In the 2016 Draft, the Jets Should Select…

nfldraftFor two of the last three years, I have written that I’d like to see the Jets draft an offensive lineman and an outside linebacker with their first two picks and this year will make it three of the last four years.  Since 2012, the only year I didn’t advocate for either an offensive lineman or an outside linebacker with our first pick was in 2014.  In 2014, I hoped that Odell Beckham, Jr would be available for the Jets with their 18th pick.  Unfortunately, as we all know, our stadiummates nabbed him with their 12th pick.

For me, the theme of this year’s draft is to trade back and collect some more picks.  I think Mike Maccagnan has been very shrewd in how he’s leveraged some of our draft picks to trade for veteran talent.  However, I’d like to see if we can move back in a couple spots this year to recoup some of those well-spent picks to replenish our pipeline of young players on the roster.

Round 1, Pick 20

With the 20th pick in the 2016, the New York Jets select Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle from Michigan State… well, probably not.  Conklin has been shooting up draft boards of late and probably won’t make it by the Titan’s 15th pick but, you never know.  Most draft experts didn’t think the Jets had a prayer of selecting Lenard Williams with their 6th pick last year and yet, he now wears the green and white.  I, along with many others, would like to see the Jets draft an OT in the first round.  However, I only rate three tackles worthy of a top 20 selection.  With Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley almost certainly gone by the Jets’ pick, I think our only shot is Conklin.  If Conklin is also off the board, I think we should trade the pick and target Jason Spriggs, OT from Indiana with our next selection.

If Conklin is not on the board at 20, I hope Paxton Lynch, QB from Memphis will still be there as he could be trade bait for the Jets to trade back.  If he’s there though, I really hope the Jets resist the temptation to select him.  The Jets already have a development project in Petty plus Lynch’s Wonderlic score of 18 scares me.  For QB’s, so much of their success in the NFL is predicated on their ability to rapidly process information.  Scoring an 18 out of 50 on a test designed to measure a person’s aptitude for learning and problem-solving is enough to take a QB off my board for at least the first three rounds.  My top QB in this draft is Carson Wentz and, by comparison, Wentz scored a 40 on the Wonderlic.

Round 2, Pick 51

Kyler Fackrell, OLB from Utah State

I think Fackrell is an ideal scheme fit for the Jets in a big area of need.  He is a very athletic player – he played quarterback and wide receiver in high school.  He has a high motor and can both rush the passer and drop into coverage.  His versatility would be ideal in a Todd Bowles defense and there is a high likelihood that he’ll be available with our 51st pick.

Round 3, Pick 83

Deion Jones, ILB from LSU

While he played OLB for LSU, in a 3-4 defense, he’s best suited to move inside to ILB.  With the loss of Damario Davis and father time fast on the heals of the venerable David Harris, I think it makes sense to invest early in this position.  Like Kyler Fackrell, Deion Jones is a very athletic player that offers versatility.  He would be a three-down player who is able to drop into coverage or step up and stuff the run.  He lacks experience as he only had one start before his senior year.  However, as a senior, he became a captain, defensive MVP and wracked up 100 tackles including 13.5 tackles for loss.  He was a special teams ace before cracking LSU’s starting line-up and would be an immediate contributor to the Jets on special teams as he learns behind Harris and Henderson.

If Jones is off the board, I’d select Keivarae Russell, CB from Notre Dame.

Round 4, Pick 118

Returning to the theme of trading back, this is a spot that, unless a player the Jets really liked slipped, I’d like to see the Jets trade back.  If the board goes as the consensus of draftniks predict (which it never does), then there really isn’t a player that I like that is projected be here that also shouldn’t be available a round or more later.  Consequently, I would trade back and pick up either and early 5th and 6th round pick or a mid to late 5th and 6th round pick this year plus a 6th round pick next year.

If we were able to trade our 4th round pick for a 5th and 6th round pick this year, then in the 5th round, I’d select Ben Braunecker, TE from Harvard and in the 6th round, I’d select Daryl Worley, CB from West Virginia.

If we couldn’t find a trade partner for our 4th round pick and needed to make a selection, I’d select Nick Vannett, TE from Ohio State.  If Vannett were off the board, I’d go with another tight end and select Tyler Higbee of Western Kentucky.

Round 7, Pick 235

If we were able to trade our 4th round pick for a 5th and 6th round selection and landed Daryl Worley, CB from West Virginia, with our 6th round selection, then I’d like to see the Jets spent the 235th pick on K.J. Dillon, S from West Virginia.  Like the previous recommended picks on defense, Dillion offers versatility.  He can play both high and low.  As is the case with all late round picks, Dillon has some significant flaws in his game.  His most significant flaw is his tackling which, if he proves to be coachable, should be something that can be fixed.

If we were not able to trade our 4th round pick and didn’t draft Daryl Worley, CB from West Virginia, then I’d look to spend this pick as if it were a lottery ticket.  I’d select Rashard Robinson, CB from LSU.  This guy is loaded with talent but is a significant character risk.  He is a 6’ 1” press corner who, if he dedicates himself to football, could be a very solid starter in the league.  With a 7th round pick, I think it’s worth taking a flier on a high risk/high return guy.  Maybe, given a second chance, Robinson will make the most of it.  If he doesn’t, it’s no big deal cutting a 7th round draft pick.

Round 7, Pick 241

If Dion Jones was selected in the 3rd round, then I’d select Chris Brown, WR from Notre Dame.  While his build is lankier than Chan Gailey likes in his receivers, Brown does have some size at 6-2.  With a 40 yard dash time of 4.4, his size/speed is excellent.  He also has good hands and can go up and compete for the football.  With a willingness to go over the middle and absorb a hit to make a catch, along with Gailey’s affinity for four WR sets, I think adding Chris Brown at WR would be a solid pick.

If Dion Jones was not available in the 3rd round, I’d look to add an ILB like either Steven Daniels from Boston College or Luke Rhodes from William & Mary.

So to sum up, here is are my selections for a best-case draft:

Round 1, Pick 20

Jack Conklin, OT from Michigan State

Round 2, Pick 51

Kyler Fackrell, OLB from Utah State

Round 3, Pick 83

Deion Jones, ILB from LSU

Round 4, Pick 118

traded for a 5th and 6th round pick

Round 5 (acquired with 6th round pick for 4th round pick)

Ben Braunecker, TE from Harvard

Round 6 (acquired with 5th round pick for 4th round pick)

Daryl Worley, CB from West Virginia

Round 7, Pick 235

K.J. Dillon, S from West Virginia

Round 7, Pick 241

Chris Brown, WR from Notre Dame


One Comment to “In the 2016 Draft, the Jets Should Select…”

  1. Well, there it is. While I certainly agree with your thinking here, past history suggests maybe the Jets don’t. Certainly, you can’t over-value good offensive linemen.

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