More Draft Thoughts
Give Becton a break
Welcome to Friday’s edition of TJW. Today I’m going to continue my draft thoughts, giving everyone ammunition for when they all turn out to be absolute nonsense.
👶 A huge congratulations to Connor McGovern and his wife Devin who are celebrating the birth of their first child, a baby girl named Dillon Lucy. McGovern will head back to NJ next week to join his teammates in off-season workouts.
🔒 The Jets brought in Fresno State CB DaRon Bland for a visit. Bland allowed just a 42% completion into his coverage last year while bringing down 2 interceptions and recording 6 pass break-ups. 2 interceptions and 4 of his pass breakups came in zone coverage.
💨 The Jets also met with Illinois CB Tony Adams. Adams scored a 9.75 on his RAS and the trend continues with Joe Douglas looking to later-round CBs, it does give me the impression that we won’t be hitting corner early in the 2022 draft, or maybe that’s what he wants us to believe.
📅 The 2022 NFL schedule will be released on May 12th with the London games being announced in full on May 4th. Will the Jets be heading back to London? 🇬🇧 💂
🏠 The Jets hosted and then later signed linebacker/safety Marcell Harris yesterday. The former Florida Gator was a 6th-round selection of the 49ers in 2018, originally a strong safety he moved to LB in 2021. Over the course of his 4-year career in San Francisco, he recorded 155 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, and 5 forced fumbles.
✈️ Visit Tracker
Two new names were added today and finally, we get to add Drake London to the mix who has/had a private workout with the Jets.
💪 Joe Douglas - Pre-Draft Presser
The big man met with the media yesterday and while I’m tempted to ignore this presser completely because no GM gives anything away a week before the draft, here are a few snippets:
Confirmed that the Jets have narrowed their board down to 10 players they’d be excited to have in the first round, which is handy because both their picks are inside the top 10.
He also confirmed that he expects draft picks in round 1&2 to be “impact” players and for them to be starters in 2022.
Douglas confirmed that Mekhi Becton is not at Florham Park for voluntary off-season workouts but is instead in Dallas. The keyword in there being it’s voluntary. It's also worth noting that his partner is heavily pregnant in Dallas, so of course, he'd want to be there. Having a baby is scary, especially for someone in their early 20s, so it stands to reason that he wants to be there for his partner. That’s just called being a good partner and a good parent, I don’t understand why anyone would take issue with that. He’s also still working out with one of the best guys out there in Duke Mayweather, so he’s still putting in work.
Rex Hogan spoke at length about the Senior Bowl and how it was a great opportunity for the coaches to interact with the players, and it was a unique opportunity.
Joe Douglas couldn’t talk about the specifics of Deebo because he’s not on the roster, but said he’ll try and make the team better through any avenue he can and that’s always what he’s done.
Conversations are starting to heat up around trades ahead of the draft, not just for veterans but for draft picks as well.
Rex Hogan said having face-to-face meetings is important as you get a much better feel for who they are, their personality, and their overall character.
Joe Douglas said “everyone checks their ego at the door” in draft meetings. Everyone has their own opinion and it is good back and forth, but you’re trying to get those players that everyone is excited about, coaches and scouts.
He also confirmed there are three main things to focus on with the Jets rebuild. 1) Developing and helping the young QB, 2) Adding difference makers throughout the roster, 3) Keeping them all healthy.
Can’t worry too much about what other teams are going to do. This year without a bonafide #1 QB slated to go in the top 5, it does make it more interesting, but key is for everyone within the Jets to be alligned.
🧐 Draft Thoughts/Predictions - Part 2
Yesterday I put out 10 thoughts on the 2022 NFL Draft class, today I’m back with 10 more.
Derek Stingley Jr will be a shooting star, he’ll have a good season here and there but he’ll struggle to stay healthy and will never reach that high level of consistency required to be considered one of the best corners in the game.
Ikem Ekwonu will be a good to great run blocker, but he’ll struggle mightily in years 1-2 with speed rushers, he’ll always be a good run blocker but he’ll only ever be an average pass blocker in the NFL.
Jordan Stout from Penn State will be the best punter to come from this class. He was the highest-rated punter in college football last season and led all punters in hang time, one of the key stats for any punter in the NFL.
Sauce Gardner will be a star from day one, and will go his entire NFL rookie season without giving up a single touchdown.
Jalen Pitre will be the best safety in this class, but Jaquan Brisker will continue his ball-hawking ways and lead all rookie safeties in interceptions.
Aidan Hutchinson will be a good solid pro and one of the better run defenders in the NFL, but he won’t ever be a dominant and consistent pass rusher from year to year.
The Jets will draft a cornerback that none of us have heard of in the 5th round and he’ll be productive straight off the bat.
Penn State’s Brandon Smith will struggle off the bat in the NFL defending the run, but within 3 years he’ll be a top 20 linebacker in the league and one of the best coverage linebackers in football.
Arnold Ebiketie will become one of the best pass-rushers from this draft class, and future generations will be confused about why he wasn’t taken in the first round.
The 2022 draft class will go down as one of the best draft classes in Jets history. I’m just speaking it into existence.
My top 5 edges in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Rich Cimini wonders whether Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is the answer for the Jets: “The former Oregon star is one of the most polarizing prospects. With a strong personality and a motor that runs hot and cold, he could fall out of the top five, which seemed unfathomable during the season. Is he being victimized by pre-draft overanalysis or are the concerns legit?”
Andrew Golden of Jets xfactor had a piece around why the team should pass on taking an offensive tackle in the first round, a take I absolutely agree on: “Planning ahead and preparing an eventual replacement for Fant or Becton is not a bad idea in a vacuum, but the Jets currently have too many other immediate needs to use premium assets on a backup. Gaps remain at defensive end, wide receiver, defensive tackle, and safety, with all four spots lacking starters. New York needs to finish building its starting lineup before starting to worry about depth in other areas.”
Bent at Gang Green Nation wonders if Nathan Shephard’s strong finish to 2021 will lead to a bigger role in 2022: “In the final nine games, he averaged over 33 snaps per game and recorded 20 tackles and eight pressures with no penalties. His career-high for tackles in a full season during his first three years had been only 17, so it was a big step-up in production. While he didn’t have a sack or tackle for loss during the season, Shepherd was definitely more dependable in the second half of the year and when he was called upon to take on a starter’s workload against the Jaguars, he stepped up impressively.”
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