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Mocking the Jets: A Look at a Few Scenarios that Could Unfold on Draft Night

The 2017 NFL Draft is just three weeks away and there still seems to be no consensus among draft experts for who will be drafted in the top 10. Each year there are surprises in the first round and this year will be no different. One thing does seem certain: Myles Garrett will be drafted number one overall by the Cleveland Browns.

As for who the San Francisco 49ers select at pick number two, there seems to be agreement among many analysts that Solomon Thomas will have his name called. But picks three through five still remain a mystery, and the way those picks shake out will dramatically affect who the New York Jets select with the sixth pick. Let’s take a look at three different mock drafts and who the Jets should draft based on the top five picks.

Scenario 1: NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah

  1. Cleveland Browns: Defensive End Myles Garrett
  2. San Francisco 49ers: Defensive End Solomon Thomas
  3. Chicago Bears: Cornerback Marshon Lattimore
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Running Back Leonard Fournette
  5. Tennessee Titans: Wide Receiver Mike Williams

It’s no secret that one of the Jets’ biggest needs is at cornerback. In this situation the Bears pounce on the draft’s most promising cornerback prospect in Lattimore. The draft’s most dynamic offensive player also comes off the board with running back Leonard Fournette going to the Jaguars. I think this would be a no-brainer for the Jets on draft night with safety Jamal Adams still on the board. NFL executives and scouts rave about his leadership and intangibles, not to mention the numbers he put up at LSU. He has drawn comparisons to Chief’s safety Eric Berry and he could go as high as number two, especially after a significant improvement in the 40 yard dash at his pro day. The Jets have a huge hole at safety, and maybe a bigger hole in another area: leadership. Draft Jamal Adams and let him be the quarterback of the secondary for years to come.  

Scenario 1 Pick: Jamal Adams

Scenario 2: Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager

  1. Cleveland Browns: Defensive End Myles Garrett
  2. San Francisco 49ers: Defensive End Solomon Thomas
  3. Chicago Bears: Safety Jamal Adams
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Defensive Lineman Jonathan Allen
  5. Tennessee Titans: Tight End O.J. Howard

In this scenario Jamal Adams is gone, but some other intriguing names are still available. Safety Malik Hooker, running back Leonard Fournette, and cornerback Marshon Lattimore are all on the board. Hooker ranges from sideline-to-sideline as well as any safety in this draft. I think the Jets need at corner is too strong to pass on a talent like Lattimore. Injuries are a concern and so is his lack of experience, but Lattimore has the potential to develop into an elite man-to-man corner. If Morris Claiborne can stay healthy and Lattimore transitions well to the speed of the NFL game, the Jets’ secondary could quickly become a strength again, which is imperative in Todd Bowles’ defense.  

Scenario 2 Pick: Marshon Lattimore

Scenario 3: CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson

  1. Cleveland Browns: Defensive End Myles Garrett
  2. San Francisco 49ers: Defensive End Solomon Thomas
  3. Chicago Bears: Cornerback Marshon Lattimore
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Defensive Lineman Jonathan Allen
  5. Tennessee Titans: Safety Jamal Adams

This scenario is not as clear cut as the previous two. With Adams and Lattimore off the board I believe Hooker and Fournette will absolutely be in play for the Jets. A few other names to keep in mind are tight end O.J. Howard, linebacker Reuben Foster, and quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky. Another option is to trade the pick, perhaps to a quarterback needy team like the Browns or the Panthers who could be looking to scoop Fournette. So what do the Jets do? Let’s say they aren’t enticed by their trade-down options and stay at number six. To me, it’s a tough choice between Hooker and Foster. If healthy, Hooker will come in as a day one starter and give the Jets a ball-hawking presence they haven’t had in quite some time. Foster makes sense as well, as the Jets need to think about a replacement for David Harris who may only have one more year left in the tank. I think the Jets keep a Harris-Lee linebacker tandem for another year and draft Hooker, which allows Calvin Pryor to stay at his natural position of strong safety.

Scenario 3 Pick: Malik Hooker

What’s interesting to note about these three mock drafts is that no quarterbacks were taken in the top five picks. If this is how the draft unfolds, the Jets’ pick could increase in value exponentially. I do believe that no quarterbacks will go in the top five and the Jets will have the ability to trade down and still get an impact player while acquiring more picks. Also, don’t be surprised if the Jets package Sheldon Richardson and a 3rd round pick to move back into the back end of the first round as well.

Regardless of how the draft plays out, the Jets are in position to land a promising player. The last two times the Jets had the sixth pick were 2015 and 2008.

In 2015, they drafted Leonard Williams. In 2008, they drafted Vernon Gholston.

Choose wisely Mike Maccagnan.

About James O'Rourke

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