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Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: Jets

by Evan Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.


For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

 

No. 1 Team Need: Quarterback


Silva's Analysis


New Jets OC Chan Gailey has comfort and familiarity with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Gailey can't have forgotten that investing in Fitzpatrick was one of the reasons Gailey got fired in Buffalo. Geno Smith finished strong for the second consecutive season in 2014, but his career is at a crossroads under a regime that didn't draft him. Although he is a flexible offense designer, Gailey primarily ran a Pistol Spread with the Chiefs and Bills, often utilizing five-wide formations.


No. 2 Team Need: Offensive line


Silva's Analysis


The Jets have solidified the left side of their line, but right guard and right tackle are both question marks. Holdover RG Willie Colon fell off a cliff in 2014, while RT Breno Giacomini was a below-average starter. As Gailey's offenses tend to be pass-centric, New York figures to target upgrades in pass protection.


No. 3 Team Need: Outside linebacker


Silva's Analysis


I could also see the Jets investing an early-round pick at running back, but outside linebacker stands out as the greater need. Bowles will require more from his 3-4 rush 'backers than Rex Ryan did. Incumbent LOLB Calvin Pace is going on age 35, while ROLB Quinton Coples has been a disappointment. The Jets need a speed rusher in front of man-coverage corners Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.


Norris’ Mock Draft


Round 1 (6): EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., Florida - If Marcus Mariota is available, expect the Jets to select him despite Woody Johnson's recent statements. I know the team added Brandon Marshall, but I still think there is a chance a receiver is Best grade Available at No. 6. Fowler makes sense from an edge rushing standpoint, as he uses his hands and length for counter moves and does not solely rely on athleticism to win. That put him ahead of the game at Florida. Fowler can be successful from a variety of alignments.

 

Round 2 (37): RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State - Ajayi has a real shot of being the second running back selected. In fact, Melvin Gordon Is listed there so often that T.J. Yeldon or Ajayi could surprise in that slot. The Boise State product is a very unique player for his size. Sometimes he uses it for power and toughness, but other times he fails to fall forward and is tackled behind the line. There are flashes of explosion to eat up yards and make the most of creases and Ajayi is a comfortable receiver in space, something Chan Gailey can use.


Round 3 (70): G Tre’ Jackson, FSU - Jackson is not a mauler up front, but Evan mentioned Gailey likely looking to improve the pass protectors on their roster. I was a fan of Dakota Dozier last year, but adding Jackson certainly won’t hurt. He was sandwiched by FSU’s worst linemen for most of the 2014 season (C and RT). The question here is if Jackson’s tendency to drop his head on contact leads to a lack of anchor against power.


Round 4 (104): WR Tre McBride, William & Mary - A personal favorite, I have McBride ranked much higher than this. McBride put together some outstanding catches during his career both isolated outside and when working in the slot. He was my top prospect entering Shrine week and kept that label exiting the event.


Round 7 (223): T/TE Cameron Clear, Texas A&M - A project, Clear’s career could go the way of former Alabama TE Michael Williams, who has spent time on the practice squad while converting to OL. Teams can invest in a few projects at one time, and buzz points to plenty of interest in Clear by multiple clubs.

Round 7 (224): ILB Jeff Luc, Cincinnati - A pick reportedly involved in the Brandon Marshall deal. Luc is more of a thumper between the tackles and flashed when asked to blitz the A gaps.


Jets Current First-Team Offense


QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick

RB: Chris Ivory

WR: Brandon Marshall

WR: Eric Decker

WR: Jeremy Kerley

TE: Jace Amaro

LT: D'Brickashaw Ferguson

LG: James Carpenter

C: Nick Mangold

RG: Willie Colon

RT: Breno Giacomini


Jets Current First-Team Defense


LE: Sheldon Richardson

RE: Muhammad Wilkerson

NT: Damon Harrison

OLB: Calvin Pace

OLB: Quinton Coples

ILB: David Harris

ILB: Demario Davis

CB: Darrelle Revis

CB: Antonio Cromartie

FS: Marcus Gilchrist

SS: Calvin Pryor

Evan Silva
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .