NY Jets: Updated Day 2 Mock Draft with multiple wide receivers
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets landed colossal offensive tackle Mekhi Becton in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft. But with three picks to make on Day 2, who could they end up with?
Day 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books and the NY Jets have themselves a left tackle in Louisville’s Mekhi Becton. Perhaps it wasn’t the pick that some wanted at that spot, but the fact remains that the Jets have their new Week 1 starter on the left side now on their roster.
And he’s probably already an improvement over what they had.
But with Round 1 officially over, the Jets will now turn their attention to what they could make happen on Day 2 of the draft. The Jets hold three picks in total on Day 2 with one pick in the second round and two picks in the third round.
Thank you Leonard Williams.
Gang Green addressed the offensive line with their first-round pick, but there’s no reason the team can’t double-up and address the spot again in the second or third round. And with so many pressing needs on the roster, they should have plenty of options.
From wide receiver to cornerback to edge rusher, the Jets have three incredibly weak positions that they are yet to address. Expect the team to do everything they can to fill those needs over the next two days.
But for now, let’s take a look at an updated mock draft for the Jets’ portion of Day 2.
Next: Round 2, 48th Overall
Round 2, 48th Overall: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
This has been our personal favorite pick for what feels like months now — and the dream is still alive. We’re not going to change it up just for the sake of doing so.
If Michael Pittman Jr. is on the board at pick No. 48, this needs to be the selection.
Pittman brings an incredible blend of physical and polished traits that project him as a Week 1 starter at the X receiver position. He hosts one of the best catch radiuses in this class and he has strong hands that allow him to wrestle the ball away from opposing defensive backs.
The 22-year-old earned first-team Pac-12 honors and was named the team MVP for his incredible 2019 season. Pittman hauled in a team-leading 101 receptions for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns as he paced all USC receivers.
He uses his strong frame to box out opposing defenders and has an uncanny ability to high-point passes. A typical possession receiver who can make an instant impact given his nuanced route-running.
While not the most adept route-runner in the class, Pittman can effectively work to all three levels of the field.
Send him downfield on a go route and he’ll win more often than not. Work him over the middle of the field on intermediate routes and you’ll be impressed. Have him run some short outs to the boundary and watch him go to work.
Pittman is NFL ready and has the ability to develop into a No. 1 receiver even if he isn’t the fastest player out there. This would be a home-run pick and give Sam Darnold a day one starter on the boundary.
Speak it into existence, folks.
Next: Round 3, 68th Overall
Round 3, 68th Overall: Robert Hunt, OL, Louisiana-Lafayette
The Jets go back to the offensive line by landing one of the best interior linemen in the class here in the beginning of Round 3. Louisiana-Lafayette’s Robert Hunt is a mean and nasty road-grader who projects as a developmental interior lineman with starting upside.
Hunt started his career as a left guard in college before moving to right tackle in his junior season. He would earn second-team All-Sun Belt honors for his junior season and follow that up with a first-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2019, despite only playing in seven games.
The 23-year-old possesses impressive power at the point of attack but projects better as a guard in the NFL given his lackluster foot speed. Hunt will be better protected as an interior blocker as he won’t have to deal with NFL-caliber speed on the outside.
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But his slow foot speed shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of athleticism. Hunt has plenty of ability to climb into the second level and function in a zone-blocking scheme. He just combines that with some mean, powerful run-blocking traits.
Hunt will probably need some time to grow as an interior blocker, but the Jets won’t necessarily need him to start from day one. He could come in and compete with the likes of Alex Lewis, Greg Van Roten, and Brian Winters for one of the starting guard spots.
He’s a high-character, rock-solid interior line prospect that the Jets would be fortunate to grab at the beginning of the third round.
Next: Round 3, 79th Overall
Round 3, 79th Overall: Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
This is another pick that has been discussed ad nauseam, but the signs of mutual interest are obvious.
The Jets did their fair share of work on Van Jefferson in the pre-draft process and he’ll certainly have someone on the coaching staff pulling for him — his father Shawn Jefferson, who just so happens to be the Jets’ wide receivers coach.
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Jefferson is a pro-ready, savvy route-runner who may not have the highest upside, but likely has a very high floor. The Florida product wasn’t overwhelmingly productive in college, but his team’s disastrous offense certainly didn’t help.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete, well-rounded route-runner in this class than Jefferson whose quick cuts and precise footwork allow him to create separation despite his modest athleticism.
He isn’t going to blow anyone away as an athlete and he’s got a slight frame that might be a concern to some scouts, but his reliable hands and superb routes will get him plenty of looks.
Of course, there’s always the concern of the foot injury that forced him to miss the NFL Combine and a surgically-repaired knee for a sprain suffered back in 2017, but if the medicals check out, there’s no reason he can’t go on Day 2.
The vast receiver depth in the class along with his medical red flags could push Jefferson to the end of Round 3 where the Jets could fulfill the family prophecy and reunite the 23-year-old with his father.
A true feel-good family reunion.