New York's philosophy is to select the best player available. Thus, I think this is the floor for Leonard Fournette. If the LSU running back is available, he'll be too good for the Jets to pass up.
If, however, Fournette is off the board, as expected, the Jets will be able to choose between Jamal Adams and Marshon Lattimore. They may prefer Adams, given that they don't believe he'll be available at this juncture. He makes sense, as New York desperately needs upgrades for its awful secondary.
*** OTHER 2017 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Leonard Fournette, RB - As mentioned, I believe this to be Fournette's floor.
2. Trade Down - Charlie Campbell reported in the NFL Draft Rumor Mill that the Jets are discussing a trade with the Browns, as Cleveland wants to move up for Mitchell Trubisky.
Pick change; previously Marshon Lattimore, CB
Rd. 2, Pk. 7
Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
Here's another much-needed upgrade for the Jets' poor secondary, as a replacement is needed for Darrelle Revis.
Pick change; previously Charles Harris, DE/OLB
Rd. 3, Pk. 6
Taylor Moton, OT/G, Western Michigan
One of the many things the Jets need to address is the tackle position. Kelvin Beachum was signed, but he has a dubious injury history.
Pick change; previously Marcus Williams, S
Rd. 3, Pk. 43
Duke Riley, OLB/ILB, LSU
The Jets attempted to sign Dont'a Hightower in free agency this spring, but failed to acquire him. It's clear that they want to find an inside linebacker to start alongside Darron Lee.
Rd. 5, Pk. 6
Chad Williams, WR, Grambling
Brandon Marshall was released and then signed with the Giants. New York needs a new receiver to replace Marshall.
This pick could easily be traded. Last Wednesday, I was the first to report that the Jets have talked with the Browns about trading down. New York would want the 33rd pick and the first pick of the fourth round, while Cleveland wants to give their later second-round pick and the first pick in the fifth round. I'm not sure a deal will get done, but it won't happen until the Jets are on the clock because the Browns have to be sure they are getting their target - North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
If the Jets are stuck at No. 6, I think their general manager, Mike Maccagnan, would take Leonard Fournette if he falls to this pick, but with him off the board, Maccagnan could address the Jets' glaring need to improve their pass coverage. They could use more talent at safety as well as cornerback help. After speaking with some sources, I think the Jets would take Adams over Marlon Humphrey and Marshon Lattimore.
In 2016, Adams totaled 76 tackles with four passes broken and one interception. The junior is a future starting safety, who sources said during the preseason that they think is a top-20 talent. He is able to contribute in pass coverage in the underneath part of the field and is strong enough to play in the box. Adams seems to prefer being a strong safety.
Adams has versatility, but his play was subdued at times 2016, and perhaps he had the NFL on his mind. However, Adams turned it on and did play very well against Alabama and Ole Miss' receiving tight end Evan Engram. The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams has versatile size to play strong or free safety in the NFL, but seems to prefer strong safety and that is more natural for him. He is an instinctive defender who always seems to be around the ball. In 2015, Adams had 67 tackles with six passes broken up and four interceptions. As a freshman, he recorded 66 tackles with five pass breakups.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
David Njoku, TE, Miami
The Jets will be able to land a great tight end value early in Round 2. Here's one of those potential steals.
The 6-foot-4, 246-pound Njoku is a freak athlete who has size, physicality and excellent speed. The junior recorded 43 receptions for 698 yards with eight touchdowns in 2016 despite Miami not using him as much as it should have. Sources have said that the coaching staff loved tight end Chris Herndon as a worker and teammate, so they tried to reward him by splitting targets his direction. The underachieving play of Brad Kaaya also hurt Njoku's production with the quarterback's propensity to watch the pass rush and take sacks.
According to team contacts, Njoku was torn on whether to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. The main reason he would have returned to Miami was to help his younger brother make the transition as he joins the program in 2017. However after the last regular-season game, Njoku posed for a photo with the senior class and took grass from the field as a keepsake. That suggested the junior was leaning toward entering the 2017 NFL Draft before his actual declaration.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
The Jets could use a cornerback upgrade, and Jones could be a steal.
Jones would have been a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft if it weren't for a torn Achilles suffered at his pro day. That injury could cost him his rookie season and drop him a few rounds.
In 2016, Jones recorded 39 tackles with six passes broken up, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was superb as a cover corner for the Huskies. The 6-foot, 186-pounder finished the year by shutting down Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Jones has excellent feet, quickness, and fluid athleticism to run with receivers and prevent separation.
Jones had an excellent 2015 season as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. For the year, he recorded 10 passes broken up, four interceptions, 45 tackles and three forced fumbles. He also showed coverage skills as a freshman with five pass breakups and two picks.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Given the age and injury history of Matt Forte, the Jets could use another running back.
Perine (5-11, 233) averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2016 for 1,060 yards with 12 touchdowns. He had 10 receptions for 106 yards as well. Perine is a physical, tough runner who was banged up in his final season and also split the workload with Joe Mixon. In 2015, Perine averaged 6.0 yards per carry in 2015 for 1,349 yards with 16 touchdowns.
If I were the Jets the very least I would be doing in the offseason is to move Revis to CB2 and drafting a new CB1 ala Marshon Lattimore who has the traits to be a shutdown corner in the NFL. If the Jets were smart they would cut Revis saving $7 million against the cap (although maybe they will wait till 2018 because then they’d save $9 million in cap space and not have $8 million in dead money)…but again we are talking about the Jets.
The Jets need a QB, but as the old saying goes: When you have 4 quarterbacks on the roster you really have none. The Jets surely will move on from Geno Smith (remember him?) and Ryan Fitzpatrick. They already have Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty and they really need to find out what they have on their roster because it’s completely useless spending 2nd round picks on QB’s and then being afraid to let them see the field. Drafting another development project at QB is not going to help the Jets in the least. I see the Jets trying to fix this area in free agency or trading to get a veteran presence from either the likes of Tony Romo, Colin Kaepernick, or Jay Culter.
Funny side note: is that if you picture Colin Kaepernick with a red nose, and that haircut, he could certifiably pass for a clown, thus making him a perfect fit for joining the circus that is the NY Jets. Will it be a match made in heaven? Time will tell.
2016 First Round Pick: Darron Lee, Ohio State (20)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (26) Pass (27) Rush (12)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (11) Pass (17) Rush (11)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: ($1,123,250)
Needs: (1) QB, (2) OT(2x), (3)CB(2x), (4) TE, (5) ILB
GM: Mike Maccagnan Head Coach: Todd Bowles
Offensive Coordinator: — Defensive Coordinator: Kacy Rodgers
Offensive Scheme: Spread, Vertical Attacking Defensive Scheme: 3-4, Multiple
NFL.com Grade: 7.15 ESPN Grade: 94 NFL Comparison: Bo Jackson
Measurables: H: 6'1 W: 230 40: 4.50
It was pretty clear that Fournette was going to be a star in college after he dominated at the high school level in New Orleans. The No. 1 overall recruit and USA Today National High School Offensive Player of the Year chose to stay in-state, and he made his mark in his three years at LSU. Fournette led the SEC in all-purpose yards as a true freshman (137.4 per game, including 1,034 rushing yards, 625 on kickoff returns). He followed that up with by nearly clearing the 2,000-yard mark (1,953) and scoring 22 rushing touchdowns in a consensus All-American sophomore campaign. Unfortunately, his junior season did not go as planned, as a pre-season ankle injury was aggravated multiple times during the year, limiting his playing time to just seven games (he chose not to play in the team's bowl game to prepare himself for the pre-draft evaluation process). That seventh game shouldn't have happened, but a pre-game brawl against Florida pushed him to play hurt. Regardless of the injury, he received second-team All-SEC honors with five 100-yard games and a 287-yard, three-touchdown effort against Ole Miss.
High-end talent with rare blend of size, speed and power. Comparisons to Adrian Peterson feel lofty, but from a physical standpoint, he's there. Fournette doesn't have the wiggle to make defenders miss and his vision can be iffy. However, if your run fits and tackling aren't sound, he can take it the distance in an instant. May have durability concerns due to physical running style, but has All-Pro potential.
MY Take: Fournette is a one in a generation type of player. He is the perfect combo of Size and Speed. He has had some injuries, but I feel he handled his injuries conservatively enough at LSU that they are not a real concern to me. But I don't think this is a contending team in 2017. 2015 was a fluke and this is a 2-3 year turn around team. I think with Fournette and Forte in the backfield you can take pressure off of Hackenberg or Petty. This is a Leonard Williams type pick, just pick the TPA.
The writing's on the wall for this New York Jets team. Both Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan will return in 2017, but if they have any hopes of staying long-term in the Big Apple then results are needed sooner rather than later. The Jets put together a promising ten win season in 2016 and were inches away from a playoff spot, and many expected the Jets to be a contender in 2016. In true Jets fashion, Gang Green followed up their impressive season with a 5-11 record mainly due to a revolving door at the quarterback position, not to mention a defense that seemingly checked out and began planning their offseason vacation plans in mid October. Other than the Cleveland Browns, the Jets may very well be the most inconsistent and dysfunctional franchises in the entire league. Although Todd Bowles is an excellent defensive mind and more than qualified to be a head coach, it may be time to hit the reset button again if Bowles can't change the culture and begin producing in New York. Uncertainty surrounds the quarterback position in New York, and it's safe to say both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith won't return in 2017. While Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg offer a lot of upside, the Jets simply can't afford to sit back and hope that one of them develop quickly into a quality starting quarterback, and may look into drafting their twelfth quarterback since the turn of the century. At 6’3 and 220 pounds, North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky is the top quarterback prospect available. While Trubisky may not be as polished as more recent rookie quarterbacks in the past few years, the demand for a quarterback in today's NFL will lead to Trubisky hearing his name called early on draft day. A late bloomer on the college scene, Trubisky rose to prominence after earning the starting quarterback gig his junior year in 2016, leading the Tar Heels to an 8-5 record while passing for nearly 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns. From a physical standpoint, Trubisky has all the tools to be a successful quarterback in the NFL, drawing comparisons to Colt McCoy. While scouts will certainly view Trubisky as raw and untested after playing primarily against ACC defenses, pairing Trubisky with a no-nonsense coach like Bowles and veterans Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte may be his best chance of reaching success at the next level.
Cap Space $24 Million- 34 Defensive Front
Offensively: 26TH Yds/G, 30th PPG
Defensively: 11th Yds/G, 28th PPG
Needs: QB, WR, TE, T, SS, CB, OLB
Offensive/Defensive Biggest Need: QB, OLB
Despite signing Josh McCown recently the quarterback position still remains the Jets number one need. DeShaun Watson is a proven winner that can do more than just throw the ball. Considering that the Jets offensive line is one of the worst in the league, Jets fans should be happy to get this mobile quarterback that can use his legs when the pocket is non existent. Watson shares the same NFL prospect rating as Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. Watson has a better rating than Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, and New England Patriots back QB (that many have been talking about in recent week) Jimmy Garroppola. The ratings don't really matter that much but I wanted to show you what company Watson is in. By all counts prior to actually taking a NFL snap, Watson is a better leader than all the quarterbacks previous mentioned. If you put the right players around Watson he should be able to take you where you want to go.
NFL Comparison: Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott
Fournette is definitely going to be tempting here. But, Jets have a lot of guaranteed money in Forte ($6 million) and Powell ($4.25) for their 2017 books. While they can make some cap savings in cuts such as Darrelle Revis, trading Sheldon Richardson, and potentially restructuring Brandon Marshall, that cap space should be spent elsewhere.
The Jets have a range of needs in quarterback, pash rusher, and cornerback. Todd Bowels needs make an offensive coordinator decision soon and allow him to partipate in deciding if a quarterback is worthy of a selection here. As of now, Kizer appears worthy of this selection. He has the physical set to succeed and the Jets will already have a few weapons available for him with a healthy Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. However, hiring a quarterback guru for OC will be crucial for Kizer's success at the NFL level.
I'm sure it's because your "NFL Matches" section is just the usual copy/pasta from other scouting report articles, but I literally spit out my drink reading you suggest Mixon as a fit for the Ravens. Zero chance that happens lol.
*EASTER UPDATE* WITH TRADES RD2, 3, & 4 ORDER IS RANDOM for trades that usually happen.
Used draft-site`s approach as a general guide. Really like their ranking system as it uses a hi-low rubric to rank each player. Took several ranking sites and averaged out player rankings. Used my own rankings for players I feel were ranked much too low. F/A updates with a few players still looking for a new home. Will update as they sign. Will see teams reach for QB & OT. 3 days till drafttime !! No big trades announced yet.