Joe Caporoso and Connor Rogers go through Connor's seven round mock for the New York Jets, while also discussing alternative picks at each spot. They are then joined by Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network to discuss the latest rumors around round one and what to expect from the AFC East during NFL Draft weekend...
The Jets have a total of 8 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, with four of them being in the top 80 selections. With pressing needs across the board including but not limited to offensive tackle, cornerback, edge pass rush and wide receiver, Joe Douglas has a huge first draft ahead of him.
Here’s one realistic scenario of how the picks could play out in a few weeks.
Round 1 // 11th overall: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Jets going into the draft with George Fant and Chuma Edoga penciled into the starting tackle spots tells you one thing: adding a premium player through the draft in this group is the priority.
The problem is, it’s not a lock that one of the top four tackles (Thomas, Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs and Mekhi Becton) make it there, hence the insurance signing of Fant.
In a realistic scenario, my third ranked tackle in Andrew Thomas is on the board and an ideal pick at 11th overall for multiple reasons.
A five star prospect coming out of high school, Thomas started all 15 games at right tackle for Georgia as a true freshman (earning Freshman All-American team honors while doing it). The two years following that he started at left tackle, while being named a permanent team captain in 2019.
That playing experience and leadership matters in a season where not only do the Jets need a plug and play tackle, but where it’s expected there will be no rookie minicamp or OTA’s.
On the field, Thomas is a high IQ pass blocker with strong hands, good feet to mirror pass rushers and an anchor to take on power. In the run game he displays a nasty demeanor and enough giddy up to climb to the second level.
Landing Thomas opens up a competition between Fant and Edoga at right tackle, but most importantly upgrades the left tackle spot from day one in both the run and pass game.
Round 2 // 48th overall: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
Pittman checks nearly every box for any football evaluator: production (142 receptions, 2,033 yards and 17 touchdowns in the last 2 seasons), size (6’4, 223 lbs.), athleticism (4.52 forty yard dash, 6.96 three-cone and 4.14 shuttle) and top football character (toughness, intelligence, leadership).
On top of all of that, Pittman played with Sam Darnold during his sophomore year at USC and still trains with him. He uses his size to make catches over defenders, but has enough speed to win down the field as well. He also has some of the best hands in the entire draft, dropping only 2.7% of his targets this year (per PFF).
Just like the Andrew Thomas pick, the Jets lack of talent in this position group makes a pro ready talent a priority. Pittman has the upside of a number one wide receiver, but at a minimum should project to the NFL level as an upper tier number two target.
Round 3 // 68th overall: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
Joe Douglas wisely brought Jordan Jenkins back on a one year deal, but the spot across from him is wide open. Even if the coaching staff likes Tarell Basham, this defense needs a situational pass rusher with juice off the edge. Enter Bradlee Anae.
One of the more productive pass rushers in college football this season, Anae compiled 13 sacks his senior season after 15 total in the two previous years. He’s not a one year wonder, but rather a prospect that developed more of a pass rush plan year after year.
The most notable trait on tape is his first step, allowing him to often gain leverage against offensive tackles with powerful and savvy hands.
While far from a three down player right now, Anae’s polish as a pass rusher could make him an effective situational defender for Gregg Williams.
Round 3 // 79th overall: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
If not for a significant season ending ankle fracture, Hall would have been a top 60 lock in this year’s draft.
A long, physical outside press corner is just what Gregg Williams defense needs as the Jets pray for a Pierre Desir bounce back year as well as Bless Austin’s continued development and health.
Hall’s play style wears wide receivers out and his size allows him to compete with bigger targets on the outside. There’s also little denying he knows how to find the football after an FBS leading 22 passes broken up in 2018.
With the corner talent wiped off the board this late, Long is easily worth taking a gamble on with hopes he returns to full form.
Round 4 // 120th overall: Lynn Bowden, WR/PR, Kentucky
Yes, another wide receiver. When you’re going into the draft with a depth chart of Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Vyncint Smith and Braxton Berrios (I love Quincy Enunwa, but long gone are the days where he’s relied on) this is the approach you must take.
This is a loaded wide receiver class. It has star talent, but most importantly NFL level players across at least four rounds. Bowden is one of my favorite players in the entire draft, a wide receiver and punt returner that had to move to quarterback for Kentucky midseason (and guess what? He led them to a bowl appearance and victory)
He’s one of the best open field runners in the entire draft, rarely going down on initial contact. With Perriman and Pittman on the outside and Crowder and Bowden on the inside, the Jets would have plenty of speed and after the catch threats in four wide sets.
Bowden also brought back 2 of his 9 career punt returns for touchdowns, making him one of the most dangerous special teams threats available.
Round 5 // 158th overall: Antonio Gibson, RB/WR/KR, Memphis
The 6’2, 221 pound Gibson played wide receiver at Memphis for the majority of his college career, but his film in limited running back snaps is impressive. His 4.39 speed shows up in pads too, making big plays (14 touchdowns on 77 touches in 2 years at Memphis) as a runner, pass catcher and returner.
The Jets need a versatile running back behind Le’Veon Bell and as much speed in the offense as possible. Gibson pencils in as RB2 and KR1 right away, while being an emergency option on the WR depth chart.
Round 6 // 191st overall: K’von Wallace, S, Clemson
Wallace handled a lot of roles in the secondary for Clemson showing improved coverage ability year after year, aggressive tackling and even a downhill presence. The Jets free agent deal for a third safety in Marqui Christian fell through, leaving the door wide open in a quietly vital role behind Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
Round 6 // 211th overall: Javelin Guidry, SCB, Utah
The Jets brought back Brian Poole on a one year deal, but Guidry could come in and compete for the backup slot corner job. Most importantly with his 4.29 speed he could factor in on kick and punt coverage teams right away.
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