New York Jets

2020 New York Jets Seven Round Mock Draft

  • 2020 NFL Draft
  • 2020 NFL Mock Draft
  • Andrew Thomas
  • Bryce Hall
  • Cesar Ruiz
  • New York Jets
  • NFl Draft
  • NFL Mock Draft
  • Van Jefferson
By Jordan Katz March 3, 2020 0 Comment
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What a difference a year makes for the New York Jets. Prior to the start of the 2019 offseason, there was optimism surrounding the franchise. The Jets had a ton of cap space (which they used to acquire Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley), they finally had their franchise Quarterback (Sam Darnold), and they held the number three selection in the NFL Draft. The Jets had a lot of positive buzz surrounding them.

Flash forward to the start of the 2020 offseason, and there is a sense of fear among the members of Jets nation. The fear that Head Coach Adam Gase will continue to divide the locker room like he did in Miami. The fear that Sam Darnold will not reach his full potential after another failed year under Adam Gase. In short, Jets fans are back to their regular selves.

This is what makes the 2020 offseason the most pivotal one in recent memory for New York. General Manager Joe Douglas will have to build a quality offensive line to protect Sam Darnold during free agency as well as the draft. Darnold needs better options at receiver too. Lastly, the Jets defense needs a major makeover. Gregg Williams did a masterful job last year with not much talent. If Joe Douglas can get him an edge rusher and a cornerback, the Jets defense could be big time next year.

So how do the Jets approach the NFL Draft? How can Joe Douglas maximize each selection in an extremely talented draft class? Based on current draft projections, here is how the Jets can build a competitive roster through the draft.

ROUND ONE (11th Overall): Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia

Thomas is not the top tackle on most draft boards, but he should be. He is elite in pass protection. Thomas has an excellent kickslide, he possesses a powerful punch, and he’s able to counter opposing pass rushers. Not to mention, he is a true mauler in the run game. Thomas is an elite talent that can start at left tackle for 10+ years.

ROUND TWO (49th Overall): Cesar Ruiz, IOL Michigan

Even if the Jets land multiple OL pieces in free agency, they still need to find multiple starters during the draft. Ruiz was excellent during the combine, and his tape matches his athleticism. He has the power to move opponents in the run game, and the athleticism to pull effectively. The Jets will look to run more in 2020, and use their OL, along with their franchise running back, to help Sam Darnold succeed. That is the identity of Joe Douglas. The run game is also where Cesar Ruiz excels.

ROUND THREE (68th Overall): Van Jefferson, WR Florida

We move from a selection made for a Joe Douglas led roster, to a selection made for an Adam Gase led offense. The one complaint Adam Gase had about Robby Anderson throughout the 2019 season was his route running. While Anderson made strides, his calling card was never his ability to separate with precision at the top of the stem.

Van Jefferson, on the other hand, is an elite route runner. If Jerry Jeudy is the top route runner in the class, Jefferson is number two. He’s terrific at the line of scrimmage, and he’s able to create separation with quickness as well as an understanding for defensive overages. Jefferson does have some drop issues, which is why he’s a day two selection. However, he’s a day two selection that will be coveted by many teams.

ROUND THREE, PICK NUMBER TWO (79th Overall): Bryce Hall, CB Virginia

Gregg Williams likes corners that are intelligent, physcial, and tackle well. That is Bryce Hall to a tee. Hall was a projected first round pick before a slow start to the 2019 collegiate campaign. His stock fell further when his slow start was combined with an ankle injury that sidelined him for the season.

Having said that, this is still a heck of a player. Hall shows terrific read and react ability in off coverage. While he struggles a bit with quick route runners, he does know how to use his size to his advantage in man coverage. Hall would be a perfect fit for a Gregg Williams defense, and a steal in the third round.

ROUND FOUR (110th Overall): Alton Robinson, EDGE Syracuse

Robinson is another mid round selection that Gregg Williams would love to have. Robinson’s strength is his ability to run the arch. When he can dip and flatten towards the QB, he is excellent. What he struggles with is the finer points of pass rushing. Robinson does not have a counter for when the tackle kicks out and walls him off. That’s where Williams can assist and teach him the finer points of rushing the passer.

ROUND FIVE (140th Overall): Michael Pittman Jr., WR Southern California

Full disclosure, Pittman will not be here at this selection. There is zero chance a 6’4 receiver with good athleticism and great hands is staying until round five. There were questions about his route running ability (and those are warranted when you watch him attempt to separate versus physical man coverage on film), but he answered those questions at the combine with quality shuttle times. My guess is, Pittman could be a surprise to the draft community and find his way into day two.

However, he is currently projected as a day three selection. With the incredible depth that this receiver class possesses, multiple players are going to fall. So it’s not unrealistic for the Jets to steal a talented player at receiver on day three. In this case, that player is Pittman.

ROUND SIX (171st Overall): Justin Strnad, ILB Wake Forest

The Jets had a number of injuries to their linebacking core last year. With Avery Williamson as a potential cap cut (or he agrees to restructure his contract), and zero depth behind Blake Cashman, a day three linebacker that can play special teams is something the Jets should look into.

ROUND SEVEN (202nd Overall): Geno Stone, FS Iowa

Stone is one of my favorite day three selections because he has elite ball skills. He makes up for less than stellar athleticism with a very high IQ. The “Achilles heel,” of a free safety like Stone is his unwillingness to tackle. If you cannot tackle, you cannot be the last line of defense. Teaching him to be more physical will be the challenge for the NFL team that gambles on Stone late in the draft.

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