The NY Jets will be looking for impact players in each round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are three mid-round prospects they could target this year.
The NY Jets will head into the 2020 NFL Draft needing an influx of talent up and down the roster. This isn’t a team that needs one or two more pieces before they could be considered contenders.
The Jets need multiple additions at numerous crucial positions on the roster. And as a result, they’re going to need to hit on more than just their early picks if they’re going to compete for a playoff spot in 2020.
General manager Joe Douglas will have a good amount of draft capital to play with in his first draft with the Jets. The team currently has two third-rounders and two-sixth-rounders and is missing just their seventh-round pick.
But for the sake of this article, we’re going to be taking a look at prospects they could target in the middle rounds of the draft. We’re talking players who could be taken anywhere from the third round to the sixth round, but with a focal point on the fourth and fifth rounds.
These players might not be immediate contributors, but they should help provide some depth and fill key roles on the roster.
With that, let’s examine three mid-round prospects the Jets should target in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Next: 3. Kyle Murphy
3. Kyle Murphy, OG, Rhode Island
The Jets clearly made addressing the offensive line a top priority in free agency with four of their signings coming at the position. But just because they did their part in free agency, doesn’t mean that there still isn’t work to be done.
It’s likely the Jets address the offensive line in the first round, but their Day 2 selections could very well be devoted to other positions of need such as wide receiver, edge rusher, and cornerback.
That could mean the team will have to look to the middle rounds to further addressing the offensive line. And if that’s the case, look for Rhode Island guard Kyle Murphy to be one of their top Day 3 targets.
Murphy primarily played tackle at Rhode Island but his smaller frame (6-foot-3, 316 pounds) will likely kick him inside in the NFL. Fortunately, he has experience playing all phases of the offensive line at tackle, guard, and center.
It’s that very versatility that Joe Douglas has evidently valued the most this offseason.
But not only will his versatility be intriguing to the Jets, but the Massachusetts native is an excellent athlete who moves well and has quick feet. Based on the construction of the offensive line thus far, those seem to be traits the Jets are trending towards.
Not only that, but the Jets were one of nine teams to meet with Murphy back at the NFL Combine which is further evidence of their interest.
An athletic, versatile offensive lineman who the team has done their homework on? Sounds like a picture-perfect mid-round selection for Douglas and the Jets.
Next: 2. Chase Claypool
2. Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
The Jets need wide receiver help and if they opt to take an offensive lineman in the first round, the subsequent selections are going to be crucial as they look to fix one of their biggest roster flaws.
Fortunately, the historic depth of this year’s wide receiver class could allow a few promising prospects to slip through the cracks. One of those players could be Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool.
Claypool is an interesting physical specimen who at 6-foot-4, 229 pounds can out-muscle plenty of opposing defensive backs. But the senior starter really helped his draft stock by running a shocking 4.42 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
A player that big shouldn’t run that fast. And while the tape would insist that his play speed isn’t quite as quick, the numbers don’t lie — Claypool can move.
Claypool can play both in the slot and on the outside as a standard X receiver, but he also offers intriguing versatility to play an H-back role that the Jets have used Quincy Enunwa in from time to time.
More of an underneath target than a true deep threat, Claypool creates separation with his physicality and hand fighting as opposed to his savvy footwork, but he has enough agility to shake free of defenders.
On top of that, he excelled on special teams while at Notre Dame which only adds to his value.
Given the depth of the receiver class, Claypool could drop to the third or the fourth round which could allow the Jets to make a steal of a selection in the middle of the draft.
He may not have the highest ceiling, but Chase Claypool is likely going to be an effective NFL player for a long time and he’s someone who could step in immediately and contribute.
Next: 1. Alton Robinson
1. Alton Robinson, EDGE, Syracuse
The Jets are going to primarily focus on re-building their offense in the draft, but they mustn’t ignore their biggest needs on defense. One of those needs is at edge rusher, which at this point might as well be an evergreen statement.
This year’s class isn’t particularly deep at edge rusher, but they might just be able to draft a promising pass rusher in the middle rounds if they could land Syracuse edge rusher Alton Robinson.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
- NY Jets: 3 non-quarterback trade targets on offense
- NY Jets expected to be ‘much more aggressive’ in free agency this year
- NY Jets: Patriots will not use the franchise tag on Joe Thuney
- NY Jets officially place the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye
At the moment, the current crop of edge rushers on the Jets’ roster doesn’t provide much promise as pass rushers. But if drafted, Robinson would likely be the most explosive athlete the Jets could deploy at that position.
The 2018 second-team All-ACC member has a lightning-quick first step and has the burst and bend needed to consistently beat offensive tackles around the edge in college. But he’ll need to develop an actual pass-rush plan if he’s going to find similar success in the pros.
His lack of refinement will likely push him back to the middle rounds, but for a team in need of an explosive pass rusher with sky-high potential, Robinson makes a lot of sense for the Jets.
However, legal trouble prior to his time at Syracuse has led to the dreaded character concerns which could be a red flag for the Jets. After all, they’re still recovering from the Jachai Polite blunder from a year ago.
But Robinson is as twitchy as they come and has all the athletic traits needed to be an excellent pass rusher in the NFL. Deploying him on passing downs early in his career could help mask his weaknesses while he continues to develop his game.
For a team in desperate need of pass-rush production on the edge, Robinson would be a sensible selection.