The New York Jets currently hold the 3rd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. In a draft loaded on the defensive line, New York is primed to select a potential game-changing prospect.
After a 4-12 season that ended with the firing of Todd Bowles and resulted in owning the 3rd overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Jets chose Adam Gase to lead the team into the future. Gase, who some consider an offensive guru, was fired after three seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Gase’s offense has proven to be effective when the players he wants in his system are able to stay healthy. New York will need to bolster their line to protect 2nd-year quarterback Sam Darnold, as well as getting him some new weapons to go along with newly signed Le’Veon Bell.
On Defense, New York finished 29th in yards allowed and 23rd in points allowed. They have a few players on defense to build around, like Jamal Adams and Leonard Williams. If New York stays put, they should have their choice of elite defensive players with the 3rd pick.
The Jets only have six picks in the draft as of right now, so they’ll need to choose players wisely to ensure a productive draft class. All selections in this mock are from Fanspeak’s On the Clock.
Round 1 (Pick 3): Quinnen Williams | Defensive Tackle | Alabama
Quinnen Williams is the top-rated defensive tackle in this draft. With Ohio State’s Nick Bosa and Kentucky’s Josh Allen off the board, Williams is a no brainer. Williams has been labeled by some as a generational talent, so even though tackle might not be New York’s biggest need, you don’t pass up players of this caliber.
Pairing Williams on a defensive line with Leonard Williams would form one of the best defensive tackle duos in the NFL. Or, in the unlikely event that the latter Williams isn’t resigned before hitting free agency in 2020, the Alabama DT could replace him effortlessly. In a division that features Tom Brady and Josh Allen’s running ability, putting pressure on the QB is imperative.
Round 3 (Pick 68): Jaylon Ferguson | EDGE | Louisiana Tech
The Jets finished 2018 with only 39 sacks, which ranked toward the middle of the pack in the NFL. New York pursued pass rusher, Anthony Barr, when the free agency negotiating period opened up. Barr agreed to sign with the Jets initially. However, Barr said when he hung up the phone that he got cold sweats, and compared it to marrying the wrong woman and ultimately decided to resign with the Minnesota Vikings. The Jets now must look to add another pass rusher in this draft.
Jaylon Ferguson is the NCAA all-time leader in sacks. In the NFL if you can rush the quarterback, you’ll find a job easily. Ferguson has great size to be a 3-down defensive end in the NFL at 6-5 and 270 pounds. As good as he is at getting to the QB, Ferguson is also very productive in the run game as well. New York would be able to build a potentially dominant line with Williams and Ferguson together for years to come.
Round 3 (Pick 93): Chris Lindstrom | IOL | Boston College
The Jets gave up 37 sacks last season and were 29th in the NFL in yards per carry. The addition of Bell will help the YPC and should also lessen the sack total due to more rushing attempts. Keeping Darnold’s jersey clean and opening holes for Bell to run through should be high on New York’s “to do” list.
Lindstrom is my top-rated guard in this draft. If he falls to the 93rd pick New York should send their fastest player to the podium to turn in the card. Lindstrom has a great combination of athleticism and strength which gives him the ability to block any type of rusher. New York just signed Kelechi Osmele, pairing these two guards would anchor the interior of their offensive line.
Round 4 (Pick 105): Terry McLaurin | Wide Receiver | Ohio State
Gase built his receiver core in Miami with small, speedy, route runners. He made players like Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson critical components in his offense. Prior to 2018, both players were relatively unknown, and Gase had defenses game-planning to stop them last year.
McLaurin saw his draft stock rise as much as anyone during Senior Bowl week. The Ohio State product ran a blazing 4.35 40 yard dash at the combine which only strengthened his draft rankings. In his final year at Ohio State, McLaurin averaged an eye-popping 20 yards per catch and caught 11 touchdowns. McLaurin could carve himself out a nice role in Gase’s uptempo offense and become a dangerous deep threat for Darnold.
Round 6 (Pick 196): Bryce Love | Running Back | Stanford
The Jets have their bell-cow back after signing Bell to a record contract. However, Gase has never utilized just one running back in his offense. Love would be a great addition to the offense and could line up in the slot at times to create mismatches for opposing defenses.
In 2017 Love was a runner up for the Heisman after rushing for over 2,100 yards and 30 touchdowns. The running back had a down year in 2018 and finished it off by tearing his ACL in the season finale. New York could take a chance on him in the later rounds and potentially get a great return on the investment.
Round 7 (Pick 217): Cameron Smith | Linebacker | USC
Cameron Smith is an incredibly instinctive linebacker and a great value this late in the draft. His preparation shows on tape week to week as he almost always is in the right position to make plays. Smith would be an adequate backup to newly signed CJ Mosley as a 2-down linebacker. His lack of athleticism can cause issues in the passing game, where it will almost always be a mismatch. The sure tackler could also be a key contributor on special teams.