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.
I had Fournette being picked at Nos. 2 and 4 in previous mock drafts, but he's available in this edition. If Fournette is still on the board, and Jamal Adams isn't available, I'd have to believe that New York would take the LSU runner unless a trade is available to them.
*** OTHER 2017 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker, S - This is also Adams' floor. I think he'll be the pick if available. If both Adams and Fournette are off the board, I could see Malik Hooker being the choice.
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.
Rd. 2, Pk. 7
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
The Jets continue their strategy of selecting the best player available, and Jabrill Peppers makes sense if they can't land Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker.
Pick change; previously Corey Davis, WR
Rd. 3, Pk. 6
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
It goes without saying that the Jets desperately need to find help at cornerback to replace Darrelle Revis.
Rd. 3, Pk. 43
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.
Rd. 5, Pk. 6
Chad Hansen, WR, California
The Jets could double up on receiver, given their dire need at the position.
Rd. 6, Pk. 7
Eric Saubert, TE, Drake
The Jets could pick a tight end much earlier than this - O.J. Howard is a possibility at No. 6 overall - as they haven't had a quality tight end in a long time.
Rd. 7, Pk. 6
Grover Stewart, DT, Albany State
The Jets haven't properly replaced Snacks Harrison, so they figure to take a nose tackle at some point.
This pick could easily be traded away. Last Wednesday, I was the first to report that the Jets have talked with the Browns about trading down. 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, they could take the best player available, and that would be Hooker in this scenario. He has injury concerns, but he would be a huge upgrade for their pass coverage.
In late September, weeks before other draft media were aware of Hooker, WalterFootball.com reported that Hooker was receiving high first-round grades from teams. He was one of the breakout stars of the 2016 season. Multiple team sources have said they see Hooker as a top-10 pick. Ohio State lost both Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell to the NFL, but the redshirt sophomore Hooker was an upgrade for the Buckeyes.
In 2016, Hooker totaled 74 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, .5 sacks, four passes broken up and seven interceptions. Three of those picks were returned for touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder has excellent size to go along with great speed and instincts. Hooker is tremendous as the deep center fielder with rare skills as a pass-coverage free safety who has drawn comparisons to Ed Reed. He also has the size and strength to come downhill and fill in the ground game. Hooker could be a dynamic safety in the NFL. He is the real deal.
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
Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
The Jets could use a cornerback upgrade, and Moreau could easily be drafted higher.
Moreau (6-0, 202) was one of the stars of the East-West Shrine throughout the week as he impressed teams with his size, physicality, and coverage skills. Moreau is a tough corner who is capable of running the route to prevent separation. As a senior, he totaled 31 tackles with two interceptions and 10 passes broken up.
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.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with DeShone Kizer Going to Jets
Rd. 1, Pk. 6
Jamal Adams, S
The Jets have done a great job in the draft for the most part lately because of their stance of selecting the best player available. That's exactly what they're doing here rather than reaching for need. Then again, the Jets do need everything, so... never mind.
At any rate, after seeing the Bears and Titans do something idiotic, the Jets are looking great with this selection. Adams was widely projected to be taken in the top three, and he probably should've been. The Jets aren't complaining, as Adams fills a huge need for New York and its atrocious secondary.
Rd. 2, Pk. 7
Marcus Maye, S
Back-to-back safeties!? It makes sense, as the Jets had multiple needs at the position. The Jets just broke a lot of hearts, as many teams were hoping he'd fall to them in the second round. I guess it wasn't very realistic because there was some speculation Maye could go late first. He'll pair well with Jamal Adams to bolster New York's atrocious secondary.
Rd. 3, Pk. 6
Pat Elflein, G/C
I loved Minnesota's first pick. This one? Not so much. The Vikings moved up in the third round to select a fourth-round prospect, so I don't really like this move. I don't hate it though, as there aren't very many good offensive linemen, and Minnesota is desperate. Pat Elflein can start at guard right away and eventually move to center in a couple of years.
Rd. 3, Pk. 15
ArDarius Stewart, WR
Most teams we spoke to had ArDarius Stewart in the third-round range, so I'm definitely not surprised to see him taken in this area. He also fills a need for the Jets, who had to replace Brandon Marshall. This is a solid pick for the Jets. At the very least, they'll get great special-teams play out of Stewart.
Rd. 4, Pk. 34
Chad Hansen, WR
I thought Chad Hansen could potentially be chosen in the third round, so I like this value, and Hansen obviously fills a need with Brandon Marshall gone. Hansen was a productive receiver at California who made acrobatic catches, but his speed is a major question mark.
Rd. 5, Pk. 6
Jordan Leggett, TE
And yet another great tight end value pick in the fifth round. This tight end class is tremendous, and I'm surprised that some of these players didn't go earlier. The Jets won't complain, as they might be able to finally fill their massive need at the position. Leggett is a poor blocker, but figures to be a productive pass-catcher.
Rd. 5, Pk. 37
Dylan Donahue, OLB/DE
Dylan Donahue nearly made my mock draft, but he didn't make the cut. He could have though, as he was very productive in college, albeit at a small school. Donahue is 25, so that's a negative, but he could end up being a rotational pass-rusher for the Jets.
Rd. 6, Pk. 4
Elijah McGuire, RB
The Jets are quietly having a stellar draft, as they've traded down a bunch to pick up lots of resources, which they desperately needed. Elijah McGuire is a value selection, as I had him going off the board 50 selections earlier than this. McGuire tested poorly during the pre-draft process, but he's an effective pass-catching weapon coming out of the backfield.
Rd. 6, Pk. 13
Jeremy Clark, CB
Jeremy Clark may have snuck into the second day of the draft had he not sustained a torn ACL in September. Clark dropped all the way to Round 6, but the Jets are getting decent value with him. He has the potential to emerge as a starter in 2018, but the durability concerns are real.
Rd. 6, Pk. 20
Derrick Jones, CB
The Jets are swinging for the fences here, which is fine. Derrick Jones has elite athleticism, but not very much production. He has starter potential, but could also fail to make the roster.