The New York Jets had high hopes for their squad ahead of Sam Darnold’s sophomore season. The rookie quarterback had one year under his belt and was getting one of the league’s most versatile running backs in Le’Veon Bell. But the Jets finished 7-9 in 2019 and missed the playoffs for a ninth straight year.
Bell has had some time to shake off the rust he built up by sitting out for the entire 2018 season, but wideout Robby Anderson’s departure depletes the offense. The Jets have a chance to make a step toward the top of the AFC East if they make the right choices in the 2020 NFL Draft.
2020 Draft Picks
Round 1, pick 11 (No. 11 overall): Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Round 2, pick 27 (No. 59): Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Round 3, pick 4 (No. 68): Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
Round 3, pick 15 (No. 79): Jabari Zuniga, Edge, Florida
Round 4, pick 14 (No. 120): La’Mical Perine, RB, Florida
Round 4, pick 19 (No. 125): James Morgan, QB, Florida International
Round 4, pick 23 (No. 129): Cameron Clark, OT, UNC Charlotte
Round 5, pick 12 (No. 158): Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Round 6, pick 12 (No. 191): Braden Mann, P, Texas A&M
The Jets gave up the third most sacks (52) in the NFL last season. That doesn’t bode well for the production of Darnold or Bell. Better protection up front means more time for Darnold to throw and larger pathways for Bell to navigate through as a rusher or a receiver.
Anderson’s departure stings, with Breshad Perriman a downgrade in joining the team. he and Jamison Crowder are the only wide receivers New York can count on to be productive in 2020. Coveted free agents don’t seem likely to join New York at this point.
The Jets were in the bottom half of the league in sacks last season, posting 35 on the year. Their defensive ends only managed to tally four of those. While Jamal Adams’ 6.5 sacks while playing safety were impressive, it’s safe to say that a defensive back should not rank second on the team in that statistical category.
Dream first pick
New York appears to be leaning toward using its first pick on an offensive lineman or a wide receiver. The Jets are outside of the top 10, so there’s great value available at both positions. However, if the Jets don’t think the linemen on the board can be difference makers in year one, they should target a wideout like Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. If they don’t they could find themselves with one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL.