3 takeaways from New York Jets 2019 NFL draft class
By Jake Spriggs
The 2019 NFL Draft is now complete and the New York Jets came away with a couple of pieces that could contribute immediately in 2019. There was some good and some bad from this year’s draft but only time will tell how the Jets did in the draft. Here are three takeaways from the Jets 2019 draft class.
Another NFL Draft is complete and every team added pieces that they think will help them succeed in 2019, including the New York Jets. General Manager Mike Maccagnan and the Jets coaching staff believe that they added pieces that will hopefully help them take down the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and the 2019 draft class are expected to be the missing link to take down the defending Super Bowl champions.
Nashville, Tennessee is known as the “Music City”, but was turned into NFL Draft city from Thursday-Saturday. With the smoke settled, it is time to examine how good every team’s roster can be in 2019. Below we will examine the good, the bad, and the big “ugly” from this year’s draft class for the Jets. Here are three takeaways from the New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft class.
Next: 1. Defense heavy draft class
1. Defense heavy draft class
The Jets came away with six draft picks in this year’s draft and the major takeaway is that four out of the six picks are on the defensive side of the ball. Quinnen Williams, Florida edge defender Jachai Polite, Minnesota linebacker Blake Cashman, and Rutgers cornerback Blessuan Austin were brought in to help out on defense. The two picks on the offensive side of the ball were USC tackle Chuma Edoga and West Virginia tight end Trevon Wesco.
This year’s draft class will be judged mostly on how well Williams does on the NFL level. Williams now pairs with Leonard Williams on the Jets interior defensive line. Leading up to the draft, most analysts and scouts had Williams at the top of their big board. The Crimson Tide product was labeled as the “best overall player” in this year’s draft and fortunately, he fell right into the Jets laps with the third overall pick.
Quinnen Williams was the highest-graded DI we have ever had in the PFF College Era. The Jets got an absolute play-maker. pic.twitter.com/0xW3YcrXKW
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 28, 2019
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will be multiple on defense, switching back and forth from a 3-4 and 4-3. The Jets have a lot of talent on the defensive line and coach Williams will do everything he can to make sure he has the Williams duo on the field as much as possible.
Polite fell to the Jets in the third round due to character concerns and a bad combine. However, he was battling a hamstring injury throughout the pre-draft process. If Polite can keep his head on straight, his college tape shows he could become a steal for the Jets. In 2018, Polite led the Gators with 17.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and led the nation with six forced fumbles.
Next: 2. Jets miss out on top offensive linemen
2. Jets miss out on top offensive linemen
While the Jets did add potential top talent to their defense, they kind of ignored protecting quarterback Sam Darnold. This could become a problem as the 2019 season moves along.
Heading into Day 3 of the draft, there was plenty of good talent left on the board for the offensive line. However, the Jets only took one offensive lineman with Edoga in the fourth round. Edoga did play with Darnold at USC so there is a connection there but there were better offensive linemen out there that filled a need. Georgia center Lamont Gaillard was a name that was thrown out there at the beginning of Day 3 who could have filled that need.
Anyways, here is the scouting report on Edoga from NFL Network Analyst Lance Zierlein:
Edoga is a smooth, athletic run-blocker and an uneven, unrefined pass protector, which creates a challenge in projecting him. His ability to get to blocks in a variety of positions from his initial stance is something that cannot be taught. While some of his flaws in pass pro can be coached up, there are physical deficiencies that could plague him throughout his career. To become a successful NFL starter, he needs to check the strength, maturity, and durability boxes as early as possible in his career.
There are some questions about his work ethic but Edoga needs to mature and get into better shape this season because he could become a starter in 2020. Both of the Jets starting tackles, Brandon Shell and Kelvin Beachum are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2019 season. If Edoga can show better work ethic and technique, he could become a starting tackle in 2020 and take over for either Shell or Beachum.
Next: 3. Trevon Wesco could become a steal for the Jets
3. Trevon Wesco could become a steal for the Jets
The Jets did add a potential offensive playmaker for Darnold in West Virginia tight end Trevon Wesco. The Mountaineer product is a good receiver but is more known for his blocking and could be a nice complement to Jets tight end, Chris Herndon. He could also help open up some running lanes for running back Le’Veon Bell.
In 2018, Wesco recorded 26 catches for 366 yards and a touchdown for the Mountaineers. Wesco earned Big 12 first-team honors last season. Wesco is a Martinsburg, West Virginia native who earned all-state honors in both football and basketball. He is a big bowling ball with surprising athleticism.
.@nyjets @TrevonWesco congratulations on picking this #Mountaineer. This is BabyGronk. The Adam Gase Playbook just expanded 25%. #BaldysBreakdowns
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) April 27, 2019
As you can see, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger has high praise for Wesco. He isn’t saying he will become the next Rob Gronkowski, he just has physical traits that remind Baldy a lot of Gronk. If Wesco is even 60% of what Gronkowksi was for the Patriots, it will give Darnold another weapon on an underrated group of playmakers.