Head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnon both earned new contracts this offseason thanks to taking a tanking New York Jets team and making them actually competitive. Now it’s time for them to reward the team and its beleaguered fanbase with a franchise-changing draft.
Here’s how I think it should go.
Round 1, Pick 3: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
2017: 62.6 completion percentage, 3,756 yards, 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, two rushing touchdowns (6-4, 218 pounds)
The Jets didn’t trade up to this spot not to take a quarterback. I still like Baker Mayfield the best out of this bunch, but my guess is New York will take Rosen here. If Cleveland takes Rosen No. 1 overall, then the Jets will take Darnold.
That being said, I like Rosen a lot more than I did last season and it has very little to do with what he put on tape. More, it has a lot more to do with his doppelganger, Jared Goff, in Los Angeles and the huge strides he made his sophomore NFL season under head coach Sean McVay. Rosen and Goff look like the exact same guy coming out of college and Bowles would be smart to look at the mistakes made in Goff’s rookie year, and the fixes made in his second year, and set a developmental path for his quarterback.
Round 3, Pick 72: Skai Moore, OLB, South Carolina
2017: 93 tackles, eight for a loss, two sacks, three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, two passes defended (6-2, 218 pounds)
The Jets need an outside linebacker, either a base guy or one that can rush the passer. Moore, in the right system, can do both. He’ll need to bulk up some, but he should be able to fire off the edge and give New York options as a pass and run defender. With no second round pick, the Jets will have to take what they can get here.
Round 4, Pick 107: Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU
6-5, 319 pounds
If you’re going to draft a quarterback high, you need to put in the players to protect him. Noteboom has played both left and right tackle at TCU and could grow into a rookie starter by the end of the season if pressed.
Round 5, Pick 157: Brian Allen, Center, Michigan State
6-1, 300 pounds
Allen started at center and guard for Michigan State and could be a solid utility guy and spot starter early at the NFL level.
Round 6, Pick 179: D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
2017: 40 catches, 874 yards, three touchdowns, 63 rushing yards, one rushing touchdowns (6-4, 198 pounds)
The Jets have a dire need at wide receiver and should probably address it after the draft in free agency. Still, they don’t need to wrap up their player selections without adding a wide receiver and Chark has real superstar potential. He runs a 4.34 40, but boasts a 6-4 frame. He could even put on a little more muscle without losing his ability to take the top off a defense.
Round 7, Pick 235: Chris Worley, OLB, Ohio State
2017: 56 tackles, five for a loss, one sack, two passes defended, one forced fumble (6-2, 230 pounds)
Worley is more of the classic 3-4 edge rusher the Jets need to add to their roster. Like wideout, they’ll likely need to work the post draft free agency phones to get their defense up to pro level, but Worley should be a nice developmental prospect.
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