The New York Jets hold the No. 68 overall pick + No. 79 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are the top 3 options for the team to consider in round 3.
The New York Jets own a pair of third-round picks in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft thanks to an in-season trade with the New York Giants for Leonard Williams. On top of the team’s original third-round pick (No. 79 overall) the team has a top-70 selection as well to play with on draft day.
When you look historically at the Jets they’ve been pretty hit or miss on their third-round picks (mostly miss):
2019: Jachai Polite (68th overall), Chuma Edoga (92nd overall)
2018: Nathan Shepherd (72nd overall)
2017: ArDarius Stewart (79th overall)
2016: Jordan Jenkins (83rd overall)
2015: Lorenzo Mauldin (82nd overall)
2014: Dexter McDougle (80th overall)
2013: Brian Winters (72nd overall)
2012: Demario Davis (77th overall)
Polite was one of the worst selections in New York Jets’ draft history. Although there were a lot of busts over the years that didn’t pan out (Stewart, Mauldin, McDougle). A few have promise (Edoga, Shepherd), some have been solid (Winters), and some have exceeded expectations (Davis, Jenkins).
The team will hope to flip that narrative in the 2020 NFL Draft. Good teams hit on the premium selections (first three rounds) and at the very least they should be solid contributors (if not starters), obviously, the Jets haven’t executed that strategy very well over the years.
Hopefully, they execute it better this time around. To make things easier we provided the top three options the New York Jets should consider with their two 3rd round picks.
Next: 3. Talented CB falls into their laps
The New York Jets have a major cornerback problem: Trumaine Johnson has played like a trash bag filled with rotten mangos and the rest of the depth chart is filled with no-name players that could stick around as depth.
Bryce Hall is a different animal. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound cornerback out of Virginia has mad skills. Usually, people say that defensive backs are wide receivers who couldn’t catch so they shifted over to the defense.
Hall defeats that narrative. He attacks the football as if he’s playing offense which is a unique trait among defensive backs.
In his four years in the ACC, Bryce played in 42 career games tallying: 154 tackles, four sacks, five interceptions, three forced fumbles, and 9.5 tackles for loss.
Something to keep an eye out for through this process is his injury status. In 2019 he started the first six games of the season before he went down with a season-ending injury. It was a nasty injury that resulted in a broken left leg and a dislocated left ankle.
He’s determined to be healthy and ready to strut his stuff at the Virginia Pro Day for NFL teams that are interested in his services. Many thought he would forgo his senior season for the NFL Draft but felt compelled to return due to a religious epiphany of sorts and said he learned a lot from a different perspective post-injury in 2019.
Next: 2. Jets plug a hole on OL
The New York Jets need help at every unit along the offensive line: tackle, guard, and yes even center. Not only could the Jets roll out a brand new starting five in 2020, but they could also revamp the depth which has been lacking for years.
With that being said, Lloyd Cushenberry III is a winner on and off the field. In his final moments with the LSU Tigers, he earned a National Championship ring.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound center is considered among the top-10 at his position heading into the 2020 NFL Draft per Mel Kiper Jr of ESPN. Interior offensive linemen are weird beasts, they aren’t valued nearly as highly as tackles, but they play an important role.
The New York Jets already will be forced to fill one guard spot with Kelechi Osemele being released during the season. It could be a total overhaul at guard with Brian Winters troubling injury history and the chance for Gang Green to get trigger happy and cut him to save $7.3 million (with no dead cap) in the final year of his contract.
Cushenberry could be available with either of the team’s two 3rd round picks and it would go a long way to fixing the trenches in front of Sam Darnold.
Next: 1. Jets use a familial connection
"He owns a Master's degree in route running."
It's a big Senior Bowl week for Van Jefferson, the son of our WRs coach Shawn Jefferson.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) January 21, 2020
The New York Jets obviously need wide receiver help and should explore every avenue this offseason to improve the position.
Trade and free agency are always unique options to fill a need, but the 2020 NFL Draft is deep at wide receiver. One name to keep an eye out for actually has a very unique connection to the New York Jets.
Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson is the son of New York Jets wide receiver coach Shawn Jefferson. Coincidence? I think not.
The 6-foot-2, 197-pound redshirt senior is heralded for his incredible route-running ability.
“He owns a master’s degree in route running. It’s the thing that separates him from the rest. Van did it at Ole Miss, he did it at Florida, he can make those full-extension grabs for you. Now on the other side of the coin, his speed is average and he doesn’t have an impressive body type.”
While he’s not a perfect prospect, he’s a guy the Jets should continue to look into. Route running always translates to the next level. The innate ability to create separation can’t be taught and Sam Darnold needs help, Van Jefferson could provide that for him next season.