After an incredibly strong Day Two, the Jets and general manager, Joe Douglas needed to continue filling holes and adding valuable depth in the last three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. Douglas wasn’t to underestimate this point on the draft – even here, he hit jackpots.
Lamical Perine, Running Back, Florida
Round 4, Pick 120
The Jets chose to pass on a cornerback with their first pick within ten selections between 120 and 130. This was likely a response to the high landing spots of running backs like Joshua Kelley (Pick 112, Chargers) and Ke’Shawn Vaughn (Pick 76, Buccaneers).
Perine’s resume was definitely not as impressive as Kelley’s but he isn’t the biggest of liabilities. His best statistic is an average of over 5.0 yards per carry in two straight seasons. Despite that, Florida was a pass-heavy team and Perine had just 132-134 rushes in the last two years. While he is a question mark, he is the best pick at 120 with Kelley taken and Hall falling. He’s also good enough to be trusted in a faction with Le’Veon Bell.
James Morgan, Quarterback, Florida International
Round 4, Pick 125
Any kind of analysis here would be uncalled for given that Morgan will only be a backup to Sam Darnold in the short term. Overall, his two years at FIU were pretty solid, with him recording a touchdown/interception ratio of 40-12. In 2018, James Morgan had a 65.3 completion percentage and a passer rating of 157.6 – both career highs.
Morgan could have been a pretty good project quarterback other teams, like the Patriots did with Jarrett Stidham, drafting him in the 2019 fourth round. He’ll be a damn good backup but given the other needs the Jets have to address, the Jets went for a quarterback too early.
Cameron Clark, Offensive Tackle, Charlotte
Round 4, Pick 129
Clark played on the left side for the majority of the time while at Charlotte. He spent three years as a 49er. He also started all 13 games in 2019, when he was named an All-Conference lineman and reached the Shrine Bowl. Clark seems like a pretty solid outside lineman who is decent in pass protection. As the line’s numbers indicate, he’s also very helpful in the running game. The Charlotte running game, led by Brian LeMay and Chris Reynolds, ranked 30th in Division I in yards per game (203.0).
He’ll be a very good backup for new starter Mekhi Becton and could be trusted if they have to use him. Going for another offensive lineman in order to build depth was a much-needed first at that point in the draft.
Bryce Hall, Cornerback, Virginia
Round 5, Pick 158
Like with Mims, holding on and getting Hall, an excellent addition at cornerback, was a terrific move at one of the positions of need. An evaluation like this helped the Jets get two quality players, Perine and Clark, and get Hall, otherwise projected for the fourth-round.
“The chances of Arnette not being available at 68th are good. So the Jets will still go with a corner but will have to shift their focus to another quality prospect. Virginia defensive back Bryce Hall is more than capable of filling their holes.
Hall missed some time last year but had a huge campaign in 2018 when he posted 21 passes defended to go along with two picks. His success in one-on-one situations stems from reading plays quickly, which he does exceptionally well. If that matters for a rookie that will get only so much playing time, he also provides good value when it comes to corner blitzes. He recorded four sacks in four years with the Cavaliers and also contributed to stopping the running game.
Arnette seems like the better prospect. However, Bryce Hall isn’t much of a downgrade compared to Arnette and can become an excellent corner with a minimum amount of work.”
Braden Mann, Punter, Texas A&M
Lachlan Edwards, the Jets’ starting punter for the last couple of years, became a free agent this offseason. Instead of bringing him back, the Jets draft Braden Mann, who averaged 47.1 yards per punt attempt last year. Given that Edwards had a down year, averaging just over 45 per game, Mann could make the Jets punting unit one of the best in the league.
Do they really need that? That is subject to a discussion. Either way, even compared to drafting a linebacker for depth would have been better. Not to mention passing on selecting a wide receiver to boost Sam Darnold’s weaponry. It just feels like a waste of a pick.
Overall Grade: C+
Apart from Morgan and Mann, everything else resembled very important additions to the team. However, wide receiving and linebacker help would have made better use of those two picks.
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