The New York Jets entered the 2017 draft with possibly the weakest roster in the NFL. The Jets had holes on both sides of the ball and any playmaker they could draft would provide an immediate upgrade at their respective position. Gang Green traded a total of five times during the three-day period. They entered the draft with seven picks but were able to add two extra picks on day three while adding an extra fifth round pick next year. The Jets are in full rebuilding mode and while they didn’t draft a quarterback, they were able to upgrade their roster in the draft.
1st round, 6th overall: S Jamal Adams (LSU)
2nd round, 39th overall: S Marcus Maye (Florida)
3rd round, 79th overall: WR ArDarius Stewart (Alabama)
4th round, 141 overall: WR Chad Hansen (California)
5th round, 181 overall: DL Dylan Donahue (West Georgia)
6th round, 181 overall: RB Elijah McGuire (Louisiana-Lafayette)
6th round, 197 overall: CB Jeremy Clark (Michigan)
6th round, 204 overall: DB Derrick Jones (Ole Miss)
Overall grade: 7/10
New York Jets 2017 NFL Draft Review
The Best Player
Easy. At sixth overall the Jets were able to snag perhaps the best player entering the draft. A play maker in the defensive backfield, Jamal Adams will be the cornerstone of the Jets secondary much like Darrelle Revis once was. In most mock drafts Adams was projected to go second or third overall.
Head coach Todd Bowles was ecstatic that New York was able to draft Adams at sixth overall, “I’m happy,” Bowles told the New York Daily News, “He was one of the guys we had rated very high. We weren’t expecting him to fall to us.”
Adams provides an immediate and substantial upgrade at his position, one in which the Jets desperately needed in a division with stars at both tight end and wide receiver. Adams will be an impact player for years to come.
The Head Scratcher
This one doesn’t come at a knock of the player but the position that he plays. Most analysts were surprised to see the Jets draft another safety in the second round. Most likely operating in a best player available mindset, Marcus Maye was too good of a player to pass up at 39th overall. Though New York had just picked a safety the night before they need all the help they can get in its defensive backfield. Maye and Adams could form one of the best safety duos in the NFL in a couple of years. Though the Jets might have been better off taking a cornerback or Dalvin Cook with their pick, Maye will be another high-quality player for New York.
Besides Maye, the Jets didn’t draft any player that was a total surprise. The aspect that comes as a shock is that the Jets waited until the sixth round to draft a corner back. Both Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones were selected seven picks apart from each other in the sixth round. The Jets have a gaping hole at corner entering the 2017 season. They could have picked a potential starter in either the third or fourth round. The Jets didn’t need back to back receivers earlier in the draft and a corner back at either pick could have given them their defensive backfield of the future.
Tight end Jordan Leggett could be one of the steals of the draft and a potential day one starter in New York. Leggett has been compared to former Jet Kellen Davis and has the ability to make plays when he has the ball in his hands. However, there is a reason he fell all the way to the fifth round. Saying that Leggett’s blocking is a work in progress might be an understatement. He has been ripped apart by scouts for his inability to run block. To make him even more one dimensional, Leggett doesn’t play special teams. All of these are reasons why he slipped in the draft. However, he could prove to become an asset for whichever quarterback is taking snaps in 2017.
Most Likely to Turn Head in Training Camp
Although this answer would obviously be Jamal Adams as he was by far their best pick of the draft. The player that will turn heads in training camp is the Jets third round selection ArDarius Stewart. In college, Stewart was most productive after the catch. Though he isn’t the fastest guy on the field (ran a 4.49 in the 40 yard dash); he is able to make tacklers miss in the open field. Stewart could easily become a fan favorite in training camp. He could be a potential steal for New York in the third round.
Chad Hansen joins a crowded wide receiver room and will struggle to get on the field early. The Jets should have gone in another direction with this pick, however the recent injury to Devin Smith may have swayed their decision. Hansen has the hands to be a good receiver in the NFL but will not contribute immediately.
A possible third down back due to his good hands and route running, Elijah McGuire could add a spark to the Jets both in 2017 and in the future. However there is a reason he fell to the sixth round. Scouts have doubted his decision making and he has been bothered by a foot injury. McGuire is a great athlete who will look to get on the field however he can.
The Jets didn’t address their quarterback problems which means they will roll with Bryce Petty, Josh McCown or Christian Hackenberg in 2017. The injury to Devin Smith might have scared them into taking two receivers in back to back rounds but both players have the ability to be starters down the line. The Jets were able to draft potentially the best player at sixth overall. With three possible starters from day one, the Jets laid down a good foundation in a rebuilding year.