New York Jets: Top 3 options in round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft

New York Jets (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
New York Jets, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
New York Jets, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets hold the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are the top three options for the team to consider on draft day.

For the first time in New York Jets history, the team owns the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The team finished with a 7-9 record, one of six NFL teams that did so this season.

The reason the New York Jets are picking 11th is thanks to the draft day tiebreaker which is the strength of schedule. It’s the weakest of the six teams that shared an identical record (Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, and the Atlanta Falcons).

While the green and white have never selected 11th in the NFL Draft, several other teams have with great success.

Some of the most notable players to be selected in that spot include: Minkah Fitzpatrick (2018), Marshon Lattimore (2017), JJ Watt (2011), Patrick Willis (2007), DeMarcus Ware (2005), ‘Big’ Ben Roethlisberger (2004), and Dwight Freeney (2002).

The team is hoping that whoever they select with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft can have half the success that some of the others have had among that list. With the New York Jets sitting outside of the top-10, it’s hard to predict who will be available when it comes time for them to select.

But here are the top three options the Jets will explore during the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft this April.

Next: 1. Best case scenario

1. One of the top three tackles is still on the board

Let’s start off on a positive note, the best-case scenario for the New York Jets on draft day is one of the top three offensive tackles is still available with the 11th overall pick.

Of course, those top three tackles in no particular order is Jedrick Wills Jr out of Alabama, Andrew Thomas out of Georgia, and finally Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa.

Depending on who you talk to you’ll get a different answer on the power rankings among them, but the Jets would be giddy to select any one of them.

It would end an embarrassing draft streak for the New York Jets franchise. They haven’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since 2006, it’s time to protect Sam Darnold.

How likely is it that one of the top three tackles will be on the board for the New York Jets?

According to Senior NFL Draft Analyst Trevor Sikkema Jets fans should be feeling pretty good:

“With the team picking right outside the top-10 I do think there’s a strong chance. There’s going to be a quarterback frenzy and at least three guys are going in the top-10. Chase Young is going, Derrick Brown is another one, and Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina has a chance.

So I just said all that and I didn’t even get into the cornerback class, the wide receivers, or even Isaiah Simmons the linebacker out of Clemson. So when you throw all of that into the fold you have to be feeling good.

All three of the top tackles are worthy of a top-11 pick in this draft, but at the end of the day, there are only 10 picks ahead of the Jets so only 10 guys can go ahead of them.”

If any of them are on the board this may be the fastest draft selection in NFL Draft history. The current general manager of the New York Jets is a former offensive lineman in Joe Douglas. He realizes how important trench play is in the NFL and he was adamant at his end of season presser that the team will prioritize the offensive line this offseason and every year moving forward.

Next: 2. Okay I can live with that at No. 11

2. Getting a WR1 with the 11th overall pick.

For argument’s sake lets just say one of the top three offensive tackles isn’t on the board for the green and white for draft day, then what?

The next best thing for the New York Jets would be to surround Sam Darnold with weapons.

Any interior offensive lineman would be a reach (based on talent and positional value), the Jets have a nice dynamic duo at tight end so that would be unnecessary, and there is a slew of talented running backs but none are worthy enough to be the 11th overall pick.

That leaves the wide receiver position to address.

Only two players at that position are worthy enough to be selected: Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama and CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma.

Jeudy is a phenomenal route runner but lacks size. Lamb is a monster with his ability after he catches the football. Either would instantly give the Jets a true No. 1 wide receiver to build around which would immediately improve the squad around Sam Darnold.

The only problem with this scenario is the depth of the class. There’s nothing wrong with Jeudy or Lamb, both are supremely talented, but the Jets could get a rockstar wide receiver in the second or third round if they wanted to.

Here’s a brilliant note from The Draft Network’s Joe Marino when you look at the last four years there have been a TON of great receivers available after the first round. From everything we’ve heard the 2020 NFL Draft won’t be any different.

I know #BillsMafia is starving to see the #Bills add another WR for Josh Allen, but league trends and the depth of the 2020 class show that it is more than OK for that to be addressed on Day 2. Check this out as you consider what direction you want Buffalo to go in the 1st round:

— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) January 9, 2020

Next: 3. Worst case scenario

3. Worst case scenario

My momma always told me, “hope for the best and expect the worst.”

In other words, hope that the best-case scenario unfolds but expect the worst-case scenario happening so you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.

If the Jets are on the clock with the 11th overall pick and this is what it looks like:

  • Top three offensive tackles are off the board: Andrew Thomas (Georgia), Jedrick Wills Jr (Alabama), and Tristan Wirfs (Iowa).
  • Top two wide receivers are off the board: Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) and CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma).
  • Premium players are long gone: Chase Young (Ohio State), Joe Burrow (LSU), Jeff Okudah (Ohio State), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), and Isaiah Simmons (Clemson).

Hopefully, this doesn’t happen, but if it does the Jets will have a tough choice to make on draft day.

The best available players in no particular order would be: Derrick Brown (interior defensive lineman, Auburn), AJ Epenesa (EDGE, Iowa), Henry Ruggs III (wide receiver, Alabama), Javon Kinlaw (interior defensive lineman, South Carolina), and Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE, Penn State).

After Chase Young there’s a huge drop off in the edge rushers, so don’t love the value at 11 for anyone who’d be available. There’s a snowball’s chance in hell the team blows another first-round pick on an interior defensive lineman REGARDLESS OF WHO’S ON THE BOARD.

Which means the best possible option on the board would probably be Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs is a speedster who may very well annihilate the 40-yard dash record at the NFL Scouting Combine this February.

Currently, his NFL draft stock is somewhere in the middle of the first round so this wouldn’t be a huge reach and there’s a strong chance that his stock continues to soar up draft boards as he moves through the process.

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The other option would be a trade back in round one although admittingly in this worst-case scenario it’s unclear who would want to trade up for the players who’d be available.