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Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Jets

by Josh Norris

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: ILB C.J. Mosley, RB Le’Veon Bell, LG Kelechi Osemele, WR Jamison Crowder, CB Brian Poole, WR/ST Josh Bellamy, K Chandler Catanzaro.

Starting Offense

QB: Sam Darnold
RB: Le’Veon Bell
WR1: Robby Anderson
WR2: Quincy Enunwa
SLWR: Jamison Crowder
TE: Chris Herndon
LT: Kelvin Beachum
LG: Kelechi Osemele
C: Jonotthan Harrison
RG: Brian Winters
RT: Brandon Shell

Starting Defense

LE: Leonard Williams
RE: Henry Anderson
NT: Steve McLendon
OLB: Jordan Jenkins
OLB: Brandon Copeland
ILB: C.J. Mosley
ILB: Avery Williamson
LCB: Darryl Roberts
RCB: Trumaine Johnson
SCB: Brian Poole
FS: Marcus Maye
SS: Jamal Adams

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Offensive Line: The Jets’ No. 1 priority must be seeing to it that Darnold succeeds, and the offensive line did him no favors during Darnold’s rookie year. Osemele’s addition certainly helps, but RT Shell went down with a season-ending injury in December, and RG Winters is coming off a disappointing year. The Jets’ starting center is not on their roster after they passed on Matt Paradis in free agency. Football Outsiders rated the 2018 Jets dead last in their Adjusted Line Yards run-blocking metric and 18th in pass protection.

Edge Rusher: The Jets have lacked a fearsome outside rush for over a decade, resorting to heavy blitzing to manufacture pressure under Todd Bowles and Rex Ryan. New DC Gregg Williams also leans heavily on the blitz, but he’ll require improved personnel for the blitzes to get home. The Jets were spurned by Anthony Barr after Barr agreed to a monster deal, then experienced a next-morning change of heart. In-house options Frankie Luvu and Tarell Basham aren’t going to cut it opposite edge-setter Jenkins.

Cornerback: Last year’s Jets coughed up the NFL’s eighth-most completions of 20-plus yards (58), and their lone notable free agent secondary addition was slot CB Poole. With high-priced Trumaine Johnson coming off an ugly season, the Jets should consider drafting multiple cornerbacks. GM Mike Maccagnan has no second-round pick after last year’s trade up for Darnold and moved out of the fifth round in the Osemele trade. Maccagnan must listen to all offers to trade down from the No. 3 overall slot.

 

Jets 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

1 (3). EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky - Scroll back up. Look at the Jets’ starting edge rushers. It has been a need for basically 15 years. They attempted to solve that in free agency with Anthony Barr, and if anyone fills a similar role in this draft it is Allen. He is an athletic pass rusher (81st percentile) moving forward, and is uncommonly comfortable out in space in coverage. Now, you’re drafting a player to rush the passer at No. 3, but if Barr is their … bar, Allen makes a ton of sense.

3 (68). T Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia - Earlier in the process many suggested Cajuste could be a much earlier selection. I didn’t see that. Then we didn’t see him at the Senior Bowl. Still, he could be viewed as an NFL starter, has plenty of experience at left tackle and might make a transition to the right side in the NFL.

3 (93). Acquired from Saints for Teddy Bridgewater - C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia - As Evan mentioned, the Jets might not have their starting center on the roster. Luckily for them, there’s a handful of anchor prospects in this class who can help immediately. Gaillard is tough, nasty and wins when balanced and out of position.

4 (105). CB Sean Bunting, Central Michigan - One of my favorites outside of the second-round corners in this class. Bunting has nearly 32-inch arms and posted an athletic profile in the 92nd percentile. He sometimes relies on that athleticism to catch up and get back and phase, but there’s a lot to work with here as an outside corner.

6 (196). EDGE/LB Jamal Davis, Akron - Gregg Williams drafted personal favorite Genard Avery on the third day last year, a player who can rush the passer but also work as an off-ball linebacker. That is similar to Jamal Davis.

7 (217). WR DaMarkus Lodge, Ole Miss - All three Ole Miss receivers will likely be drafted. From what I saw, Lodge was glued to the right side of the field but is worth a seventh-round shot and ultimately a practice squad spot.

Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .