NYJN Staff: First and Second Round Picks

Ah, bliss! After a long winter, football fans are coming out of the shadows to celebrate one of our favorite events of the year, the draft. Since last years move out to Chicago, the quintessential “booing” of Jet fans has surely diminished, but worry not Gang Green, we are giving you the chance to scoff at your computers as each of our writers grab their GM suits and Starbucks cups to speculate on the Jets first two picks.


Dan Mosher:
Round 1, Pick #20: Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
I expect this first round board to be full of surprises, trades and falling prospects; the Jets would be wise to move down later in the first round to accrue some picks and draft Indiana T Jason Spriggs, a player the Jets are high on; but since we aren’t speculating that much, I’ll keep my pick at 20 and take a chance with Spence. The former Ohio State linebackerSpence may be the best pure pass rusher in this year’s draft, and his value at 20 could be an absolute steal if the Jets can keep him in-line off the field. Remember, though, Todd Bowles has solid experience dealing with high-risk players; Cardinals Safety Tyrann Mathieu was a risk coming out of college for substance problems before developing into a pro-bowl anchor in Arizona’s secondary. Hopefully Bowles can groom Spence in the same fashion; this pick is a huge risk, but the reward could be just what the Jets need to get to the next level.

Round 2, Pick 51: Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
If the Jets don’t pickup an offensive lineman in the first round, they will surely look to grab one in the second. Unfortunately, the talent just isn’t going to be there late in the second round, and we know that GM Mike Maccagnan won’t reach to fill a need. That’s why I have them going with Howard, a press man corner with some great ball hawking skills. Howard has struggled with pass interference, and needs more work in the running game, but those both can be cleaned up by solid coaching. Some mocks have him going anywhere from late first round to early in the third, my hunch is that the Jets have him graded towards the former side of that range; his raw talent makes him a great fit for a cornerback-loving coach like Bowles.

Andrew Bindelglass:
Round 1, Pick #20: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Lee brings some much needed speed to the Jets front 7. He is a sideline to sideline player with a high motor who is also comfortable dropping back in to coverage. He can play right away and also be the heir apparent to aging stalwart David Harris.

Round 2, Pick #51: Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
A surefire 1st round talent at a position the Jets desperately need in edge rusher. The character concerns are out there on the table, but strong leadership from Bowles and veterans should be enough to keep him in line. Too much talent not to take a chance on if available in round 2.

Daniel McInernay:
Round 1, Pick #20: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
Interesting pick for the Jets here that will largely be dictated by who is taken off the board early in the first round. I see a cornerback being taken here with Darrelle Revis showing a few cracks last season and the Jets choosing to not resign Antonio Cromartie. A lot have people have the Jets trading up for a QB or taking Paxton Lynch here. While GM Mike Macaggnan has shown how aggressive he can be in the past, I think they stay put in the first round as the focus is still on resigning Ryan Fitzpatrick and fill other holes in the roster.

Round 2, Pick #51: Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame
The Jets may need some luck for Smith to fall this far but after a scary knee injury, teams may shy away from him giving the Jets a chance to grab him here. After letting Demario Davis walk this offseason, the Jets have big shoes to fill at the OLB position. Before his injury, Smith showed good versatility and would fit nicely into head coach Todd Bowles’ scheme. The Jets will also need to address an aging offensive line that will be without D’Brickashaw Ferguson after he announced his retirement this offseason so a tackle would make sense here as well.

Robert Soulia:
Round 1, Pick #20: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
The Jets have a massive hole at OLB and need to get a dynamic player to pair up with Mauldin on the other side. He probably won’t make it to 20, especially with Rex and the Bills lurking at 19 also needing help at DE. If he does make it, expect the Jets to waste no time handing in their selection to the league office.

Round 2, Pick #51: Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
I have only seen this pick mocked to the Jets once in the hundreds of mock drafts I have looked at, but I would be thrilled if they take the risk. He’s young, built like Ben Roethlisberger and throws the ball like it was fired out of a cannon. If the Jets take a chance with a QB in this draft, I hope it’s with Cardale.

Mike Manico:
Round 1, Pick #20: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi
At 6-2 221 Treadwell is a perfect fit for Chan Gailey’s system.  A lot of people are predicting Paxton Lynch, but the Jets don’t need a third project at quarterback, and wouldn’t waste a first round pick taking one that high.  The Jets employ three and four receiver sets so much that another receiver is a need, and Treadwell would be best player available at number 20. 

Round 2, Pick #51: Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
Chris Ivory Jr. would be a great pick here.  He’s young (21) and can abuse defenders.  The Jets don’t seem like they have a need at RB, but with Forte and Powell both being injury prone, and Robinson coming off a bad leg injury, bringing a fourth back into the mix wouldn’t be a bad move.

Rory Ostrow:
Round 1, Pick #20: Taylor Decker, T, Ohio State
With the retirement of D’Brickashaw Ferguson this offseason, the Jets will be starting the season with a new LT for the first time in 10 years. Right now, that tackle looks to be Ryan Clady who is great when healthy, but carries serious injury risk. Decker is a high floor tackle who can challenge Breno Giacomini immediately for the starting RT spot and be a starter at LT in the event that Clady goes down. He offers talent and depth at the tackle position, which the Jets currently lack.

Round 2, Pick #51: Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky
Spence has first round talent, but character concerns could make him available for the Jets here. Spence is a talented pass rusher, which the Jets desperately need and he has good value overall at this spot in the draft.

Michael Fairlie:
Round 1, Pick #20: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
It is no certainty that FitzMagic will be back with the Jets. And even if he is, it will likely be on a short-term deal, so keeping an eye on the future at the position would be wise. And maybe even an eye on the present as well, unless they want to roll the dice with Geno or Petty in 2016. By choosing Lynch, the Jets are possibly getting the franchise quarterback they have been seeking for decades. He will definitely need to do some work on his timing, touch and anticipation on the NFL level, and despite the fact that it would be beneficial for him to learn from the sideline for a year, he has the potential to compete for the starting job from day one. Once Lynch adjusts to the pro game, there is no telling how high his ceiling can be.

Round 2, Pick #51: Shilique Calhoun, DE/OLB, Michigan State
Calhoun is a remarkable pass rusher, an area of need on the Jets’ defense, who also displays tremendous strength, range and agility when defending the run. His flexibility while playing in space, which is a major asset to his pass rushing proficiency, will surely help in his transition to OLB. Calhoun will need to improve some areas of his game in order to thrive on the NFL level. He needs work on his snap anticipation, ability to fight through blocks when he is locked up by offensive tackles and his tendency to stand too upright when defending the run. It is incredibly rare that a player coming out of the draft is fully prepared to dominate from day one, so the fact that Calhoun needs some work on his overall technique should not scare the Jets away. He has the tools needed as long as he receives the proper coaching, which he would with Todd Bowles and company.

Anthony Pugliese:
Round 1, Pick #20: Taylor Decker, T, Ohio State
The Jets have two main needs, offensive line depth and linebacker depth. The Jets did trade for Ryan Clady which is a temporary fix to the retirement of D’Brickashaw Ferguson. They also have Bruce Carter and Erin Henderson as temporary fillers at the linebacker position. With all the first round linebacker talent off the board at 20, the Jets decide to draft Decker, who could bump Breno Giacomini back on the depth chart to start the season. Enough with all the drafting a QB talk, Fitzpatrick will eventually be back, and Bryce Petty is their future.

Round 2, Pick #51: Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame
It might be a stretch to have Smith last until the Jets pick in the second round, but he would be a perfect fit. A first round talent, a gruesome knee injury seems to have cost Smith the chance to go in the first round, as he may not be available to play this entire season. This works well for the Jets who have several linebackers on one year team friendly deals. The Jets essentially get gifted two first round picks next year with this selection.


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