The New York Jets look like they’re going to have one of the first picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are the top 5 options the team should consider.
The New York Jets are 0-3 after three weeks of play: losing to the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and the New England Patriots.
Things don’t look like they’ll change on the road in Week 5 vs the Philadelphia Eagles. We learned Friday morning that Sam Darnold was ruled out due to mononucleosis. This will be the third straight game that Darnold will miss.
On top of that case of weird, the team will be without several other key cogs on both offense and defense. Which means the team will be on the verge of an 0-4 start. The analytics don’t speak positively about teams that open up the season in that kind of hole.
This means it isn’t very extreme to say the Jets could be picking fairly high in the 2020 NFL Draft. I’m sure it bums out every New York Jets fan on the planet to be talking about the draft this early in the season, yet this is the harsh reality gang green finds itself in.
While owning a top draft pick means you had a horrible season there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When you lose and get a top draft pick, you have a chance to turn around your fortunes in the NFL Draft. Here are the top five options the New York Jets should consider on draft day next April in 2020.
Next: Finally solve CB woes
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Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The New York Jets can barely remember the days of ‘Revis Island and AlCroTraz’ when Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie locked down the best receivers in the NFL.
Safe to say since then (and before then) the New York Jets have swung and missed about as badly as humanly possible:
- No. 29 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft: CB, Boise State, Kyle Wilson.
- No. 9 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft: CB, Alabama, Dee Milliner.
In other words, since 2010 the Jets have drafted nine cornerbacks none of them are currently on the roster. Technically the team’s 2019 sixth-round pick Bless Austin is on injured reserve.
To make matters worse, the Jets attempted to bring in a big-money free agent since they drafted so poorly at the position. They handed $72 million and change to Trumaine Johnson who was supposed to be a true No. 1 cornerback. He’s been benched and burned more times than you can count.
“I believe Jeff Okudah is the best corner in this draft. I think he’s the best Ohio State corner I’ve ever seen. That’s better than Denzel Ward, better than Marshon Lattimore, he’s that talented. I think he can be an All-Pro player as a rookie. People in college football don’t throw at him often, but when they do it’s an interception.” – Matt Miller, co-host of The Stick to Football Podcast.
During the episode, Connor Rogers even called him the ‘perfect corner’. At 6-foot-1, 201 pounds he would immediately step in and be the No. 1 corner for the team. You can throw him on an island and he’ll lock up the opposing team’s No. 1 wideout.
Next: Invest in the trenches
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The New York Jets haven’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since 2006 (when they did it twice) with D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. That was 13 years ago, both Brick and Mangold have since retired.
New general manager Joe Douglas will finally stop the dysfunction and the madness and invest in the trenches. The New York Jets need to protect their franchise quarterback Sam Darnold, why not do that by drafting a franchise tackle in Andrew Thomas?
“The Jets need offensive line help. Kelvin Beachum is going to be gone after this season so that’ll leave a big hole at left tackle. Andrew Thomas is the pick for Gang Green. Is he perfect right now? No, but not a lot of offensive linemen prospects are. What he can do in the run game is special. They have a guy there named Le’Veon Bell who needs help. Andrew Thomas can get to the second and third level of the field sometimes which is amazing. I think he’ll develop really well in pass protection at left tackle.” – Connor Rogers, co-host of The Stick to Football Podcast.
This is a plug and play kind of talent on the offensive line. That’s exactly what the New York Jets need. Is it the sexiest pick? No, but it’s necessary. Championship teams are built from the inside out and it’s time for the green and white to step up to the plate.
It shouldn’t stop here either when the Jets finally draft an offensive lineman in the first round, they should double up and draft another one in the second round. Seriously it can’t be said enough, the Jets need to completely revamp the trenches.
The Dallas Cowboys are the perfect example, year after year they invested multiple high picks in the offensive line and build a foundation of a dynasty. While they haven’t won any championships yet, the blueprint is there.
With that brilliant offensive line, the Cowboys can choose what they want to do offensively. They can pound the rock with Ezekiel Elliott or throw it around the yard with Dak Prescott. While the Jets with their current offensive line are struggling to do either.
Next: Transcendent pass rusher
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
There are only two players the Jets would pass up an offensive lineman for, in the 2020 NFL Draft, Chase Young out of Ohio State is one of them.
He’s a transcendent pass rusher that can finally end the bleeding on the edge for the green and white. Chase Young is clearly the best defensive player overall in this draft.
“Chase is a phenomenal pass rusher, he might even be better than Nick Bosa. He may even enter that Myles Garrett conversation that’s how good he is. He’s got strength, speed, he can bend, great hands, and he finishes plays.” – Connor Rogers, co-host of The Stick to Football Podcast.
The mere mention of Myles Garrett should pique the interest of Jets fans because they got a first-hand look at how special of a talent he is in their Week 2 Monday Night Football matchup vs the Cleveland Browns. He had three sacks vs the Jets alone.
In his two and half seasons in the league, Myles has registered 26.5 sacks, 26 tackles for loss, 55 quarterback hits, and five forced fumbles. The Jets haven’t had a pass rusher opponents had to plan for since John Abraham.
A really good pass rusher makes your corners better. Even the best of corners can only cover for so long. If the Jets can get a blue-chip edge player, that will immediately improve their corner play. If the team can hit two birds with one stone, why wouldn’t you?
Next: Best WR in 2020
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The other player the Jets would consider skipping an offensive lineman for is Jerry Jeudy. The big criticism of this New York Jets offense is the lack of a true No. 1 wide receiver. With this selection, those questions would no longer exist.
“Jerry Jeudy is a dynamic young receiver and he’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Odell Beckham Jr. He’s so electric, his breaks are so smooth, and what he’s able to do as a route runner is incredibly special. He probably won’t break many records at Alabama because of all the talent around him but he won the Biletnikoff Award with 68 receptions. Everyone understands he’s the best receiver in college football. Jerry has a chance to be the best wide receiver prospect I’ve ever evaluated.” – Matt Miller, co-host of The Stick to Football Podcast.
Is wide receiver the biggest need for the New York Jets? No.
But what Sam Darnold needs is weapons. Outside of a weird Pro Bowl year for Brandon Marshall, the Jets haven’t had any All-Star talent on the offense since Keyshawn Johnson. It’s time to give Darnold the No. 1 weapon he so desperately needs to build this offense around.
Look around the league at teams that possess a true No. 1 weapon. That opens up the rest of the offense. The key for the green and white is forcing opponents to gameplan for something, anything. When teams face the Jets, outside of Le’Veon Bell who just joined the party this year, there hasn’t been a player that keeps opponents up at night in the last decade.
Jeudy brings so much talent to the table. He isn’t a one-trick pony, he can run the full route tree. Jerry possesses elite feet and speed. On top of that, he’s got a phenomenal pair of mitts. While he’s not a Julio Jones-like physical prospect, with his talents he doesn’t need to be.
Next: The No. 1 option
Jets get: #3 overall pickColts get: #6, #37, #49 overall picks + 2019 second-round pick
— NFL (@NFL) March 19, 2018
Trading back with a quarterback-needy team
Despite a wide array of options that’ll be available in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Jets would be best served trading back with a quarterback-needy team.
The Jets finally found their quarterback in Sam Darnold. While the case of mono has delayed his development, he has still shown enough to lock in his status as the team’s future signal-caller.
Although not every NFL team is fortunate enough to be in that same situation.
Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft it appears there are multiple quarterbacks that are currently considered first-round talents. As a matter of fact on Stick to Football’s Mock Draft Monday episode five quarterbacks were selected in the first round.
Those names included Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Jacob Eason, and Jordan Love.
You saw how much the New York Jets gave up trading from No. 6 to No. 3 with the Indianapolis Colts. It took three second-round picks and the team’s first-round pick in exchange for the No. 3 pick.
Imagine receiving that kind of haul if you’re the Jets?
Although we’ve seen historically some teams receive an even bigger haul than that (future first-round picks). If we’re being honest with ourselves, the Jets are more than just one or two pieces away. So why not trade back a few spots, collect a bountiful fruit basket, and build up the depth at several key positions on the squad?