EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday, sports fans. I finally get to do Monday Morning Quarterback where I get to talk about football. Shock of all shocks! The NFL Draft was over the last four days including part of the weekend and now we can talk about the winners and the losers all week. I’m sure my fellow writers are excited as I am. I will just focus on the only team I care about during the draft, so strap in and let’s talk about The Good, The Bad and The Ugly New York Jets NFL Draft.
The Jets did a couple of things right to make up the good side. They spent their first two picks addressing two positions of need in the attack. They took the second best offensive tackle available in the draft in Mekhi Becton and one of the top 10 wide outs in the draft. The new wideout Denzel Mims is going to be the new Robby Anderson. He’s a bit raw but he’s got great speed and good hands and he’s going to improve his route running. So they took somebody to keep Sam Darnold upright and protect his blindside so that was enough of a good thing. They also drafted for depth by taking another offense of tackle later, they added another quarterback to develop to eventually be the backup to Darnold as well as adding another running back to become the backup to Le’Veon Bell. Then they drafted a cornerback and also traded it for another one and those are all very good things in terms of adding depth.
Even though it was a position of need, for some reason they decided to wait until the 5th round to draft a cornerback. The Jets drafted Bryce Hall, who is coming off a major injury – or else he would be higher. Gang Green is banking on a steal. I definitely would have thought the third round was when to go get a cornerback. The logic goes, if you can’t get pressure on the quarterback, you get good cover guys. They picked a defensive end in the third where they had 2 picks. Then 3 picks in the 4th round, but waited until the fifth for a corner. Currently looking at the Jets depth chart, they only have two on their roster that are legit starter corners. Behind that, there’s also a huge lack of experienced CBs to connect to make a difference. Last year they got lucky with Blessaun Austin, who is handy but still only a year in the league and is not starter material.
I don’t know if they’re going to get lucky again this year. They also drafted backup quarterback way too early when you have a need for a cornerback. Finally, it does boggle the mind that they felt the need to draft a punter! It’s not like he wouldn’t have been available to be a free agent signee.
Using a late pick to pick up another injury-riddled corner, hoping he’ll come right and then getting a punter was bad. They then they traded away their final pick for a backup CB coming of injury from the Colts. This will be the third Colts cornerback to join the Jets this off-season. The Colts didn’t lead the league in pass defense! I know they were better than the Jets but that’s not saying much. So now the Jets have to hope that a draft pick and traded player are healthy enough to contribute in the team’s most vulnerable defensive position. That is asking and praying for a lot.
Final Thoughts – Second-year general manager Joe Douglas is handling his first draft, as last year he was brought in after the draft. He seemed to be willing to trade down for more picks. He also did some things right, as I’ve mentioned. One thing he did do of note: from the third round on it seemed about five of the six players that he picked were all team captains for at least a year. He seems to be very high on character guys with leadership ability. I guess he believes that’s going to be the key going forward. We’ll see how many of these guys make the roster but it’s an interesting attribute to look for when drafting. Many GM’s go for high-risk/high-reward players who are fit but questionable in character. Douglas chose to get good character guys in and risk-based guys coming back from injury. Only time will tell if he it was the right gamble.
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