The New York Jets went through a purge of sorts this offseason, ridding themselves of several bloated veteran contracts and setting their sights on the future. That is why GM Mike Maccagnan had to focus on bringing in as many young, virile bodies as possible in the NFL Draft this weekend. He turned seven picks into nine through several trades and as the smoke clears, pundits are trying to make sense of if his strategy worked.
After taking safeties with his first two picks (Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye), Maccagnan selected two wide receivers in Alabama’s ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen of Cal. He followed that up by taking a much-needed tight end in Clemson’s Jordan Leggett.
All five players will be integral to the Jets’ short and long term future. They have not been pleased with their play in the secondary and Adams and Maye look to be replacements for the current duo, Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist. Stewart and Hanson will be much-welcomed additions to a WR corp that is besieged by both injuries and suspensions.
Leggett will be braking new ground for these Jets, who haven’t had a TE of his caliber in years. Leggett was one of the top players at very deep position in this draft. Playing for the National Champion Tigers, had 46 catches for 736 yards (16.0 yards/catch) and seven TDs. His size (6’5″, 258) is ideal as well. A lot to like here.
The final four picks Maccagnan made are interesting as well. LB Dylan Donahue (6’3″, 248) of West Georgia is said to be a “sack artist”. RB Elijah McGuire (5’10”, 214) of Lousiana-Lafayette is an all-purpose back that can fill a role in the passing game. The final two picks were tall CBs: Michigan’s Jeremy Clark (6’3″, 220) and Derrick Jones (6’2″, 188) of Mississippi. Not sure how either one will be used but they could be helpful in red zone subpackages and on special teams.
Some possible undrafted free agent signings as per SNY: WR Brisley Estime, Syracuse, CB Xavier Coleman, Portland State, OL Kevin Kenton, Tennessee State (tryout) and LB Connor Harris, Lindenwood