The NY Jets will have their fair share of options in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. But it’s nearly guaranteed that fans won’t get behind these three picks.
The NY Jets could go in a number of directions with their first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But at this stage, it’s safe to say that we’ve narrowed it down to two positions the team is likely to address.
They’ll either go with one of the top four offensive linemen or one of the top three wide receivers. At least, that’s what most are presuming.
But in reality, there are countless draft surprises every year and it’s truly impossible to predict the direction every team will take. For that reason, Jets fans better be on their toes and expect the unexpected just in case things don’t go as planned.
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While fans would love to come away with a player like Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, or Andrew Thomas, that’s far from a guarantee. The same goes for those who maybe want Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, or Henry Ruggs III.
Truth is, we can never know how the team truly feels about a player until after the draft.
With that said, let’s take a look at three first-round picks that Jets fans would absolutely hate.
Next: 3. Any interior defensive lineman
3. Any interior defensive lineman
Is there really anything to say here? Jets fans have seen the team select defensive lineman after defensive lineman with premium draft capital for years on end with very little to show for it.
Sure players like Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson had some success, but where did that get the team? Interior defensive line is one of the least impactful position groups in the NFL, and yet the Jets have spent significantly more draft capital into that position than any other one over the past decade.
Gang Green has taken an interior defensive lineman in the first round in five of the last nine drafts if you include the 290-pound Quinton Coples. As absurd as that statistic is, it’s true.
But it hasn’t only been the first round. The Jets have taken a whopping seven defensive linemen in the first three rounds of the past nine drafts. And yet just two of those players — Quinnen Williams and Nathan Shepherd — remain on the roster.
There is no need to add a defensive lineman in any round of the upcoming draft, let alone in the first round.
Auburn’s Derrick Brown and South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw are the two interior linemen projected to be drafted in the top-15 and the Jets must resist any temptation they might have to snag either one of them. Throw Iowa tweener A.J. Epenesa in the mix there too.
Simply put, there would be riots in the streets of New York and New Jersey if this happened. Social distancing be damned.
Next: 2. K'Lavon Chaisson
2. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE
While the Jets will primarily focus on upgrading the offense in the draft, they still need help at two key positions on defense. One of those — which they’ve had since before iPhones were a thing (seriously look it up, the date it accurate) — is at edge rusher.
The consensus top edge rusher in the class, and likely the best overall player, is Ohio State’s Chase Young. But it’s highly unlikely he even makes it out of the top three leaving the Jets with the second-best option in LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson.
Chaisson should be there when the Jets’ pick at No. 11, but is he really worth that selection?
The LSU product has elite athletic traits and has the potential to be a Pro Bowl pass rusher at the next level. But Chaisson is far from a perfect prospect as he had little production at LSU (just 9.5 sacks over four years) while some have concerns over his strength and maturity.
The potential is there and he’s shown growth over the last couple of seasons, but he still presents a sizable risk. And given the players that should be on the board when the Jets pick, there’s no sense in taking a risk on a talented edge rusher with an underwhelming college career.
Besides, the Jets need offense. The defense, while flawed, wasn’t the issue in 2019. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t address it, but the Jets have selected a defensive player in the first round in eight of the last nine drafts.
That’s not good and that absolutely must change this year. Chaisson would be a mistake that fans wouldn’t take too kindly too.
Next: 1. Austin Jackson
1. Austin Jackson, OT
First, it was the big three consisting of Wills, Wirfs, and Thomas. Slowly Louisville’s Mekhi Becton made his way into the top offensive lineman discussion and it became the so-called big four.
But now, is it possible we’re seeing a fifth name added to the list?
USC’s Austin Jackson has been shooting up draft boards over the last few weeks and it has scouts convinced that he’ll be drafted in the first round. What’s more, multiple mock drafts have projected Jackson to the Jets over the last few days.
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Some have even predicted that the team would take him over other top tackles such as Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. Whatever your opinion on Jackson, it’s safe to say that Jets fans will be ready to revolt if this scenario occurs.
Jackson is a high-upside prospect who has ample athleticism and flash to be an All-Pro talent at the next level. The only problem, he just isn’t there yet.
The USC product is a developmental project who will likely struggle with his technique out of the gate. Compared to the other four top tackles in the class, he’s the least ready to start in Week 1.
Yet, his athleticism and upside could interest the Jets and Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News seems to think so. Jackson was also mocked to the Jets in a recent mock draft by FanSided’s Conor Dorney.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there most certainly will be fire (in the form of pitchforks and torches) if Jackson is the pick at No. 11.