run through some of the team’s top possible trade down targets.

BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 09: Andraez Williams #29 of the LSU Tigers celebrates an interception with Ed Paris #21 during the first half of a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Tiger Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 09: Andraez Williams #29 of the LSU Tigers celebrates an interception with Ed Paris #21 during the first half of a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Tiger Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

5. CB Greedy Williams — LSU

The Jets handling of their cornerback position in the offseason has left many a bit confused to this point. The team signed former Atlanta Falcons slot corner Brian Poole to replace Buster Skrine in the nickel and have seemingly promoted Darryl Roberts to a full-time starting role on the outside in place of Morris Claiborne.

But that plan hardly sounds full-proof.

While Poole had a strong rookie season, his play over the last two seasons has been hampered by the same things that have troubled Skrine, penalties and over-aggressive coverage techniques. And although Roberts played well in spurts last season, the 28-year-old has never been given a starting role in his career making it hard to expect the same level of production.

Couple that with the fact that No. 1 corner Trumaine Johnson failed to impress last season in his first year with the team and the Jets could have a disaster on their hands if they don’t make some improvements.

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Greedy Williams could step in and immediately be the team’s No. 2 corner opposite Johnson with the hope that he would take over as the No. 1 option in the near future. The LSU product has the size, speed, and athleticism of a shutdown NFL corner and is regarded by many as the top cornerback prospect in this year’s draft class.

Williams does have room to grow as his effort has been called into question in the past and he often tends to shy away from contact. Still, it’s hard to argue that his addition would add a bit more swagger to the LSU-heavy Jets secondary pairing him up with fellow Tigers alumni Jamal Adams.

If the Jets trade back to the mid-teens perhaps with a team like the Redskins, Williams should easily still be available. That would likely be the very beginning of his range making it a very feasible selection if the team were to drop that far back.

Next: 4. Montez Sweat

JACKSONVILLE, FL – DECEMBER 30: Montez Sweat #9 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with fans following the TaxSlayer Bowl against the Louisville Cardinals at EverBank Field on December 30, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs won 31-27. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL – DECEMBER 30: Montez Sweat #9 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs celebrates with fans following the TaxSlayer Bowl against the Louisville Cardinals at EverBank Field on December 30, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs won 31-27. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

4. EDGE Montez Sweat — Mississippi State

The Jets are also desperately in need of an edge rusher and could very well target one if they remain at No. 3 overall, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others available if they opt to trade down.

One of the better ones that should be available in the back half of the top 10 is Mississippi State edge Montez Sweat. Sweat is expected to be one of the top edges available after the initial dropoff following Nick Bosa and Josh Allen meaning the Jets could be a destination for him if the team were to trade back.

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Sweat wins with a combination of powerful pass rush moves and technically sound hand placement. He may not be a 10+ sack guy every year at the next level, but expect him to just be a really solid overall player.

The Mississippi State product is also an excellent run defender setting the edge effectively and anchoring his body to get in position to make the play. That coupled with his overall length and long-stride ability make him an excellent all-around prospect.

Sweat does, however, lack the upside as a pass rusher that other edges have in this class. The 23-year-old doesn’t typically have the bend and flexibility to win around the edge which will limit his production as a pass rusher at the next level.

On top of that, Sweat is probably better suited as a 4-3 defensive end making him a difficult fit with the Jets. Still, Sweat would be a nice consolation prize if the team did decide to pass on one of the top guys — mainly Allen — and trade down.

Next: 3. Ed Oliver

ANNAPOLIS, MD – OCTOBER 20: Ed Oliver #10 of the Houston Cougars looks on after the Houston Cougars defeated the Navy Midshipmen at Navy-Marines Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD – OCTOBER 20: Ed Oliver #10 of the Houston Cougars looks on after the Houston Cougars defeated the Navy Midshipmen at Navy-Marines Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

3. DL Ed Oliver — Houston

Just a few months ago, Ed Oliver was still considered to be a consensus top-three player in this draft class. At the start of the season, many analysts even had him as their No. 1 overall player.

But a pedestrian 2018 campaign and some questions regarding his size have hurt his draft stock a bit, but likely not enough to see him drop out of the top 15.

One of the more intriguing targets for the Jets in the draft would be Alabama’s, Quinnen Williams. But if the team is either unable to draft him or chooses to trade down, Oliver may just be the next best thing.

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The local Houston product is a premier penetrator using his athleticism and stout build to shoot through gaps with ease. His run defense is the strongest part of his game, but he remains an excellent pass rusher up the middle as well.

Although the sack numbers won’t show it, Oliver uses his speed and athleticism to penetrate and provide interior pressure. Unfortunately, Houston tended to use him as more of a nose tackle in many cases often leaving him double, and sometimes triple-teamed.

Oliver is best fit as a three-technique defensive tackle but that doesn’t mean he still can’t be a fit with the Jets. The 22-year-old is athletic enough to play all over the defensive line and there were teams at the combine that even asked him to perform in drills as a linebacker.

At 290 pounds!

Ultimately, Oliver is a scheme versatile prospect who could be a target for the Jets if they trade back to the back half of the top 10 or even into the early teens.

Next: 2. Jonah Williams

SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Jonah Williams #73 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to the CFP National Championship against the Clemson Tigers presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Jonah Williams #73 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to the CFP National Championship against the Clemson Tigers presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

2. OL Jonah Williams — Alabama

It’s no secret that the Jets need offensive line help. That fact has been the case for a number of years now and it hasn’t yet changed going into 2019.

The Jets did address the need just prior to free agency with the acquisition of former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele but there still remains a gaping hole at the center position. At the moment, career backup Jonotthan Harrison is slotted as the team’s starter at the position which is certainly cause for concern.

Harrison started eight games last season split between left guard and center but while the Florida product remains a reliable, versatile reserve, he shouldn’t be trusted as a starter going into 2019.

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That’s where Jonah Williams could come into play.

Now, the Alabama offensive lineman has played primarily offensive tackle while with the Crimson Tide and although he’s made his name as a left tackle, Williams is versatile enough to play anywhere on the line. Truth is, there are many who feel that Williams doesn’t have the length to play as a tackle in the NFL and while those concerns may be overblown, what’s not overblown is his ability to be a very effective guard or even a center.

The Jets could simply plug Williams in as their Week 1 center in 2019 and look to move him further outside in the future. That could be either replacing the aging Osemele or underperforming Brian Winters at guard or shifting him back to tackle in place of Kelvin Beachum whose contract is set to expire after this upcoming season.

Either way, Williams would be an excellent chess piece to have on the offensive line going forward and could fill an immediate need while serving as a proactive plan for the future. He should be available in the latter portion of the top 10 making him a very appealing trade down target.

Next: 1. Brian Burns

MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 06: Brian Burns #99 of the Florida State Seminoles causes a fumble by N’Kosi Perry #5 of the Miami Hurricanes in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Miami, Florida. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 06: Brian Burns #99 of the Florida State Seminoles causes a fumble by N’Kosi Perry #5 of the Miami Hurricanes in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Miami, Florida. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

1. EDGE Brian Burns — Florida State

Out of all the edge rushers in this year’s class, none are getting overlooked more than Florida State’s Brian Burns. Outside of the aforementioned Bosa and Allen, Burns should be considered the top edge defender in the draft — and the talent gap between them isn’t all too significant.

There is perhaps no prospect more refined as a pass rusher in this year’s class than Burns. The 2018 First-Team All-ACC selection is an elite speed rusher who has the body flexibility to be able to dip and bend around opposing offensive tackles.

While he doesn’t have a premier first step, his speed and long strides are able to make up for it and he has no issues beating linemen around the edge. But by no means should Burns be considered a one-dimensional speed rusher.

Burns’ varied pass rush moves include an excellent set of counter moves which allow him to win inside just as much as he could win outside. Whether it’s a spin move, a stutter-step, or something else, Burns will often fake outside and counter back inside refusing to be a predictable pass rusher.

If there has been one criticism of him as a prospect it has been his overall stature. Burns regularly played in the 230-240 pound range while at Florida State and while he weighed in at 249 pounds at the combine, it’s yet to be seen if he could play at the weight in the NFL.

Nevertheless, Burns would be an ideal fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the Jets defensive scheme and would give the Jets their best pure pass rusher in years. Although his run defense is far from a strength, Burns even offers versatility in pass coverage which would make him a valuable piece in Gregg Williams defense.

Next. New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft Top 150 Big Board

If the Jets trade down in this year’s draft, their best bet would be to land a player like Burns and hopefully secure a premier pass rusher for the first time in over a decade.

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