The New York Jets are facing a hugely important draft in April as they look to restock their roster with young talent and fill the major holes on their team. Wide receiver, tight end, right guard, outside linebacker, cornerback and free safety are the positions that John Idzik will be studying closely, though obviously not all of those will be addressed solely through the draft. This mock is somewhat best case scenario for the Jets, but I’ve tried to ensure that each player is projected in the round he’s currently valued in. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what the New York Jets might do in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Round 1, No. 18 Overall: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Evans is the name most commonly given to the Jets, and I agree. Evans checks in at 6’4″, 220 lbs, and he is the dominant red zone player that size would suggest. Evans has very good hands and leaping ability, allowing him to catch anything in his general vicinity. He would give Geno Smith a true No. 1 target and be a huge help to the Jets’ red zone issues.
Round 2, No. 50 Overall: TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
Pick a tight end right after a receiver might seem like overkill, but this pick reflects how badly the Jets need to upgrade their pass catchers. Amaro is an excellent receiving tight end who was extremely productive in college, and his presence would allow Marty Mornhinweg to be much more creative with his offense. Smith is also fond of targeting the tight end, so the Jets would be well served to give him a reliable target.
Round 3, No. 71 Overall (from TB): OLB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama
Hubbard is a player who some think should have stayed in school to improve his stock. He dealt with some injuries in college, but he has shown promise as a pass rusher as well. The Jets could be a getting a player who has potential to develop into a long term starter opposite Quinton Coples, giving the team a solid pair of pass rushing linebackers.
Round 3, No. 82 Overall: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
I expect the Jets to make a move in free agency at corner, but adding another in the draft wouldn’t hurt. Fuller has the ability to play in the slot, making him the long term replacement for Kyle Wilson. Fuller is smart, has good hands and is a good tackler, but lacks the elite athleticism to be a top prospect.
Round 4, No. 114 Overall: FS Terrence Brooks, Florida State
The Jets have a huge need a free safety, but they are probably not going to fill it at the top of the draft. Brooks gives them good value in the fourth, and he provides the range and speed the Jets badly need in centerfield. Brooks is experienced and was decently productive in college, and he could help fill the Jets’ free safety need.
Round 5, No. 146 Overall: RB Dri Archer, Kent State
Archer is one of the smallest players in the draft, but his 4.4 speed and elite pass catching skills out of the backfield make him the exact kind of weapon the Jets need. He could fill a role as a third down back and return man while giving the Jets a new big play dimension from the running back position.
Round 6, No. 178 Overall: WR Tevin Reese, Baylor
Reese’s size is going to drop him in the draft, but he has the speed and hands to become a quality slot receiver at the next level. The Jets already have Jeremy Kerley, but if they have learned anything from the rival New England Patriots it’s that you can never have too many weapons, even in the slot.
Round 7, No. 210 Overall: DT Deandre Coleman, Cal
The Jets could use a little more depth on the defensive line, and Coleman has the versatility to play both positions. Teams are happy just to find reliable backups this late, and Coleman should be exactly that.
Obviously a lot will change between now and the draft, and mock drafts will be altered to reflect the ever changing stock of various prospects. As things stand now, however, this is a draft that the Jets would be very happy with.