This is the year. Yes, JETS fans I am talking to you. This is the year to move from ‘wanna be’ to legit Play-Off contender. And the reason is that with 9 total Picks, and more importantly 5 of them in the Top 69, it is time for JOE DOUGLAS to top off enough talent to make the Jets a winning team on any given Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday). If you look at the play of this team last December, and especially the progression of their rookie QB ZACH WILSON, they are on the cusp of being respectable.
DOUGLAS has already added a half-dozen significant VFA’s to his team’s roster. If he can pick the correct players at the end of this month in the Player Selection Meeting, then the arrow may finally be pointing up. So let me make some suggestions to Mr. DOUGLAS, for his considered scrutiny.
Pick 4 AHMAD GARDNER CB Cincinnati 6’3/190 You may know him by the name “Sauce” by now, but I am concerned about the football player, not the celebrity GARDNER. This long, lean athlete reminds many of a guy named ANTONIO CROMARTIE, but a bit more under control of himself both on and off the field. Last year with 10 Picks to play with, the JETS drafted 3 CB’s, but none before Round 5. So, as you might expect, all 3 made the roster and contributed, but none of them looks to be a legit lock-down CB. GARDNER would likely fix that situation as an impact player, instant starter. GARDNER is smooth operator, He ran a solid 4.41/40 at the Combine and also confirmed the long arms (33 1/2″). He’s an immediate starter, and a Pro Bowler sooner rather than later.
Pick 10 CHARLES CROSS OT Mississippi State 6’5/307 CROSS is one of 4 OT prospects likely to all be gone by the middle of Round One. As you might remember, MIKE LEACH took his pass happy Offense to Miss St, and CROSS looked even better than ever with the increased load of pass protection. One of the fellows over 300 lbs, who ran under a 5-second 40, at 4.95 at the Combine. He has 34 1/2″ long arms, and 10 3/4″ hands. Very agile and considered to have a high FBI. VERA-TUCKER last year and now CROSS, as well as VFA OG LAKEN TOMLINSON, plus a healthy (?) BECTON could give the JETS their best OL in a long while. Merry Christmas in April, MR. WILSON.
Pick 35 BREECE HALL RB Iowa State 5’11/217 I think it is now a fact that HALL is considered the No. 1 RB prospect in this Draft. With his almost perfect size for the pro position, he also blazed a 4.39/40 at the Combine. Does he have explosive strength in his legs? How about a 40″ vertical jump at the Combine. While in the Cyclones football program, he also developed into a very good receiver out of the backfield. A healthy HALL, behind the rebuilt JETS OL, should be a cinch for immediate 1,000-yard rushing seasons. They will get him up to snuff in pass-pro.
Pick 38 GEORGE PICKENS WR Georgia 6’3/195 The long legged, smooth striding PICKENS was the Bulldogs top receiver from the minute he walked onto the field as a freshman. However, he missed almost all of the 2021 season after a right knee injury in Spring practice. He managed a 4.47/40 at the Combine, on less than a 100% rehabbed knee. He plays faster than that, but his biggest assets are excellent route running and very reliable hands. His 77 3/8″ wingspan, combined with his 6’3 height, make him a generous sized target. You can bet that his Combine Medical went well, as he climbed into Round 2 Draft consideration in April.
Pick 69 CHAD MUMA LB Wyoming 6’3/239 The second edition of LOGAN WILSON out of the Wyoming program, and likely a bit more athletic. Watching him during several WAC games last Fall, I was pleasantly surprised by his speed to the ball, and his sure tackling. The JETS are not exactly overstaffed with talent in their LB group, tho their production is solid. His 4.63/40 at the Combine was eye catching. He’s taking somebody’s job as a starting LB, perhaps as soon as this year.
Pick 111 CADE OTTON TE Washington 6’5/247 Nice sized athlete, who when healthy is a solid Offensive weapon. 9 1/2″ hands on 32 3/4″ arms. Will need to work on his blocking if he wants to be a 3-Down player as a pro. More of a receiver than VFA UZOMAH.
Pick 117 CHRIS ALLEN LB/ER Alabama 6’3/241 Edge type player who could play OLB in a 3-4 base scheme. Lost his 2021 season early to a broken foot, but has rehabbed well. Managed a 4.77/40 at his Pro Day, but may be faster when his feet are both healthy. Could be a steal at this Pick.
PICK 146 BO MELTON WR/RS Rutgers 5’11/189 Had a break out super senior season with GREG SCHIANO and his staff back in Jersey. 4.34/40 at the Combine and has quickness to boot. Can be dangerous deep as he tracks well with balls coming overhead. If he also contributes in return duties, this is great value at the Pick.
Pick 163 ZACHARY CARTER EDGE/DL Florida 6’4/282 Good athlete who has some versatility. 33 1/2″ arms help him in battles along the line-of-scrimmage. Has a chance to stick on a roster with his versatility.
This would be a nice haul of athleticism at positions of need, as the JETS try to balance their roster depth and athleticism.
This is an off-season that could well put the JETS ahead of the GIANTS as a winning team in the Big Apple and Jersey.