Sports Illustrated mock drafts: Forget wide receiver, New York Jets are going offensive line

Kristian Dyer

Of the pressing needs that the New York Jets bring into the NFL Draft, offensive line is clearly what stands out the most. That is accurately reflected in the last two mock drafts by SportsIllustrated.com, both of which have the Jets going with help along the offensive line. 

So far, this offseason has been dominated by the Jets upgrading their offensive line. As a unit, the Jets have not used a high draft pick along the offensive line since 2011 when Mike Tannenbaum selected Vlad Ducasse in the second round. 

Since then, the Jets have ignored the offensive line in the draft. One could make the argument that the line has been ignored in free agency as well the past five years but that is for another day. 

In the here and optimistic now, the Jets have a chance to change that narrative. Sitting at No. 11, they will have a shot at nabbing one of the top four offensive tackles on the draft board. 

According to Kevin Hanson’s most recent mock draft for SI, that pick at No. 11 will be Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton. An All-ACC selection last year who was also named the conference’s top blocker, Becton was the revelation of the NFL Combine. 

Hanson sees Becton as the pereft fit the for the Jets. 

“A mountain of a man at 6' 7" and 364 pounds with vines for arms (35 5/8"), the 20-year-old Becton has work to do on technique, but he has rare movement skills for his size,” Hanson writes in his most recent mock draft. 

According to Hanson, Becton will be the fourth offensive tackle taken in the draft’s first round (Jedrick Wills, No. 4 to the New York Giants; Tristan Wirfs, No. 8 to the Arizona Cardinals; Andrew Thomas, No. 9 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). 

Read Hanson’s full first round mock draft here: https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/04/02/nfl-mock-draft-trades-tua-tagovailoa-andrew-thomas-henry-ruggs 

As for Jaime Eisner, the pick here is Jedrick Wills. 

A multi-year starter at right tackle for Alabama, Wills is talented. But opinion is a bit divided on him right now, given that he never played left tackle for the Crimson Tide. 

This makes him a bit of a risk for a team looking to protect the blinside, which is the area of need for the Jets coming into the draft. 

Eisner projects Wills as a right tackle in the immediate, noting that the Jets free agent addition of George Fant could be moved to the left side. 

“Wills can slide in at the more comfortable right tackle position with newly-signed George Fant manning the left tackle spot,” Eisner writes. “The same bookend theory from the Arizona section applies here for Sam Darnold.” 

In Eisner’s mock draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs at No. 8. 

The full mock draft by Eisner is here: https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/04/03/2020-nfl-draft-mock-herbert-dolphins-tua-chargers