Several prospects lit up the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Which Combine studs should the NY Jets be eyeing in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft?
The NFL Combine came to a close on Monday and each front office, including that of the NY Jets, left Indianapolis with a batch of names that impressed them during the week.
Prospects showed off their abilities in any way they could’ve, from their freak athleticism on the field to their football IQ off the field.
General manager Joe Douglas was in town for the Combine scouting out prospects for what will be his first NFL Draft as a general manager.
Former general manager Mike Maccagnan’s first draft class was underwhelming to say the least, as none of his picks are still with the Jets, and only two of them are still in the NFL (Leonard Williams and Devin Smith).
The Jets have glaring holes on the offensive side of the field to fill this offseason. After ranking 32nd in total offense in 2019, it’s safe to say they can use an upgrade or two.
Offensive line is unquestionably the biggest need for New York as they allowed the fourth-most sacks and ranked 31st in rushing offense.
Wide receiver is also a position of concern this offseason. Two of the Jets’ starters, Demaryius Thomas and Robby Anderson, are on track to hit free agency. Anderson, who’s been Sam Darnold‘s No. 1 deep threat for two years, is expected to walk according to numerous reports.
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Many believe that the Jets will use their first two picks addressing these needs, and for good reason. Luckily for Gang Green, the 2020 NFL Draft class has several top tier offensive tackles and a loaded group of receivers.
With that being said, here are three Combine studs the Jets should absolutely try to land on draft night.
Next: 3. A rising receiver
3. Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
The Jets desperately need an X-Factor on offense. A big body at the wide receiver position with elite big-play ability would almost certainly fit the bill. Chase Claypool is the perfect prospect to fit that need.
Claypool absolutely dominated the NFL Combine.
After measuring in at an eye-catching 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, he ran an astonishing 4.42 official 40-yard dash. He became the second receiver in combine history at 6-foot-4 or over and 235 pounds or over to run a sub 4.45 40-yard dash.
The only other receiver? Calvin Johnson.
His incredible Combine didn’t end there, either. He also tested above the 80th percentile in the bench press, broad jump and vertical jump.
Chase Claypool tested out as an NFL Scouting Combine freak
6’4 238 pounds (98th percentile)4.42s forty (83rd percentile)40.5” vertical (93rd percentile)126” broad (83rd percentile)19 reps bench (84th percentile)
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) March 2, 2020
Claypool’s wild Combine has him flying up draft boards across the league. He’s earned his way into the second round of several mock drafts, including Matt Miller’s of Bleacher Report.
Miller has him being drafted 63rd overall in his latest post-combine mock draft. His draft stock will only continue to rise over the coming weeks.
There’s a pretty good chance that Claypool will be on the board when the Jets select at 48th overall. He may even be available when they select again at the 68th slot.
Among the potential Day 2 receivers, Claypool has one of the highest ceilings. If the Jets want to go big or go home, Claypool is their guy.
Next: 2. A Sleeper EDGE
2. Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte
Alex Highsmith has been on the rise for four years. Starting out as a walk-on edge rusher at Charlotte, Highsmith has climbed his up the ranks throughout his college career. He closed out his college career with a stellar season in 2019, posting 15 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.
He played in the Shrine Bowl in January and played well. His impressive pre-draft process continued at the NFL Combine when he ran a 4.70 40-yard dash and impressed even more during drill work.
Edge rusher is a big need for the Jets on defense. Highsmith may not be a very flashy prospect, but he could be a great option for the Jets in the third round. Joe Douglas has emphasized building a strong culture and Highsmith would be a perfect fit.
Who doesn’t love an underdog story? Having to walk on to Charlotte after not receiving many Division-1 offers, Highsmith worked his way to being first-team All-Conference USA and an NFL Draft prospect.
The focus and determination he showed at the Combine further proved that Highsmith is driven, hardworking and plays with terrific effort every snap. If he’s still available in the third or fourth round, the Jets should certainly consider selecting him.
Next: 1. A freak of nature
1. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Mekhi Becton turned thousands of heads at the NFL Combine before even stepping on the field.
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Becton measured in at 6-foot-7, weighing 364 pounds. He’s the biggest offensive lineman in the draft by a large margin. Despite his humongous build, Becton still managed to run a 5.10 40-yard dash. That shouldn’t be possible at 364 pounds. He also benched 23 reps, which is an acceptable number.
He didn’t partake in any other Combine drills because of an injury, but he didn’t need to do anything else to impress NFL scouts. His combination of size and athleticism is unheard of. He’s been referred to as a “once in a generation” talent by many.
Although he’s still a little bit of a raw prospect, how could one not bite on his potential?
Courtesy of his ridiculous Combine performance, there’s a solid chance Becton doesn’t fall to the 11th pick. However, with teams potentially trying to trade up in the draft to grab a quarterback, you never know.
If by some chance this tree trunk of a human being were to fall to the Jets, this pick would be a no brainer. Becton has the potential to be a Hall of Fame tackle in the NFL. His ceiling is unquestionably the highest among the offensive linemen on the board.
Becton could become a staple for Sam Darnold and the Jets on day one if they were to have the shot to grab him.