With the first on-field activities set to take place today at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, let’s take a look at some prospects that the Jets could wind up with on draft day.
**Spoiler alert: there’s not a single quarterback on this list. Let the hate mail begin.
1st Round (Pick 6): RB – Leonard Fournette – LSU
Personally, I believe the Jets should (and will) trade this pick and move back into the later half of the round. However, if they stay, it’s because this absolute freak of nature is still on the board. I have a real hard time believing that Mike Maccagnan will give up the opportunity to draft a game-breaking prospect like Fournette. While running back is far from the most pressing need for the Jets, the opportunity for Fournette to lead this offense into the next decade may be too good to pass up. When your comparisons are Adrian Peterson and Bo Jackson, you are expected to fundamentally change the offense on day one, Fournette is worth every bit of that hype.
2nd Round (Pick 39): CB – Quincy Wilson – Florida
This would be a great value pick if he slips into the second round. I have seen some mocks put him in the top 15, while others have left him out of the first round. Wilson is a physical press corner who will terrorize wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. He has a great size/speed combo and was productive along side fellow top prospect Teez Tabor. If the Jets acquire a top CB in free agency, Wilson will excel in the #2 role, and if not, he is more than capable of being the starting option.
3rd Round (Pick 70): OT – Dion Dawkins – Temple
Another Temple Owl joins the squad to the delight of Head Coach Todd Bowles. Dawkins has impressed some scouts who believe he may not make it out of the second round. However, other scouts see him as more of a Guard at the next level. Dawkins has great core strength as well as fluid footwork that allows him to kick out against speed rushers. He will definitely need to clean up some of his hand work and fundamentals, but his versatility and experience in both zone and gap blocking schemes should make him attractive to NFL clubs.
3rd Round Comp. (107): TE – Adam Shaheen – Ashland
This would be another great value, as I fully expect Shaheen’s stock to rise after a strong showing at the combine. Shaheen is an athletic freak, projected to run under 4.6 at 6’6” 277 pounds. He is a solid route runner who was productive in his seasons at Ashland, catching 26 touchdowns in his last two seasons. It’s been well documented how vacant the TE position has been for the Jets, with Shaheen and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, new OC John Morton could have plenty of matchup advantages to work with.
5th Round (151): OLB – Josh Carraway – TCU
Carraway is a tremendous athlete who shows real promise as a NFL linebacker. He needs to be coached up on his pass rush technique but he shows great natural burst up-field. His speed cannot be understated both in pass rush and in coverage; he just needs some development. A big knock on Carraway is that he plays “too nicely” – hopefully new OLB coach Kevin Greene can inject some of that mad dog bite into his game.
6th Round (192): WR – Josh Malone – Tennessee
Malone was a productive receiver when he was targeted, which wasn’t nearly as much as he should’ve been. His production was diminished by inconsistent quarterback play, but he still managed to score 11 times on 50 receptions last season with the Vols. I could see him having a strong combine, with his size and speed combo, but teams are going to want him to put more weight on if he is going to beat strong corners at the next level.
7th Round (226): DB – Johnathan “Rudy” Ford – Auburn
Todd Bowles loves versatile defensive backs; Ford is exactly that, playing both Nickel CB and FS at Auburn. Ford came onto the scene after a solid senior bowl performance, but still carries a lower grade from scouts. He is a solid tackler who plays lightning fast and his kick return ability will definitely increase his value come draft day.