NY Jets: Brief breakdown of every 2020 NFL Draft pick
By Carson Hathaway
The 2020 NFL draft was Joe Douglas first as the general manager of the New York Jets. How should Jets fans feel about his recent draft picks?
The NY Jets have officially concluded their first draft of the Joe Douglas era. With a whole host of new players now on the roster, we take a look at each pick that Douglas made in the 2020 NFL Draft.
From the first round to the team’s very last pick, the following is a brief breakdown of every Jets draft pick.
Round 1, 11th overall: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Jets needed to improve the supporting cast around Sam Darnold and their first-round pick did just that.
Bolstering the offensive line with this pick rather than selecting a receiver was the right thing to do because the offensive line was a more pressing need for the Jets and there were plenty of wide receivers available well after this selection.
Mekhi Becton is 6-foot-7, weighs in at 364 pounds, and ran a 5.10 40-yard dash. We may never see another offensive lineman with better physical traits than Becton.
Right now, Becton may not be as good as some of the other offensive lineman who went in the first round, but his potential is limitless because of his athletic ability.
Round 2, 59th overall: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Jets fans would have been ecstatic if they kept the 48th overall pick and selected the former Baylor Bear. Instead, they traded down 11 spots, got another draft pick, and still were able to select a player that would have been an amazing selection with their original second-round pick.
Denzel Mims is 6-foot-3 and ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. There aren’t many wide receivers who have Mims combination of size, strength, and speed.
He is very similar to Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf who also has amazing physical traits but fell deep into the second round last year.
As a rookie, Metcalf had 900 yards and seven touchdowns while recording 160 yards and a touchdown in his first-ever playoff game. When talking about Mims, Joe Douglas said: “It was important to him that he was going to make these teams pay for passing him up.”
Round 3, 68th overall: Ashtyn Davis, DB, California
This pick came as a surprise given that the Jets were already very strong at the safety position with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Using this pick on OT Josh Jones, who many thought was worthy of a first-round pick, could have been a better decision.
Ashtyn Davis is a track star and is very versatile on the football field. Davis has played as a cornerback, linebacker, free safety, and strong safety. Planning to utilize Davis as a versatile weapon all over the field or as a cornerback makes this pick more reasonable.
However, if the Jets decide not to pay both Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, who will both be asking for new contracts sooner rather than later, then Davis could be used primarily as a safety.
Round 3, 79th overall: Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
The Jets need someone who can consistently rush the passer. They tried filling that void in last year’s third round as well with another former Florida Gator in Jachai Polite, who ended up being cut by the team before the regular season started.
The Jets hope that they have better luck with Jabari Zuniga. Zuniga is 6-foot-3, weighs 264 pounds, and ran a 4.64 40-yard dash, which was the second-fastest time among players labeled defensive linemen at the NFL Combine.
Round 4, 120th overall: Lamical Perine, RB, Florida
Lamical Perine isn’t the biggest, strongest, or fastest player, but he is a well-rounded running back who is a powerful runner at 5-foot-10 and 216 pounds who is also an effective pass blocker.
As a rookie, Perine will likely serve as Le’Veon Bell‘s backup and could eventually have a bigger role in the team’s offense. With Bell possibly not returning in 2021, perhaps he could be groomed to be the eventual starter.
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Round 4, 125th overall: James Morgan, QB, Florida International
The Jets needed to address the backup QB spot given how awful the team’s offense was in the three games Sam Darnold missed due to mononucleosis last season. However, this was not the way to do it.
The Jets should bring in a veteran to backup Sam Darnold because they are more experienced and chances are a quarterback isn’t going to be very good right out of the gate if they are still available in the fourth round.
If the Jets were intent on drafting a quarterback, they could have used this pick on Jake Fromm, who many viewed as a potential first-rounder before this season and was extremely close to leading the Georgia Bulldogs to a national title as a freshman in 2018.
James Morgan has a very strong arm but he struggles with accuracy and decision making. A developmental project who may not be ready to even be a backup in 2020.
Round 4, 129th overall: Cameron Clark, OT, Charlotte
Joe Douglas smartly continues to address the offensive line with this selection. Clark was a three-year starter at Charlotte who was named first-team-all-Conference USA this past season.
He will likely be forced to move inside to guard in the NFL but the prospect of pairing him up with Becton on the left side is an intriguing future scenario.
Round 5, 158th overall: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
This was a fantastic selection by Joe Douglas.
Cornerback has been a question mark for the Jets, but Bryce Hall could change that very soon. Hall was one of the best cornerbacks in all of college football as he was named a second-team All-American in 2018.
Hall could have been a second-round pick but fell in the draft because of an injury this past season. That was the only major injury Hall has had so durability hopefully shouldn’t be a concern.
The fact that the Jets were able to get a very talented player at a position of need in the fifth round is excellent.
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Round 6, 191st overall: Braden Mann, P, Texas A&M
Punter isn’t the most exciting position, but having a guy that can consistently flip field position is always a good thing and Mann can certainly do that.
In 2018, Mann won the Ray Guy Award, which is awarded to the best punter in college football. Mann is also a capable open-field tackler. “I used to play middle linebacker when I was younger. I like to get in on it” Mann said.
The Jets traded the 211th overall pick to the Indianapolis Colts for CB Quincy Wilson. Wilson was a second-round pick in 2017 and is yet another former Florida Gators player who the Jets have acquired this weekend.
Overall, Joe Douglas had a very good first draft as the NY Jets’ general manager because he was able to get Mekhi Becton, Denzel Mims, and Bryce Hall — three very good players at positions of need.
However, given the number of talented wide receivers that were available in this draft along with the Jets needing to improve at that position, the Jets definitely should have drafted more than one wide receiver.
A key part in building a good team is being able to use your mid-round picks on players that will end up being contributors which is something that the previous Jets general manager, Mike Maccagnan was terrible at.
Only time will tell if that will change for the Jets. This offseason should give Jets fans reason to believe that Joe Douglas is the man for the job.