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2020 NFL Draft: New York Jets Day Two Recap

New York Jets Day 2 Draft

The New York Jets are being built in the vision of GM Joe Douglas.

On Day 1 of the draft, The consensus among the media and the Jets fan base was that GM Joe Douglas scored big on Thursday night. Literally and figuratively, Because of the Jets selection of Offensive Tackle, Mekhi Becton. The behemoth blindside protector fell directly into the Jets trenches at 11.

New York started the day, with the sixteenth selection in round two (48), and two choices in round three (68) and (79). The lead-in to today’s draft began with rumblings of a potential Jets trade up because of the value at wide receiver remaining on the draft board.

With several top receivers like Tee Higgins (Bengals), Michael Pittman Jr. (Colts), Laviska Shenault Jr. (Jaguars), and KJ Hamler (Broncos) drafted in the top half of round two. The New York Jets took a gamble and traded down in round two, with the Seattle Seahawks coming up to pick #48. In return, New York received the 59th and 101st pick in the draft. The Jets added an extra third-round pick in the process to move down eleven spots. A pick that the Jets would end up trading to their division rival, The New England Patriots by the end of the evening. The Jets added two 4th rounders (#125 & #129) and a sixth-round pick in 2021.

Round Two

The New York Jets selected Baylor Wide Receiver Denzel Mims with the No. 59th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

Two birds with one stone, and in this case, the Jets added an extra stone for later in the draft. One of the Jets biggest needs at Wide Receiver, was getting a big target for Sam Darnold, and another deep threat to replace the departed Robby Anderson.

At 6/3 207, and possessing 4.38 speed, Denzel Mims checks off all the boxes that the Jets need at Wide Receiver. A theme continues with the Jets, thus far in this draft, in terms of elite athleticism. The Jets followed their pick of Mekhi Becton in round one with a player in Mims, who has many of the same otherworldly physical tools. Mims ran the fastest 3-cone drill (6.66) of any receiver at the NFL Combine. Mims also soared with a 38-inch vertical leap. As a three year starter at Baylor, Mims scored at least eight touchdowns in each of those seasons. Like Becton, Mims projects as an opening day starter and will be a vital asset for Quarterback Sam Darnold.

Round Three

The New York Jets selected California Safety Ashtyn Davis with the No. 68th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

The Leonard Williams pick.

It feels like a crime, listing Ashtyn Davis as just a safety. Ashtyn Davis was a three-year starter at the position, but he brings added value as a dynamic special teams player. Davis excelled in kick coverage and as a returner. Davis, one of the country’s top track stars as a hurdler two years ago, graded out as one of the best cover defensive backs in all of college football. He was considered by many to be the fastest safety in this draft class. Davis was unable to work out at the combine because of groin surgery back in December.

For the Jets, Davis provides an instinctive and high character player, who can play multiple roles on defense and special teams. The gamble is that Davis needs to get medical clearance after being flagged at the Senior Bowl and combine. Once again, New York GM Joe Douglas is gambling on a player’s upside and elite athleticism.

The New York Jets selected Florida Edge Rusher Jabari Zuniga with the 79th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

Forgive Jets fans for not having a lot of optimism, when it comes to the team successfully addressing this position. It doesn’t help that this selection reminds many of Jachai Polite. An edge rusher from the same exact school as Jabari Zuniga.

Much like the Jets’ first three selections, Jabari Zuniga tested well at the NFL Combine. At 6’3 and 264 pounds, Zuniga ran a 4.64 in the 40-yard dash. As a player in college, Zuniga showed flashes of brilliance, but he never lived up to his talents in the SEC. On paper, Jabari Zuniga looks the part, but he’s never played the part. Injuries may have held him back in that regard.

The question is what role, do the Jets see Zuniga playing as a rookie on their defense. Most of his success came rushing on the line of scrimmage and in sub-packages on the inside. Do the Jets see him as a rotational player on pass downs, or they do believe that he can be more productive, standing up as an edge-rushing outside linebacker. Time will tell, but history hasn’t been very kind to the Jets in finding the right pass rusher.

Day Three Jets Draft Preview

The Jets now have six selections on the final day of the 2020 NFL Draft. Three of the selections will be in Round four at picks #120, #125 and #129. The Jets also have one choice in rounds five (#158) and two in round six (#191 & 211).

With all the draft ammunition, particularly in round four. Joe Douglas has a lot of flexibility. The team still has some significant areas to address. Cornerback is a strong possibility for the Jets on the final day of the draft. Despite the selection of Zuniga, the Jets are still in the market for an edge rusher.

Here are some names to watch:

Cornerbacks: Bryce Hall (Virginia), Amik Robertson (Louisiana Tech), Javaris Davis (Auburn), Stanford Samuels III (FSU), Josiah Scott (Michigan State), Dane Jackson (Pitt), Lavert Hill (Michigan)

Edge Rushers: Alton Robinson (Syracuse), Bradlee Anae (Utah), Curtis Weaver (Boise State), Jonathan Garvin (Miami), Bryce Huff (Memphis), Khalid Kareem (Notre Dame)


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