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Draft

2019 NFL draft: 3 mid-round pass rushers Jets should target

OXFORD, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Maxx Crosby #92 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles sacks Gus Ragland #14 of the Miami Ohio Redhawks during the second half at Yager Stadium on November 15, 2017 in Oxford, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
OXFORD, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Maxx Crosby #92 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles sacks Gus Ragland #14 of the Miami Ohio Redhawks during the second half at Yager Stadium on November 15, 2017 in Oxford, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Many projections have the New York Jets landing Kentucky’s Josh Allen at the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, and with good reason. But if the Jets don’t land their impact edge rusher in the first round, here’s a trio of talented prospects they could land in the middle rounds.

Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion

MIAMI, FL – NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Alex McGough #12 of the FIU Panthers is pressured buy defensive end Oshane Ximines #7 of the Old Dominion Monarchs during the first half of the game at Riccardo Silva Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Alex McGough #12 of the FIU Panthers is pressured buy defensive end Oshane Ximines #7 of the Old Dominion Monarchs during the first half of the game at Riccardo Silva Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

A versatile defender who can fit any alignment, Ximines was highly productive throughout his career for the Monarchs. He racked up 33 sacks, 51.5 tackles for loss and 11 forced fumbles over his four seasons, taking up permanent residence in opposing backfields. His lack of elite athleticism and questions about his level of competition could keep him on the board until the early part of Day 3, where a team like the Jets could pounce.

Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan

OXFORD, OH – NOVEMBER 15: Maxx Crosby #92 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles sacks Gus Ragland #14 of the Miami Ohio Redhawks during the second half at Yager Stadium on November 15, 2017 in Oxford, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
OXFORD, OH – NOVEMBER 15: Maxx Crosby #92 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles sacks Gus Ragland #14 of the Miami Ohio Redhawks during the second half at Yager Stadium on November 15, 2017 in Oxford, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

One of the biggest winners at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, Crosby turned heads by finishing among the top players at his position in multiple events. This 6-5, 255-pounder has the ideal frame and skill set for an edge defender in today’s NFL, and he’s barely scratched the surface of his potential. If he’s still on the board when the Jets make either of their two selections in the third round, he’d be a wise investment with limitless upside.

Christian Miller, Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 24: Christian Miller #47 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after a defensive stop against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 24: Christian Miller #47 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after a defensive stop against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It’s rare for talented pass rushers coming out of Tuscaloosa to still be on the board in the middle rounds, but Miller’s injury history could give teams pause earlier in this year’s draft. That said, Miller has proven he can be a productive and effective rusher when healthy, as his polished technique, intelligence and instincts allow him to constantly make plays in the backfield. If he can avoid injuries at the next level, the Jets could get a huge steal in the third round.

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