While the New York Jets used the third round to focus on their defense, the fourth round is solely on the offensive side of the ball. The Jets added a third-down rusher, a potential backup quarterback, and depth for the offensive line.
Two of the Jets selections in the fourth round (No. 125, No. 129) came in a trade on Day 2 with the New England Patriots.
Round 4, Pick No. 120
Prospect: La’Mical Perine
College: Florida Position: Running Back
The Skinny: With Le’Veon Bell possibly gone after this season, the Jets needed to look at adding assets for the running back position now and moving forward. Perine is a power back at 5-foot-11, 216 pounds. He finished his career with 2,485 yards, eighth-most in Gators history. He joins third-round pick Jabari Zuniga as Florida teammates now with the Jets.
What to Like: Besides the rushing yardage at Florida, Perine was also strong out of the backfield. He caught 72 passes for 674 yards. Florida coach Dan Mullen wrote on Twitter: “The Jets are getting a leader on and off the field. Versatile playmaker built for todays NFL. Always pushing to get better and improve." He can be a strong third-down back for Adam Gase and a backup for Bell.
What’s Not to Like: If Bell leaves the Jets next year, they will have to search for a running back. While Perine was highly rated after his time at Florida, he doesn’t project as someone who can evolve into a three-down rusher. That specialization will be limited if he’s asked to do more. Bell should have a strong season, but they're still isn’t a lot behind him between Perine and veteran Josh Adams.
Round 4, Pick No. 125 (from Patriots)
Prospect: James Morgan
College: Florida International Position: Quarterback
The Skinny: The Jets were looking for a backup quarterback for Sam Darnold (hard to forget those three weeks of mono). Morgan suffered a knee injury that slowed him down considerably during his senior year but he possesses a strong, accurate arm. He’s from Green Bay and grew up idolizing Bret Favre. He also was a fan of Chad Pennington. He wears No .4 in honor of Favre. He could do that with the Jets, presuming it isn’t retired.
What to Like: Morgan stood out at the East-West Shrine game in January. He led the East team to touchdowns in each of his first two drives. He’s a really tough player, and that could earn him favor with his head coach in New York. His junior year numbers were much better than his senior year, and the Jets are counting on the idea that if he’s healthy he could be a quarterback in the NFL. Has good arm strength as a protypical pro-style quarterback.
What’s Not to Like: Without a true mini-camp, it could be tough for Morgan to earn that backup quarterback spot behind Darnold. He’s got a good arm but injuries and accuracy issues have held him back. Plus with plenty of other needs in the draft, using pick No. 125 on a backup quarterback seems a bit of a reach.
Round 4, Pick 129 (from Patriots)
Prospect: Cameron Clark
College: Charlotte Position: Offensive Tackle
The Skinny: Clark is 6’5, 308-pounds, and long. He’s the second offensive linemen selected by the Jets after Mekhi Becton in the first round, adding youth and versatility to the line. They also added free agents Greg Van Roten, George Fant, Connor McGovern, and re-signed Alex Lewis. Clark should slot behind them and the Jets will see how he adapts to the NFL. Shined against Clemson this past season.
What to Like: It takes an awful lot for an offensive lineman to be voted his team’s Offensive MVP but Clark did that in 2017 at Charlotte. He was first-team all-conference and started at left tackle in all 13 games in his senior year. He will be another option behind Becton and Fant.
What Not to Like: Clark needs to watch his penalties and the NFL will be a big jump up in competition. But the bump inside from being a left tackle should help. He has logn arms and good strength as well as speed. He’s raw and probably a year or two away. Of the three picks in the third round, Clark looks to have the most upside.