So the 2017 NFL draft came and went this past weekend, and after having a few days to digest the New York Jets selections, I think General Manager Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles did a solid job. Obviously, this year is going to a be a tough one at MetLife for Gang Green. I respect the direction the franchise is going in. For the first time we are actually committing to a true rebuild and focusing on building a strong roster through the draft rather than band-aiding the team with aging veterans.
Coming into the draft I felt the teams biggest needs were at: OT, CB, QB, and TE. Going the “best player available” route and sticking to your board with a roster that is arguably the worst in the league is understandable. That seemed to be the strategy, as the J-E-T-E Jets doubled up on safeties and wide receivers through the first 4 rounds.
It’s Christian Hackenberg time ladies and gentleman! After investing a 2nd rounder in the Penn St. product last year I respect not jumping at any of this year’s crop of quarterbacks. As this group of o-lineman was seen as one of the weakest in years, I guess I can’t kill the team for not picking one up. My biggest gripe with the haul was not selecting a corner earlier, which was arguably the largest of the holes on the roster with Darrelle Revis departing an already putrid position.
Let’s get into the picks, shall we.
1st Round #6 – Jamal Adams, S – LSU
Fell right into our laps at six, as the Bears and Titans shocked the top five. All the reviews on this kid have been positive. A leader in every sense of the word, the complete package at safety. Adams continues the DBU legacy at LSU and hopefully we see him on some All-Pro teams in a few years. Between Jamal and Leonard Williams the Jets have the cornerstones to sure up the front and back end of the defense for the next decade. The start of a culture change in NY.
Is this the end of 2014 1st round pick Calvin Pryor as a Jet?
2nd Round #39 – Marcus Maye, S – Florida
The only defensible thought process behind the All-Day Maye selection would be he was the highest player on the Jets draft board. Other than that, I’m baffled at the pick from a fit stand-point as the safety position is a congested one. With a home-run hitter like Dalvin Cook available, I was begging for the running back as he slid down draft boards. Corners like Sidney Jones or Maye’s teammate Quincy Wilson should have been the pick in my opinion. Prove me wrong Marcus. Hopefully Maye and Adams team up to become one of the best safety duos in the league down the line. One alarming statistic on the Florida safety, he is credited with giving up 10 touchdowns and struggles to track the ball in flight. Major no-no for me.
Never a bad weekend when you graduate and get selected in the NFL draft, congrats kid!
** The Jets haven’t hit on a 2nd round pick since taking David Harris way back in 2007**
3rd Round (#79) – ArDarius Stewart, WR – Alabama
Caught 8 TDs for Alabama this year and seemed to always come through on tough third down conversions. The slot receiver has drawn comparisons to Anquan Boldin in that regard. With a plethora of receivers, Steward should fit in nicely alongside Decker and Enunwa.
4th Round (#141) – Chad Hansen, WR – California
A prospect that came out of nowhere (no major scholarships out of high school) and blossomed on the scene as a junior transfer, leading Cal’s receiving corps by hauling in 92 passes for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016. The more highlights I watch of the 22-year-old the more impressed I get. Good size (6′ 2″) and hands should help the California kid stick around in the league for a long time. It’s crazy how quickly the Jets have revamped their receiving core the last couple years. Good value on the two receivers, but who will be throwing them the ball this year is the real question?
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 29, 2017
5th Round (#151) – Jordan Leggett, TE – Clemson
Man was I hoping the Jets would move up to take Jake Butt, who went five selections earlier. Gang Green settled for Leggett out of Clemson in an attempt to sure up a position they just can’t seem to get right. You don’t earn the nickname “Lazy” for nothing, but Jordan’s physical attributes are through the roof. When you can land a 6’6″ tight end with good speed in the 5th round you do it, well worth a flier. He’ll definitely have opportunities to play early on.
Rest Of The Picks: Finally addressed some needs including the cornerback position with some intriguing developmental prospects. Hopefully these guys just make the roster and can contribute on special teams this year, as Maccagnan moved back multiple times in the draft to pick up the extra selections.
Overall, it’s tough to judge a draft right away obviously, so let’s revisit this article in a few years and hopefully at least 2-3 of these selections are major contributors on an up and coming Jets team. See everyone at training camp!