Despite having to find answers for their wide-receiving in the early rounds, the Jets’ work regarding Sam Darnold’s targets doesn’t end there. It’s very likely that another wide receiver is going to wind up in New York. Joe Douglas could be confidently looking at a prolific pass-catcher in the middle rounds. However, depending on their other selections, several scenarios are possible in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Draft Capital: Pick 120
Best Pick: Devin Duvernay, Wide Receiver, Texas
Duvernay is the perfect receiver a team could possibly hope for in the middle rounds. Some call him the steal of the draft, yet it’s considered more and more likely he’ll drop to Round Four.
He is beyond electric on screens and short-distance passes with the ball in his hands, pumping up the yards-after-catch department. However, he’s also a terrific route runner, which makes him a very dangerous asset in the long-threat passing game. Versatility and speed boosted him to a breakout 2019 season with the Longhorns. Not only did he lead the Big 12 in yards through the air with 1,386. He also had 106 receptions, ranking first within the conference and third in all of Division I.
This could only give potential suitors the positivity that he is a consistent receiver and provides long-term success. He is their best chance for another pick at wide receiver that late in the draft. Also, his ability to be utilized in the short game means huge value with Breshad Perriman and potential second-rounder Brandon Aiyuk both being long-threat pass-catchers.
It’s difficult to project him as a fourth-rounder based on his performance. However, many evaluators and experts have been doing just that in the last few weeks.
Most Realistic Pick: Quartney Davis, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
With Duvernay still high-viewed by many teams, he might not available at Pick 120. The Jets’ hope is that he could be there but they most likely will have to prepare a Plan B. This plan will probably have to be used come their turn.
If the team uses its previous two picks on a pass-rusher and a cornerback, that brings their interest to three notable wide receivers in the fourth round. Their names are Quartney Davis (Texas A&M), K.J. Hill (Ohio State), and Lynn Bowden (Kentucky). Bowden was used in many different places last year but hasn’t proven himself as much as the former two players. Hill is in a similar spot as Duvernay – on the edge between the third and the fourth round.
Davis has the traits to fit in very well in the Jets offense. As noted, New York needs players they can utilize in the short or intermediate passing game. Quartney Davis is strong and tall and is difficult to stop through the middle of the field. He lined up both in the wideout and the slot, more often as a slot receiver, just confirming how helpful he could be for the Jets passing game. The Draft Network puts the praise on his excellent route running.
Teams perhaps shouldn’t fully trust a receiver that had just 57 receptions last year, second on his own team, and has just two seasons, less than other reliable prospects. Judging by his film, however, these might not be problems for Davis at the pro level, especially with a team like the Jets where he will get chances right away.
If the Jets leave their second pick at wide receiver for the fourth round, they should be able to squeeze in a pretty good prospect to establish depth within the air raid. However, should they do so in the third round, getting a good pass-rusher or a cornerback here would be very difficult with both classes lacking depth past the third round of the draft.
Alex Highsmith, Defensive End, Charlotte
Highsmith finished first in Conference-USA with 15 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss and is easily the best option should the Jets elect to find answers for their pass-rush in the fourth round. He’s just as good through the middle as he’s around the edges and is a solid open-field tackler. He might not be able to fill in that void which has made the Jets suffer as the team’s leading edge-rusher but he’s a worthy option if the team has already picked two receivers and not picked an edge rusher in Round Three.
Kenny Willekes, Defensive End, Michigan State
Willekes is similar to Highsmith. Both were successful as a part of a 4-3 front line and had career-highs in sacks last year. Willekes led his conference in tackles for loss with 15.5 in 2018. Last year, he recorded 10 sacks, making for 23.5 total for his collegiate career, ranking him at fifth place in the conference’s 15-year history. Unlike Highsmith, who had a better 2019 campaign, Willekes has had multiple good seasons and has done that at a higher level of the college football hierarchy. The former tends to be valued more by evaluators but his consistency could prove otherwise here.
K.J. Hill, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
Hill proved himself as the Buckeyes’ most reliable option through the air in his strong 2019 campaign. In 2018, he finished fourth in the Big Ten in receptions with 70. After last year’s 58, he became the leading pass-catcher in Ohio State history with 201. Just like Duvernay, he’s great after the catch and could be reliable both in the short and the long passing game.
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