The JETS once had a high count of Picks for this Draft, but went all-in on the QB frenzy and traded up into the third spot for their QB of the present and future.So who do they get…
Round 1, Pick 3 SAM DARNOLD QB SOUTHERN CAL 6’033/221 As always happens when a star player actually gets into the draft process, detailed scouting always finds blemishes to fuss over. DARNOLD showed a scary propensity for turning over the ball in 2017. And that is certainly something that he will need to work on, but the arm talent, football IQ, athleticism and work ethic are all undeniable and this is a wise choice for the JETS. I am assuming of course that the Browns have taken JOSH ALLEN, and Draftnik Pete Smith is on suicide watch. If the SoCal boy can handle the media scrutiny and NYC caustic fan base he can be a star in the NFL, IMO.
Round 3, Pick 72 TRENT THOMPSON DL GEORGIA 6’025/288 With Leonard Williams anchoring the DL some help is needed to support him. Thompson is a very athletic junior who is still growing and should be a very nice addition in their 3-4 base scheme. Playing on the inside, in a rotational DL group at UGA he recorded 38T, 3.5TFL, 1PBU and 1QBH in 2017. His best is yet to come. They should be able to find a place for him to play in just about every sub-package they might be in. His 5.09/40 gives you a clue into his athleticism. Just don’t expect him to explode onto an All-Rookie team. His best is still a couple of years away.
Round 4, Pick 107 ORLANDO BROWN OT OKLAHOMA 6’077/345 The Son of Zeus is not a great athlete, but his overall size is exceptional and he looks like a natural NFL RT to me. If the competitive fires can be lit he has Pro Bowl potential, but that will require significantly drive on his part than many of us saw during his college career. Remember we are in Round 4 now. In reality he is the poster boy for boom/bust potential. He has 35″ arms and 9 3/4″hands, and has decent foot speed. But his 5.83/40 time contradicts the superior athlete angle of things. Good luck with this pick Todd Bowles and staff. Sometimes you’ve got to gamble on greatness.
Round 5, Pick 157 ARMANI WATTS S TEXAS A&M 5’104/202 Yes, I realize they drafted 2 S with their top 2 Picks last year. But when you look at their secondary all the other guys listed as S are pretty much journeymen Special Teamers. WATTS actually has the talent to step in and start when injuries to ADAMS and MAYE happen. And he should be a star on Special Teams as well. His 2017 stats (in the SEC) tell you a lot about his talent and versatility: 87T, 10TFL, 5PBU, 4NT, 2FF. JETS fans will appreciate his hustle and hard hitting playing style. Could also win a spot in their Dime-secondary package right away. Good value pick for Round 5.
Round 6, Pick 179 DEONTAY BURNETT WR SOUTHERN CAL 5’115/186 Was DARNOLD’S favorite target when healthy in college. Missed action in 2017, and played when less than 100%, but still caught 86 balls for 1114 yards, 9 TD. He’s quicker than his 4.50/40-time indicates. He is also fearless jumping and diving for throws. My biggest concern with him is 8 5/8″ hand size. He’s a tough guy, with a high FBI. Likely will operate out of the slot much of the time. If he and Darnold reconnect as a duo like they did at USC, this is a really smart pick.
Round 7, Pick 235 DANIEL MARX FB STANFORD 6’015/245 A team that likes to run in the Red Zone and Goal Line situations needs a FB, not a converted DL, like they tried last season. MARX is a real FB from a program that knows how to use a FB in their Offense. He runs under 4.80 for the 40 and has decent hands to catch a toss or two. But his best trait is his straight-on blocking in short yardage. I cannot imagine he won’t be a big help on Special Teams units as well.
The JETS need help and more talent to try to catch up with the Patriots. IMO, this solid group will mark a serious upgrade in roster talent, even if lacking in volume. And of course drafting their potentially best QB since Richard Todd would be the biggest help of all. Next up, they need to sign some useful guys (URFA) on Day 4 of the Draft! As an additional side note, JETS fans should feel good that BOWLES/MACCAGNAN seem to be a solid pair in getting the JETS back on their feet. Tough decisions are being made in personnel and Salary Cap management.