For a struggling NFL franchise, all you need is one strong draft class to turn a team around. In 2006, the New York Jets drafted four starters: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Eric Smith and Leon Washington. Although the latter two players weren’t necessarily big contributors, they played a role in their Jets 2009 and 2010 playoffs runs. The Jets 2017 draft class will do the same.
New York Jets 2017 Draft Class Will Turn Team Around
2017 Draft Class
The Jets 2017 draft class already looks to be one of their best in recent memory. With the sixth overall pick, they were able to take safety Jamal Adams from LSU. Adams is a playmaker who was supposed to be a top three pick and somehow fell into New York’s lap.
The Jets continued to address their secondary by selecting safety Marcus Maye in the second round. Some have called the pick a reach but if general manager Mike Maccagnan believes he can compliment Adams for years to come then reaching a few picks won’t matter.
The Jets third round pick featured an athletic freak in wide receiver ArDarius Stewart. New York continued to address the offense by selecting Jordan Leggett, a tight end out of Clemson, in the fifth round. Both players could make a difference immediately, especially with the recent injuries to the Jets wide receivers.
This class will turn the ailing Jets around. The two playmakers added in the secondary will be the cornerstone in the defensive backfield much like Darrelle Revis was. Although some fans and analysts wanted New York to grab a cornerback with their second pick, any help in the secondary is much needed.
Although Stewart is entering the NFL as a raw talent he has drawn extremely impressive reviews in rookie mini camp. Connor Hughes of NJ.com has said that Stewart looks the most pro ready of the Jets rookie receivers.
Stewart might never become a number one wide receiver but if the third round pick can turn into a developed number two, the pick will be a success.
The last potential starter for New York is its fifth round pick. Leggett posted good numbers at Clemson and fell a little bit in the draft due to some issues. The same report which said that Stewart looked the most pro ready said that Leggett had some technique issues and dropped some easy passes in rookie camp. However, if he can develop his skills he can become a starter in the NFL and become a nice security blanket for the Jets next franchise quarterback.
Some fans might be upset that the Jets didn’t take a quarterback in the draft. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day. This massive rebuild that the Jets are going through will take at least a couple of years.
The Jets are better off taking a player they know can contribute for years to come then take a chance on a quarterback. Though the player taking snaps from under center is still unknown, hopefully one of the young players on the roster can emerge as the starter. And if not, at least Gang Green will know they need to start fresh at the position.
In next year’s draft, the Jets have all of their picks and an additional fifth round pick from a draft day trade with the Dallas Cowboys. With the Jets most likely going to have a top five pick they are in a prime position to continue their rebuild.
Although 2017 will be messy and at times unwatchable for Jets fans, this is a necessary step to get back to being a respectable franchise. The 2017 draft class laid the foundation that New York can build on for years to come.