The 2017 NFL draft has concluded. The New York Jets came away being one of the more talked about teams based on their approach to draft. In his 3rd draft, this could be a make or break draft for GM Mike Maccagnan.
Two Safeties in the First Two Rounds?
GM Mike Maccagnan went with the best player available approach. Which felt very similar to the 2015 draft, when defensive end Leonard Williams fell into Jets’ laps with the 6th pick. The same happened with Safety Jamal Adams, who many regarded as the best defensive back in the draft. When the Jaguars ended up taking Leonard Fournette at #4, it felt like a given that the talented prospect Adams would be picked up by the Jets. The Adams’ pick was raved about across the league, some calling Adams the safest pick in the draft.
Next came vaunted Round 2, which has not been kind to the Jets in the past. The Jets could’ve went a couple directions to fill some needs at, running back with Dalvin Cook, cornerback with Sidney Jones and Quincy Wilson being available. Maccagnan took the unconventional approach and took a safety again in the second round. Marcus Maye out of Florida was called: an all-around solid defensive player by Mel Kiper. Maye brings a tough attitude to the team, plus his ability to tackle and hit lead him to being the selection at 39. This pick will be viewed years from now, as each player they passed on could’ve filled a need better than Maye will do.
Adding Late Round Corners and Receivers
Maccagnan’s Rounds 3-7 focused on bringing corners and receivers to the team. Hoping that some of these late round picks can emerge in the upcoming years. In the third round, the Jets would bring in one of the many talented Alabama players in WR ArDarius Stewart, who is a raw prospect with home-run potential. Then he followed up in round four bringing in WR Chad Hansen to the team. After the draft, news came out that 2015 2nd round pick Devin Smith had torn his ACL. Maccagnan must’ve of knew of this news pre-draft, and promptly took brought two receivers in to compete, and have at least one emerge as a threat for the team.
Maccagnan also picked a pair of cornerbacks in Michigan’s Jeremy Clark, and Ole Miss cornerback Derrick Jones in the 6th round. Clark is a big lengthy corner, who is also very strong. Having torn his ACL at his last year at school, the Jets invested a flier on the big framed cornerback. Jones boasts very good athleticism. Where he struggles is physicality and tackling.
A Tight End? What’s That?
The last few seasons, the Jets’ tight end position has been an absolute joke. It also didn’t help that former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey didn’t really utilize tight ends at all. Enter Clemson’s Jordan Leggett. Could Leggett be the answer to all the Jets’ tight end issue? Leggett has the size and ability to run decent routes. A huge question for Leggett is the mental side of football. He once deemed himself lazy in the past which is a huge red flag. If the coaching staff can get him to buy-in to their system, Leggett could be a nice late round steal. Easier said than done though.