By Ben Berube, special to NYSportsDay.com
The 2019 Jets have had a very productive offseason. From new coaches to new uniforms and new players, the fan base has been very excited for what’s to come. The NFL draft is up next for Mike Maccagnan and he could buster this team even more. Even with critical signings such as C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder and Kelechi Osemele via trade from Oakland and of course Le’Veon Bell. Sam Darnold in year two already has a better cast of players around him. However, the Jets still lack at key positions as they look to make a playoff push for the 2019 season.
The Jets still need an edge defender, a center, offensive line depth, cornerback depth, and wide receiver depth. Maccagnan is in an interesting situation. He has the third overall pick, no second-round picks, two thirds, one fourth and fifth, no sixth and one seventh. The lack of seconds from the trade last year to get Darnold has some fans asking the Jets to trade down. Maccagnan himself is open to trading down.
“We’re very open to potentially moving back from three. I wouldn’t envision us moving up in the draft,” Maccagnon told Bleacher Report recently. “I think you can rule that one out. If we end up staying at three and taking a player, we think there are some very good players at three. But we’d definitely be interested if another team came with an offer that we felt was worthy of moving out of the spot.”
This year’s draft has much depth at defensive line and offensive line. The top of the draft has bona fide budding stars such as Nick Bosa, Josh Allen and Quinnen Williams. It seems like the Jets would get a great player at three. Bosa is arguably the best player in this draft and will most likely be picked between one and three.
The Cardinals have been rumored to take Oklahoma star Kyler Murray with the first pick. San Francisco could also go defensive line but with the acquisition of Dee Ford who will be assigned to rush the passer. The 49ers could go in another direction, which could leave the Jets with Bosa. Advice: Don’t overthink it, pick Bosa. It’s not a slam dunk that the 49ers pass on Bosa, but the Jets could still get Quinnan Williams who is a great interior lineman, or New Jersey’s own Allen. No wrong answer with either of those players.
The smart move would be trading back to get the second round picks and build a complete roster. I do believe the Jets will wait till draft day to make a trade, especially with the possibility of grabbing Bosa. With uncertainty on whom Arizona could take at number one, it could leave the Jets in a great position. This draft doesn’t have a lot of great quarterback prospects. Murray and Dwayne Haskins are at the top of the class. Teams who are desperate at quarterback such as the Giants, Dolphins, Redskins, and Broncos are all teams that could be possible trade partners. If one of those teams do decide to trade up with the Jets, then they could get other promising prospects at defensive ends Rashan Gary, Ed Oliver, or Montez Sweat. They could even go offensive line with Jonah Williams, Jawaan Taylor or Andre Dillard.
In the later rounds, I would personally go with a wide receiver in the second round if they acquire picks via trade. Prospects A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel could fall to the second round. The Third round is where the Jets could draft a center such as Texas A&Ms Erik McCoy. Grabbing a cornerback in the third round will be useful such as Michigan’s David Long. After that, the Jets could grab more offensive line depth and cornerback depth in rounds 4-7. They could also grab another tight end to complement Chris Herndon.
Whether the jets stay at three or trade back, they will benefit with either strategy. I would personally trade back with the only exception if Bosa falls to them. I do believe they will ultimately trade that pick. Not sure who the team will be but someone will get desperate. This draft could put the final touches on a great offseason for the Jets and set them up to compete for a wild-card spot. All we have to do is wait.