It has been quite an exciting offseason thus far for the New York Jets. From major free agency signings in Le’Veon Bell and CJ Mosley, to shimmering new uniforms, things are only starting to heat up as we approach draft night.
The Jets once again own the 3rd overall selection, as they also did in 2018. It will also be New York’s third straight year with a top-10 pick, making it 4 out of the last 5 years.
This year brings some deeper questions than the team has faced in the past, however. Last year, we all knew the Jets needed their QB of the future, and they got just that in Sam Darnold. When the clock rings this Thursday night, things will certainly be different. The Jets still have plenty of holes that need to be filled in their roster, so this will be a plentiful opportunity for them if they can make the right call.
Pretty glaringly, the Jets are in desperate need of a pass-rusher, which fortunately for them, remains the deepest and most plentiful position in this draft. With the 3rd overall selection, the Jets may have their luck with any of the premier defensive ends available:
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Widely known as the top defensive player in this year’s draft, Bosa could very well be on the board when/if the Jets make their pick at No.3. The former Ohio State Buckeye finished with 8 1/2 sacks just two years ago as he missed the majority of his final collegiate season due to injury.
Now healthy again, Bosa brings to the table a level of versatility that could work will in this new-look Jets defense. Though it isn’t a perfect match off-the-bat with new defensive coordinator Greg Williams, the Jets could certainly still find a way to elevate Bosa’s talents. If they are lucky enough to have the top defensive talent fall to pick No.3, we could assume the Jets would pull the trigger and push Bosa to be more of a stand-up edge rusher.
Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky
If Bosa ends up off the board prior to the Jets selection at 3, Josh Allen would not be a terrible consolation prize. The former Kentucky EDGE racked up 17 sacks in his final year in school, and 31 is his three years as a starter.
Sounds exactly like what the Jets have been missing, right?
After being stifled by Vikings’ LB Anthony Barr in free agency, this would be quite a recovering move for Gang Green. With pure talent at edge rusher, selection Allen may be the safest and smartest move for New York.
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Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
But hold your horses; there’s another sack-monster turning heads prior to draft night. Alabama’s Quinnen Williams has been priding himself as being the best player available in this year’s draft… and many experts have begun siding with him.
While he’s not necessarily the edge rusher the Jets so desperately need, he is one hell of a pass rusher to say the least. Racking up 8 sacks with 19.5 tackles for a loss last year is pretty eye-opening.
It also brings a new presence to the Jets’ front-7, who have leaned so much on Leonard Williams the past few years – and we have all seen how that’s worked out. Adding another Williams in the former Alabama DT would bolster the line and make for a scary defensive front. Overall, it could come down to a tough decision between Allen and Williams at No.3 for GM Mike Maccagnan.
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
A recent name thrown into the mix for the Jets has been that of Houston’s Ed Oliver, who has seemingly climbed up the draft boards as of late.
This is mostly due to his historic Pro Day, where he posted a 4.22 in the short shuttle drill (better than Saquon Barkley), a 7.15 in the three cone drill (better than Jason Pierre-Paul) and a 4.73 in the 40 yard dash.
However, skepticism still lingers with his history of injuries and character, making it hard to believe the Jets settle for him with the third overall pick. However, if the Jets do trade-back, he could certainly be a viable option.