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2019 NFL draft: Grading each Jets selection

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 25: Quinnen Williams of Alabama with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being announced as the third overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 25: Quinnen Williams of Alabama with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being announced as the third overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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The 2019 NFL Draft is complete. The Jets grabbed six new players to join the green and white. In the fifth draft of his career, how well did Mike Maccagnan draft?

Mike Maccagnan’s fifth draft with the New York Jets is wrapped up. The Jets’ draft class consists of only six players, a relatively small group. They didn’t make a selection in the second or seventh round. The Jets tried to get back into the second round via trade multiple times, but failed.

The Jets’ draft was focused around strengthening the trenches. They selected a defensive lineman, a pass rusher, an offensive lineman and a blocking tight end over the three day span. The remaining two picks were used on a linebacker and a cornerback.

It’s too early to tell what these prospects will do for the Jets in the future, but it’s never too early to evaluate the original pick. Here’s a grade for each pick based on value, talent and how well they fit with gang green.

Round One, Pick Three: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

This pick was a no brainer. The Jets landed who many considered to be the best player in the draft in Quinnen Williams at 3. Williams had a monster season at Alabama, posting 8 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss as an interior defensive lineman. That stat line is absolutely ridiculous.

Although the Jets tried to trade out of the 3rd slot, picking Williams was not something to be down about at all. The Jets got some serious value, grabbing the best player in the entire draft with the third pick. The Jets may have been better off drafting Williams than dealing the pick. They got an absolute baller.

Defensive tackle wasn’t necessarily a need for the Jets, but it wasn’t a strong suit either. Williams provides a huge upgrade to the entire defensive line. To have a real threat line up next to Leonard Williams every play will be huge for the Jets’ front seven. Quinnen may be the guy to give the Jets’ defense the boost it needs to finally become elite.

Grade: A

Next: Jachai Polite

STARKVILLE, MS – SEPTEMBER 29: Jachai Polite #99 of the Florida Gators celebrates a sack during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS – SEPTEMBER 29: Jachai Polite #99 of the Florida Gators celebrates a sack during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Round Three, Pick 68: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

This was an awesome pick. Polite was considered by many to be a top 20 talent in the draft at one point. His poor combine and pre-draft process killed his stock, and he fell into the Jets’ lap at pick No. 68. The Jets got themselves a steal in terms of talent.

Polite tore up the NCAA during his junior year of college, posting 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. His pass rushing ability is among the best in the class. His lack of length, size and strength limit him as a run defender. Don’t make a mistake about it: the Jets drafted Polite to get to the quarterback.

Gregg Williams will probably use Polite as a 3-4 pass rusher. He won’t be an every down player early on because of his run defense and pass coverage. You can definitely expect to see him get reps on passing downs early into his career though. The Jets got great value out of this pick.

Grade: A

Next: Chuma Edoga

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 02: Chuma Edoga #70 of the USC Trojans waits for a huddle during the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 02: Chuma Edoga #70 of the USC Trojans waits for a huddle during the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Round Three, Pick 92: Chuma Edoga, OT, USC

The Jets moved up one spot on Friday night to ensure that they can grab Edoga in the third round. The former USC offensive tackle used to block for Sam Darnold during his collegiate days and has been compared to current Jets OT Kelvin Beachum. He was connected to the Jets in several ways prior to the draft.

Edoga’s a gifted athlete with some of the quickest feet in the draft. He’s a great run blocker but unrefined in pass protection. His lack of durability, play strength and size will limit his upside. He won’t be a starter from the get-go.

This pick was a little questionable. The Jets certainly needed a boost on the offensive line, but offensive tackle is its strongest suit. Edoga’s inability to stay healthy throughout college is frightening. He may turn out to be a solid starter once Beachum’s days are over, but offensive tackle should not have been a priority on day two.

Grade: C+

Next: Trevon Wesco

MORGANTOWN, WV – OCTOBER 25: Trevon Wesco #88 of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts after a catch in the first half against the Baylor Bears at Mountaineer Field on October 25, 2018 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – OCTOBER 25: Trevon Wesco #88 of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts after a catch in the first half against the Baylor Bears at Mountaineer Field on October 25, 2018 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Round Four, Pick 121: Trevon Wesco, TE, West Virginia

The Jets traded down twice to start off day three before taking Trevon Wesco out of West Virginia. Wesco was used primarily as a blocker during his time as a Mountaineer. He caught 26 passes for 366 yards, which amounts to an impressive 14.1 yards per catch.

The thing the Jets loved the most about Wesco was his versatility. He can play tight end or fullback, so they won’t have to carry a fullback. They tried to do the same thing with Eric Tomlinson, and Wesco is a huge upgrade from him.

The Jets took a tight end in round four of last years draft as well, taking Chris Herndon IV. Don’t be fooled though. Tight end was still a need for the Jets. Wesco and Herndon will create a strong duo, with a great mix of catching and blocking. The Jets found great value in round four on Saturday.

Grade: B+

Next: Blake Cashman

Round Five, Pick 157: Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota

The Jets went for pure talent in round five of the draft, taking Blake Cashman. Cashman is a freak athlete who put up monster numbers at Minnesota, posting 104 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks in his senior season.

Cashman is a freak athlete. He tore up the combine, posting a 4.5 40-yard dash time. His athleticism shows on tape as well, hence why he was a tackle machine at Minnesota. He’s a relentless player with a high motor, which is proven by his journey from a walk-on to a captain at Minnesota.

The Jets linebacker core is already stacked, so Cashman probably won’t see the field much on defense early on. A spot is certainly open for him on special teams though, and I fully expect him to take advantage. It may not show early on in his career, but I think the Jets grabbed a steal in Blake Cashman.

Grade: A-

Next: Blessuan Austin

PISCATAWAY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 09: Johnnie Niupalau #89 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles catches a pass for a touchdown as Blessuan Austin #10 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights defends during the third quarter of a game on September 9, 2017 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Eastern Michigan defeated Rutgers 16-13. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PISCATAWAY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 09: Johnnie Niupalau #89 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles catches a pass for a touchdown as Blessuan Austin #10 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights defends during the third quarter of a game on September 9, 2017 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Eastern Michigan defeated Rutgers 16-13. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Maccagnan finally decided to address the hole at cornerback in round six of the draft, taking Rutgers CB Blessuan Austin. The talent is certainly there for Austin. His coverage skills are great, and he’s tall and athletic.

However, injuries are a gigantic concern for Austin. He’s played five games in his last two seasons, and there’s no sign of him truly fully recovering. It’ll take a miracle for him to play a 16-game season in a league as physical as the NFL. I, along with many Jets fans, wanted to see Kelvin Harmon picked in this slot, and this pick is just a leap of faith from Maccagnan.

Grade: C-

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