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The Jets have given themselves the best chance to be the most improved team in the league with the moves they have made. Last season they hired head coach Robert Saleh and drafted Zach Wilson and Elijah Moore. This year they can get more early impact pieces with two picks in the first round.
Here is the best three day scenario for the Jets:
Round 1, Pick 4: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
Round 1, Pick 10: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU
On Day one of the draft the Jets should evoke the spirit of their head coach and go for defense.
Saleh’s philosophy is “get after the quarterback and create turnovers” and the two players the Jets take here fit perfectly.
Thibodeaux is a beast that plays with great speed to power and bend around the edge. His athleticism also allows him to drop into space if needed.
Stingley is a player that many felt would be a top five prospect coming into the year. Due to a down year and injury concerns he has dropped but the Jets could get a true blue chip player here at #10. Stingley reminds you of a bigger Darrelle Revis in how he plays. He has fluid hips and feet and isn’t afraid to get physical. He has the speed to stick with deep threats and the size to play with the giants outside. The Jets can add two players that help them become one of the most dangerous defensive units in football.
Round 2, Pick 3: Tyler Smith, OL, Tulsa
Round 2, Pick 6: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
Round 3, Pick 5: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
The Jets have holes to fill on offense that are pretty extensive. Like the Bengals last year, they had some issues protecting their young rookie quarterback and need to fix that as well as get him some more weapons.
Tyler Smith is a tackle with stout strength and good feet. He rarely gets beat by bull rushers and can clear guys out in the run game. Coupling him with a dual threat running back like Spiller out Texas A&M would give the Jets a leg up on building their offense. The running back room isn’t great by any means so Spiller could come in and compete early for a starting job.
Ross is the intriguing pick here. Jamison Crowder is out, leaving the Jets with Corey Davis and Elijah Moore as the only two starters on the roster. Taking a guy like Ross who has all the tools to be a starter in the league in the third round makes a lot of sense here. Ross is a vertical threat with size to match and can make things happen after the catch. Zach Wilson loves the deep ball and Ross loves to catch them, too.
Round 4, Pick 6: Brad Hawkins, Safety, Michigan
Round 4, Pick 12: Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson
Round 5, Pick 3: Cole Turner, TE, Nevada
Round 5, Pick 20: Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
The Jets aren’t the only team that have the possibility of having a home run day three of the draft but they are one of the few teams that can see their day three picks produce early.
With Marcus Maye departing in free agency the most plausible pick here is Brad Hawkins. Hawkins is a rangy safety that plays well in coverage but can deliver the boom in the run game. He has the highest chance to start on a roster that needs secondary help. Adding players like Riley Moss from Iowa and Tyler Davis from Clemson gives the Jets depth to deal with the talented offenses in their division.
The guy that would make the Jets day three a slam dunk is Nevada tight end Cole Turner. Turner is a three level pass catcher with elite jump ball skills. He isn’t a polished route runner or blocker but he gives Wilson a big target inside the hashes.
The pendulum shift that could take place for the Jets in this draft is great if they make the right moves. This draft scenario could see them take that Cincinnati-like leap in a year or two.