Best Pick–Darron Lee/Jordan Jenkins
It’s always a good thing when you have more than one pick that could qualify as the best selection. Darron Lee brings the speed component to a defense that was sorely lacking in that category over the last few years. The questions on Lee are definitely legitimate concerns. He is undersized and struggles to get off blocks especially against the run. He is a Swiss Army knife though, and Bowles should be able to consistently put him in situations to rush the passer and put pressure on the offense. Don’t be surprised if he ends up with 6-10 sacks, if he plays every game.
Jordan Jenkins was known in college football as the guy on the Georgia defense who actually did something. Sure, the pro teams fell in love with the size and potential of Leonard Floyd, but Jenkins is actually the more pro ready prospect. Similar to the third round pick the Jets made last season with Mauldin, expect Jenkins to be a rotation player at first, eventually taking over the spot that Calvin Pace was occupying the last few seasons. Overall the Jets were able to add two potential starters to a defense that was already going to be in the upper tier of the league.
Biggest Risk–Christian Hackenburg- QB Penn State
One of the most polarizing picks in the draft was the Jets selecting the QB out of Penn State. Scouts are all over the map with their analysis on Hack, but one thing remains consistent across the board….he’s a huge risk. From all reports the Jets did their due diligence on this pick and feel comfortable that Hack can return to the player that was so highly touted in his freshmen year under Coach Bill O’Brien. It’s understandable why they made the selection, this QB class wasn’t very deep, and they took the one guy who they feel could eventually turn in to something. The concerns about his accuracy are definitely legitimate and don’t bode well for his long term success, but a year or two to sit and watch one of the smartest QB’s in the game combined with the physical talent he already possesses makes this an intriguing pick.
Position Not Addressed–Offensive Line
The Jets have two giant question marks at both tackle positions and could use an upgrade at guard. Not to mention Nick Mangold is getting older every season and you can see why the Jets should have used more than one selection on the O-line during the draft. They did select a tackle in the fourth round, but all indications are he might be a season or two away from competing for the starting position. Apparently Mikey Mac and Chan Gailey are confident in their ability to protect Fitzpatrick by getting the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible, but you have to wonder how the Jets will be able to have success running the ball.
Late round Gem-Charone Peake-(WR, Clemson)
Absolutely thrilled with the selection of Peake in the seventh round. A lot of scouts had him rated as a third round selection, not sure if he just slipped through the cracks, or if the concerns about his knees were enough to scare teams off. Obviously the durability is a concern, but if he can stay healthy this guy absolutely has a chance to become a legitimate number one receiver and an absolute steal by the Jets in the seventh round. He also has the speed to contribute in the return game, which is an added bonus for a team needing to add that element to that particular unit.
All together I am very happy with the Jets draft. They added speed to a defense that desperately needed it, and took a QB that has the potential to be a starter in the league. Because of the limited number of picks they had they weren’t able to fill all of their holes, but on the whole it seems like a solid draft. Now, obviously every draft always comes with a ton of optimism on paper, but it’s up to the players to actually go out and produce. Hopefully this class lives up the hype, but it definitely has a ton of initial promise.