It’s NFL Draft Week and that means that rumors and smokescreens are flying across the NFL circle. The New York Jets draft HQ have been connected to some names in the past few hours but it doesn’t mean they will select the named players.
General manager Joe Douglas has holes to fill in this draft and round one will be the start. Joe Douglas stated that the team would be taking the best player available at number four, which is what every team should do. Joe Douglas will be doing right by the team if he avoids these players in the first round.
New York Jets Draft: Players to avoid
Safety Kyle Hamilton
As a Notre Dame fan, watching Kyle Hamilton was an experience like none other. He just breathes star potential and is everywhere on the football field. He’s got great size and mobility that assists in his good coverage skills. His traits will most certainly translate to the next level. That is not where I have a problem with the potential of Hamilton to the Jets.
Again, it’s not the prospect that is turning me down. To me, it’s all about positional value. The Jets are in dire need of an edge rusher and there is hope that Kayvon Thibodeaux or Jermaine Johnson would be available at fourth overall. Contradicting what Robert Saleh wants out of his defense, I’d even take Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner over Hamilton. The Jets have too many needs to take Hamilton at fourth overall. Plus, there are plenty of safeties like Daxton Hill, Jaquan Brisker, Jalen Pitre, and others that will be available in the middle rounds.
Offensive Tackles Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu
General manager Joe Douglas is all about building through the trenches. The Jets need edge rushers on that front seven to get after the top-tier quarterbacks in the AFC.
For once in a long time, the Jets’ offensive line is solidified and each of the holes are filled with starting-caliber talent. The team signed Pro-Bowler Laken Tomlinson in free agency. Mekhi Becton is returning from injury and everyone is anticipating a huge comeback year from him. George Fant proved to be a very good tackle last season, especially protecting Zach Wilson’s blindside. Alijah Vera-Tucker is a surefire future Pro-Bowler and Connor McGovern is a solid starting center. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that this offensive line is the most talented since the early Rex Ryan years. That’s why the team shouldn’t take Ekwonu or Neal at fourth overall or any offensive linemen in round one.
Unfortunately, there is a scenario where Ekwonu or Neal would be the best player available. Aidan Hutchinson, Ahmad Gardner, and Thibodeaux would be off the board. The top players available would be Travon Walker, Johnson, Ekwonu, Neal, and Hamilton. Hamilton doesn’t match the positional value and the two tackles are an abundance of riches. In that scenario, the Jets should grab the edge rusher they see fit.
Linebackers Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd
The New York Jets also have a linebacker problem. C.J. Mosley is the solidified MIKE linebacker. Every other linebacker on the depth chart is not starting caliber. Quincy Williams is a nice rotational piece who can make plays but lacks pass coverage ability. The newly-signed Marcell Harris is likely a rotational piece as well although he did start seven games last season. Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood didn’t prove much last season. Del’Shawn Phillips isn’t a starting-caliber linebacker either. So, outside of C.J. Mosley, the whole linebacker depth chart is up in the air.
That’s where some people might suggest the Jets grab Nakobe Dean or Devin Lloyd. Luckily, the team doesn’t need to draft either unless they trade back up into round one with their second-rounders without drafting a first-round cornerback. Like the safety position, there is a ton of linebacker depth in this draft. Leo Chenal, Chad Muma, and Channing Tindall amongst others are some great mid-round prospects. If the Jets don’t trade for Deebo Samuel, they desperately need to grab a wide receiver at 10th overall. That’s why the aforementioned prospects exist.
Jordan Davis or any other defensive tackle in Round One
The Jets are stacked at defensive tackle and have continuously drafted defensive linemen in the early rounds during the 2010s. Names like Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Quinnen Williams come to mind. Again, Joe Douglas’ philosophy of building through the trenches is well understood. The only need the Jets need to fill on the defensive line is the edge rusher position.
Jordan Davis is for sure an excellent prospect. For any defensive tackle to be drafted early on by the Jets, fans would go berzerk. Once the Jets start drafting for depth, I wouldn’t mind grabbing a defensive tackle for depth. Attack the more important needs first.