The 2020 NFL Draft is drawing closer and the Jets will have to take some pretty important decisions right away. New York’s roster is talented but there are many holes left to address in order to establish a deep team that is ready to be consistent in 2020. Once again, we use The Draft Network’s simulator for the second version of the Jets Mock Draft.
Prioritization given to the cornerbacks changed the balance compared to Mock Draft 1.0, which one of the positions seeking most attention. That could change if the Jets somehow sign free-agent corner Logan Ryan before the Draft as they’ve been rumored to have inquired for the former Patriots and Titans defensive back.
The strategy hasn’t changed for the other picks. Without further ado, here’s the final version of our 2020 Mock Draft for the New York Jets.
Jedrick Wills, Right Tackle, Alabama
Round 1, Pick 11
Fair play to Andrew Thomas – he’s very promising and entered the draft season very undervalued, which cleared the path for the Jets to explore him. However, if either Wills or Tristan Wirfs is available, that the direction Joe Douglas has to head towards.
First off, Wills is naturally a right tackle, which means he won’t have to change positions and will make for a more comfortable transition to the professional level. Jedrick Wills was once considered the top tackle on an extremely deep draft class. Since then, his stock has suffered from the changing needs of the teams inside the top 10, among other factors. High-profile experts are torn on his landing spot, with some having fall outside the top 10. Douglas shouldn’t hesitate on attacking the so-called inefficient market and get a player he can trust to perform immediately after being plugged in the offensive line.
Thomas’s ability to improve a team’s ground game through his run blocking stands out over all other tackles, which would be very good for Le’Veon Bell. However, pass-protecting quarterbacks in a dominant fashion and being naturally a right tackle ends the conversation here. If Wills is out there at 11th, he going to New York.
Laviska Shenault, Wide Receiver, Colorado
Round 2, Pick 48
This mock had Brandon Aiyuk go late-first round and Denzel Mims go early-second round. This has its explanation, yet it seems that the most likely victim isn’t going to be Shenault. However, his injury history could make a possibility.
Firstly, injuries cut his 2019 campaign with the Buffaloes short. Because of that, his workload went down to 56 reception (and 764 yards) from 86 receptions (and 1,011 yards). That alone resulted in a bad turnout for his draft value – a phenomenon general managers often pray for coming into a draft. Just like in trading stocks, you need a stock you believe in to fall in value for you to buy it and make a profit. First, it seemed like that “falling chip” would be Aiyuk as he was thought of as a one-sided speedy guy. He’s that to a particular extent but watching film and crunching (important) numbers unveils a little more encouraging signs that not many members of the media seemed to identify.
Right now, Shenault will enter that role as Aiyuk’s value has nearly rocketed. Laviska Shenault could go undrafted into the second round if Bill Belichick’s genius doesn’t bring him to New England. If he falls to the Jets, he would be just a bit more fitting than most other receivers past the Trinity of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs. He’s a terrific target across the middle of the field and exploits zone defenses like few newcomers to the NFL can.
With Breshad Perriman being a strict long-threat pass-catcher, Shenault will be looking to join the group of receivers in the intermediate game which also includes top wideout Jamison Crowder. With Shenault instead of Aiyuk, the Jets could be more effective in moving the ball. That’s if they change positions compared to early projections at all.
Damon Arnette, Cornerback, Ohio State
Round 3, Pick 68
Bryce Hall is a very good cornerback who could also blitz around the edges. However, if Arnette is available, the Ohio State starter is definitely superior to the Virginia defensive back.
Also, Ashtyn Davis is a terrific safety that can be valuable to the Jets in zone coverage. However, with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye staying put, despite the former’s rumors, they need depth more at cornerback.
“There were very few corners in college football as dominant as Arnette. There are also very few corners in the draft as underrated as Arnette. He might not jump out as a consensus top 5 pick at the position. Nevertheless, the team that gets him, likely in the late-second or early-third round, will get a steal.
According to NFL scouts, he’s very versatile and tough. What really catches the eye could be the way he shuts opposing receivers on press coverage. He has the opportunity to turn into a long-term star in man schemes, and a real difference-maker on any team even in his rookie year.
Arnette recorded eight passes defended with one interception and 35 total tackles during his senior 2019 season. The Jets recently brought back Brian Poole and Arthur Maulet, and also signed former Colts corner Pierre Desir. The secondary could surely use another solid player at the position to build depth and develop Arnette to his full potential.”
Jonathan Greenard, Defensive End, Florida
Round 3, Pick 79
The Jets pass-rush had a season to forget in 2019. New York was just 23rd in sacks, while Leonard Williams ended up being traded to the Giants. The Jets have long suffered from failing to draft their new leading man on the edges early on in the draft. They won’t do that this year, fortunately, and there’s more than enough talent in the middle rounds.
The previous mock draft had the Jets take Tennessee edge rusher Derrell Taylor. Like some of the other picks, if he’s available, Greenard is a no-brainer. His numbers just outplay Taylor’s resume – 10 sacks and 16 tackles for loss, both career-highs and conference-leading.
The Jets still remain within striking distance for star free-agent Jadaveon Clowney, despite limited resources in salary cap space. Nevertheless, another good pass-rusher would be a much-needed addition for the Jets. Greenard provides more upside compared to Derrell Taylor.
“Greenard didn’t just lead the SEC in sacks during the last season. He has recorded 17 sacks in the last two years, including ten in 2019. In addition, he’s also accumulated better stats than Derrell Taylor playing one year less than the Tennessee defensive end. He’s a better option but is unlikely to still be available at Pick 79.”
Devin Duvernay, Wide Receiver, Texas
Round 4, Pick 120
Duvernay is as good of a receiver you could get at this point in the 2020 draft. On the one hand, he could provide a lot of upside in a vertical offensive style. On the other hand, Devin Duvernay could bring a lot to the Jets in terms of the short passing game. The same applies to the yards-after-catch department.
He might not be the best example of the intermediate receiver like early-round guys such as Denzel Mims and Shenault. Duvernay brings balance to the Jets air raid, with Brashad Perriman being as speedy of a guy as you can imagine. He lacks the workload of a top receiver in a receiving core, which makes him a liability.
Quartney Davis of Texas A&M could fit that role, too. But most of his upside is vertically and he could hardly be efficient on routes through the middle of the field.
“Duvernay is the perfect receiver a team could possibly hope for in the middle rounds. Some call him the steal of the draft. Yet, evaluators consider it 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.”
David Woodward, Linebacker, Utah State
Round 5, Pick 158
As the 2020 draft approached, experts were concerned about Woodward, which is why they regard him a fifth-rounder. He’s pretty subpar dropping back in coverage and has difficulties deconstructing blocks.
Nevertheless, when utilized right, he could provide lots of upside. Woodward is best used as a typical Mike linebacker who stays in the box and fights the run in open spaces. He’s been noted as a hard hitter on tackles. Overall, he’s pretty solid at keeping plays away from turning into big runs.
He played 4-3 in his last year with the Aggies but the transition won’t be all that difficult and time-consuming. His role alongside CJ Mosley will be limited, especially with Patrick Onwuasor a favorite for the starting job.
Patrick Taylor Jr., Running Back, Memphis
Round 6, Pick 191
Joshua Kelley and Ke’Shawn Vaughn are terrific backup options any way you elect to slice. That’s why they might be taken before the Jets select with their first of their last two picks. The next highest-ranked running back, per The Draft Network, is Memphis running back Patrick Taylor, whose case is very interesting.
Taylor dominated the ACC in his junior 2018 campaign when he ranked sixth in the conference with 1,122 rushing yards. He also had 1,319 yards from scrimmage, third-most within his conference.
The next season wasn’t as positive. He missed seven games during his senior year and experienced a drop in his average to merely 4.5 per carry (78 rushes). It prevented him from having the second straight 1,000-yard campaign and lock up a middle-round draft spot. His junior figures, however, still draw interest from teams looking to take a steal in the late rounds.
The comparison here is between him and Deejay Dallas of the Miami Hurricanes. Dallas has recorded three seasons in a row with an average of 5.3 or higher. However, he has 115 rushes in his most active campaign – it’s nearly Taylor’s 2018 workload cut by half. It’s believable that the average here creates that over-evaluation of Dallas if the workload isn’t influential.
Jake Hanson, Center, Oregon
Round 6, Pick 211
After further examination, Hanson might be just as good an option as Texas’s Zach Shackelford. In fact, he might be even better. Both he and Shackelford are looming in between sixth and seventh round. Therefore, it’s a matter of evaluation by Joe Douglas and his staff.
“Hanson came across as a good lineman in terms of protecting his quarterback Justin Herbert. Moreover, he was very dominant in run blocking duties. He projects and a reliable option in zone blocking and could aid a better campaign for Le’Veon Bell and the jets running unit, even if used in a more restricted role”
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