What The Mock Drafts Say About The New York Jets In The NFL Draft (Hint: Offensive Line)
A week ago, the consensus around most mock drafts was that the New York Jets were definitely going to go offense in the first round of April’s NFL Draft. Now, most mock drafts seem to be honing in on the offensive line.
And for good reason.
The Jets had an offensive line that, at season’s start, was behind most of the league in terms of talent. Injuries then hit the unit hard as the season wore on, making cohesion difficult to achieve until the later stages of 2019. The line needs work, lots of it.
With the No. 11 pick, the Jets likely can find a quality offensive lineman who can be a plug-and-play type. This might be a more pressing need than even drafting a playmaker wide receiver, which the Jets need.
A look at how several prominent mock drafts have the Jets picking this week:
Walter Camp Football: Mekhi Becton (OT) - Noting that the Jets could well add a wide receiver, instead the pick here from the esteemed Walter Camp Football is offensive line help in the form of the massive Becton, who was a standout at Louisville. On Becton, the write-up from Walter Camp Football sees someone ready to step in and help protect quarterback Sam Darnold.
“Despite his size, however, Becton is athletic and flexible,” the analysis said.
CBSSports.com: Jerry Jeudy (WR) – With Tristan Wirfs off the board one pick before the Jets select at No. 11, the pick here isn’t offensive line help. Instead, it is a playmaker for Darnold.
Jeudy was head and shoulders the best wide receiver in college football this past year for Alabama. He has good size and range and the ability to break plays. He’d be an exciting pick for the Jets offense in terms of adding a playmaker.
FoxSports: Jedrick Wills (OT) – The pick here is an Alabama player for the Jets. But in Jason McIntyre’s mock draft, it isn’t a wide receiver in the form of Jeudy.
Or, as he writes at FoxSports, “I still don’t have a scenario where the Jets draft a position besides an offensive lineman.”
Wills, a two-year starter for Alabama, is a powerful tackle who probably projects on the right side of the line to start his career.
Sporting News: Austin Jackson (OT) – Sensing a theme here?
The Jets need offensive line help and Jackson, who is all over the board in terms of his first round landing spot, is athletic and a multi-year starter at USC.
“Jackson (6-6, 310 pounds) has entered the first-round fray as an athletic beast garnering more attention with his Trojans tape,” Vinnie Iyer writes.
NBC: Jedrick Wills (OT) – Like McIntyre for Fox, the pick here from Tyler Roman is the Alabama offensive tackle.
With Andrew Thomas off the board one pick earlier to the Cleveland Browns, the Jets shore-up their offensive line with a big-time talent.
“Jedrick Wills has really shot up draft boards in the last few months,” Roman writes. “I think he’s in contention with Andrew Thomas to be the first tackle off the board.”