The Jets have many holes to fill at the 2019 NFL Draft. Here are ten college players who make sense for Gang Green in terms of this roster’s strengths and weaknesses, and the philosophies of both the GM and the new head coach.
The words “Jets” and “lousy drafts” have become synonymous. Books can be written about the ill-advised moves of general managers from Terry Bradway to Mike Tannenbaum to all-time worst talent evaluator John Idzik. Gang Green’s latest administrator Mike Maccagnan has not exactly made the most of his opportunities either, barely above “The Mendoza Line” of successful draft selections.
Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams may one day become the league’s most dominating D-lineman since Aaron Donald. But the Jets desperately need their first legit edge edge-rusher since John Abraham — and top-rated Nick Bosa or “consolation prize” Josh Allen would instantly seal the deal.
An O-line rebuild is necessary — if this franchise plans to keep Sam Darnold upright. Maccagnan can’t afford any more mid-draft whiffs and must expend Day Two picks on addressing an overaged and underperforming offensive front.
The Jets still need a lockdown corner, a feature receiver, and a trustworthy TE2 behind flashy rookie Chris Herndon. This multi-page breakdown addresses the kind of nose-to-the-grindstone ballers ready to give their all to the Green and White (and black).
Next: Day One
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Obviously, the Jets want this draft’s top-rated talent. If the Cardinals as expected take Kyler Murray, the 49ers, after spending millions on Chiefs edge-rusher Dee Ford, will likely look to solidify their front-seven with Quinnen Williams, a generational DT to pair with DeBruckner Forrest.
Bosa and Kentucky’s Josh Allen rank one-two after that. Now, Allen should prove to be a house-wrecker. Bosa has suffered injuries — and as they say, the injury-prone get injured more often — and he’s not an “ascending athlete.” But what you see is exactly what you get.
Last year, Bosa endured a gruesome season-ending core injury. But he quelled all health concerns with an outstanding Combine performance.
Next: Day Two
David Long, CB, Michigan
It’s wrong to judge this Wolverine statistically because at Ann Arbor he was a Revis Island-like shutdown corner; nobody threw his way. Pro Football Focus rated him highest-ever in terms of preventing targeted receptions. Long comes up huge with intense physicality, and commitment to excellence. His pro skills would even amplify the play of Jamal Adams.
Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
This massive 6-foot-7 Husky flashed his talents at the Senior Bowl. Maccagnan scouted McGary heavily both there, and at the Combine. Likely won’t be available when the Jets pick Round 3. Gang Green insider Brian Costello detailed the kid’s heart-wrenching story.
Joe Jackson, DE, Miami
What team doesn’t need a battle-tested 6-foot-5 250-pound high-motor edge rusher? Jackson started as a true freshman at Miami and is going pro after an All-SEC junior season. Lean and nasty enough, JJ could be the Jets’ answer at 3-4 defensive end — if management decides to move on from frustrating/expensive Leonard Williams. The definition of a beast.
Next: Early Day Three
EARLY DAY THREE
Lamont Gaillard, C, Georgia
A rugged lineman and a leader of men; described as a junkyard dog. Some say he’s too small to deal with interior defensive behemoths. Lamont does not look like a Day One starter — but he certainly can anchor this Jets O-line moving forward.
Hjalte Froholdt, G/C, Arkansas — The first Danish player invited to the Combine excelled in the weight room and held his own on the sprint track. This unrelenting Razorback interior lineman seems like a Day Three steal. You can bet that the Jets GM is all over this guy.
Terry Beckner, DT, Missouri — A pit bull-type DT with unrelenting attitude. A wrecking machine in the trenches. Hits so hard, he hurts the competition. Returned for his senior year after two brutal ACL tears. Could be that thrifty replacement for aging NT Steve McLendon.
Next: Late Day Three
LATE DAY THREE
Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor – A bruising Tennessee RB who transferred to Waco, where he became an ascending WR force. Has nice hands, runs good routes, and yearns to get coached-up. Originally projected as an undrafted practice squadder, Hurd has risen fast on every team’s Big Board.
Trevon Wesco, HB/TE. West Virginia — A powerful former hoops star who can do it all. Not a typical Gronk-like tight end specimen, Wesco is a special teams demon, a road-grading blocker, and a productive receiver. The kinda force who’d excel in an Adam Gase offense.
Justin Hollins, OLB, Oregon — NFL draft analysts clammer over Oregon edge rusher Jalen Jelks, and for good reason. Less is heard of his partner on the other side, who is blazing fast, and great in pass coverage. But at 6’5″ 240 lb. Hollins gets dismissed as a “tweener”; too muscular for LB, and too small for DE. One of this draft’s most underrated — with a 6th/7th-round grade — Hollins could instantly challenge marginally productive starter Jordan Jenkins.