With the first round of the 2019 draft in the books, it’s time for the Jets to take a peek into the later rounds of the draft. The Jets filled a huge need with their pick of Alabama’s Quinnen Williams with the third overall pick, but a good first round alone is not enough to make the Jets competitive in the AFC East. At least not when Tom Brady is still hanging around in New England. Here’s a list of some mid-to-late round candidates that the Jets should seriously consider if they are still on the board.
Amani Oruwariye – Cornerback – Penn State
Only a starter in his senior year, Oruwariye found himself rocketing up draft boards after an impressive season in Penn State’s less than impressive year. The 6-foot-2 cornerback ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at this year’s combine, and has a tremendous upside. The Jets are in desperate need of a cornerback in this post-Revis era. Even if Gregg Williams can help Trumaine Johnson live up to his $72.5 million dollar price tag, having a corner who can beat a receiver up at the line opposite of Johnson would be priceless.
Draft Projection: Mid 2nd – Early 3rd
Deebo Samuel – Wide Receiver – South Carolina
Someone that the folks at FPC Jets have been clambering over, Deebo Samuel has been impressing just about anyone who watches his tape. With strong hands, competitive attitude, and impressive vision, Samuel would be a fantastic mid round pick for the Jets. Pairing him with Robby Anderson would make for quite the duo downfield threat. Samuel also has four kick return touchdowns in his collegiate career, making him a potential star on special teams. Should they get the chance, it would be borderline foolish to let Deebo fall to another wide receiver needy team.
Draft Projection: Early 2nd – Early 3rd
Michael Jordan – Center/Guard – Ohio State
The Jets clearly need a generational player. Michael Jordan is still the G.O.A.T. in the NBA. That being said, this is a completely different Michael Jordan, but a player that the Jets should seriously consider anyway. Playing guard for the first two years as a Buckeye, Jordan excelled at the position before being moved to the right, starting all 13 games for Ohio State as center. His 6-foot-6 height, mixed with impressive flexibility makes Michael Jordan a prospect the Jets could certainly benefit from drafting. Perhaps this Michael Jordan could become one of the best offensive lineman to live up to the history his name carries. The Jets have gotten some great success out of drafting offensive lineman who have made a home in the Horseshoe.
Draft Projection:4th Round
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Bryce Love – Running Back – Stanford
At one point last year, I considered Bryce Love a highly graded prospect, saying the Jets should focus on him as a potential early round pick. One injury plagued year later, Love’s draft stock has taken a hit. Terrible for Love, but a potential blessing for the Jets. Of course, a running back isn’t a huge need anymore (see Le’veon Bell), but with a year without football can lead to a slow start. Splitting reps between Bell and Love could benefit both players, keeping wear and tear down to a minimal. His character is also considered his strongest point, and could become a beloved teammate in the locker room. Considering how far Bryce Love has fallen, drafting him late is a low risk/high reward move.
Draft Projection: Mid 5th – Early 6th
Justin Skule – Tackle – Vanderbilt
A true workhorse, Skule started 40 straight games in his collegiate career. That’s saying a lot, considering he played in a brutal SEC. Though injured his first season at Vandy, Skule has played snaps at both right and left tackle, playing well on either side of the line. Though he won’t be an instant plug-and-play tackle, Skule could find himself working through the depth chart with a bit of help. The massive man, a few inches shy of seven feet, is an interesting prospect to say at the very least.
Draft Projection: 7th Round/ Undrafted FA
Matt Gay – Kicker – Utah
A kicker? Getting drafted? It’s more likely than you think. Yes, the Jets signed Chandler Catanzaro to be their man in 2019, but the Cat Man has not always been the most reliable kicker in the world. After letting Jason Myers take his talents to Seattle, the Jets will need to have a kicker who can win them games with a leg they can depend on. He has made 72% of his 50+ yard attempts, and was third in the nation in 2018 for made field goals. That was after a down year as well. He’s also 35-for-36 on attempts 40 yards and under. Oh, he also booted a 62 yarder in Utah’s Spring game. He might not be an Adam Vinatieri or Justin Tucker, but he could end up being good for the Jets.
Draft Projection: 7th/Undrafted FA
Trace McSorley – Quarterback – Penn State
Before getting into this one, allow me to reinforce the fact that I am 100% behind Sam Darnold. This is not to start a quarterback controversy in New York. Quite the opposite. Drafting McSorley is a move meant to help Sam Darnold. How? Two words:
The Jets’ offense has been relatively tame for the last few years. Spicing it up a bit could be interesting to see. Sean Peyton of the Saints stated he saw a bit of Wes Welker in Trace McSorley at his combine and Pro-Day. McSorley has the heart of a winner, making him a perfect addition to the team. Originally committed to Vanderbilt as a safety, McSorley has proven himself to be an asset in almost every position in the game. With 30 rushing touchdowns as well, including a 51 yard rush on an injured leg against Iowa this year, proves he can truly do it all. It’s a new era of offense, and McSorley could become another addition to this new landscape.
Draft Projection: Late 7th/Undrafted FA