2 Round Mock Draft: NYJ
The Jets enter the 2016 draft with plenty of needs for a 10-6 roster. We all know they could end up without DT Damon Harrison, DL Muhammad Wilkerson, CB Antonio Cromartie, RB Chris Ivory, RB Bilal Powell and LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson on the roster and we’re already thin at tackle, guard, and linebacker. Maccagnan needs an even stronger draft this year to help the Jets get over the hump and into the playoffs. As the combine is set to begin here’s a look at what we see as the most likely scenario for the Jets based on what we know now.
1st round pick 20. Jack Conklin OT Michigan
There’s been a lot of talk amongst the Jets Media that Maccagnan won’t go after the Jets Tackle needs because of his BPA philosophy, forcing him to take the low value but best player RB Ezekiel Elliott. The problem with that is Maccagnan has shown no tendency towards BPA other than his Leonard Williams pick which wasn’t as crazy as it seemed with Sheldon Richardson’s legal troubles and Wilkerson’s upcoming free agency. Devin Smith was need over BPA as was Lorenzo Mauldin.
I think Maccagnan solidifies the RT position with the huge mauling Conklin. Conklin has the same measurables as Browns All Universe LT Joe Thomas with a huge 6’6” 340 lb frame. He’s very mechanically sound especially in pass protection where he has shut down the likes of future top ten picks Deforest Buckner and Joey Bosa. In the running game I didn’t see the mauling reputation he had gained consistently (at least not in the Nov OSUvMSU game) and watched a few more games and was pleasantly surprised. He can be a wrecking ball, opening up lanes and tossing aside the D-line and is especially dangerous on screens and when pulling with the guard. He absolutely demolishes defenders when he gets moving crushing his first man and then swinging around to lay a hit on a safety or linebacker coming down. His weaknesses are his athleticism and speed rushers (watch the Baylor tape.) He stands in contrast to Ohio State’s Taylor Decker. Whereas Decker wins with brute upper body strength but sloppy mechanics, Conklin is mechanically sound though isn’t as athletically gifted. For me I’d rather have the technical guy as guys who win on athleticism sometimes find that NFL pass rushers aren’t as impressed by your strength as big ten guys. Conklin should be able to slide right in at Right Tackle and be an impact starter while training for one day taking over at LT.
2nd round pick 51. RB Paul Perkins UCLA
I know everyone is salivating over Ezekiel Elliott but what is the point of going after a RB, even a great one like Elliot, when the offensive line was atrocious at opening up lanes. Fitzpatrick got a lot of heat and deservedly so for his performance against the Bills that cost the Jets a playoff spot. When you look at the film though (and film of every Jets loss) the problem was clearly that the Bills didn’t fear the Jets run game. Rex Ryan had defenders swarming all over Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker forcing Fitzpatrick to consistently throw into double coverage or extend plays until he could get a man open. If you expected Fitz to be the type of quarterback who can consistently win you games in those conditions you were being foolish. He can get the job done but he needs something to take the burden off the Fitz-Marshall-Decker show. That something is fixing the running game. The Jets helped solve that problem in the first round with road grader Conklin but now Elliot is off the board and they need someone who can create no matter how little push Mangold and Brian Winters generate. When it comes to creating there is no one in college football better than Paul Perkins. Just watch the guy’s film, he consistently makes something out of nothing over and over again. Snapping ankles and whipping heads with move after move and showing a little more power than you would expect from a shifty back. He does not have elite strength or speed and isn’t great in pass protection (though he improved in 2015) but the guy would be a nasty combo in the screen game with Conklin. As more analysts put Perkins film in he’s gaining more hype but a so-so combine should keep him available in the second round where Gailey can turn him into a feature back to pair with Powell. The Jets will probably still need to look for a power back for 3rd and short situations but I think Perkins is just scratching what he can become when NFL coaches get their hands on him.
Let us know what you think! I will try to get a more complete mock out after the combine gives us some more info.