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New York Jets Draft Watch: Are There Enough Covermen in the Fold?

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New York Jets Draft Watch: Are There Enough Covermen in the Fold?

2019-04-20 15:24:37

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye intercepts pass. (Image Source: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Here’s a breakdown of the New York Jets need at cornerback:

Offseason Depth Chart at Cornerback:

(1) Trumaine Johnson (2018 Free Agent), Darryl Roberts (2019 Re-Signed)

(2) Brian Poole (2019 Free Agent), Parry Nickerson (2018 6th Round)

(3) Rashard Robinson (2017 Trade), Derrick Jones (2017 6th Round)

(4) Arthur Maulet (2019 Free Agent), Jeremy Clark (2017 6th Round)

Offseason Addition: Brian Poole (UFA/Falcons), Arthur Maulet (Reserve/Future Contract); Subtractions: Morris Claiborne (UFA), Buster Skrine (UFA/Bears)

The Jets re-signed Darryl Roberts, who has been a solid backup for the team, and added free agent Brian Poole but have they done enough to counter the losses of Buster Skrine and Morris Claiborne?

It feels like they haven’t. They are banking a lot on Trumaine Johnson having a bounce back season, which to some extent they have to considering all the money ($72.5 million) they’ve already invested in the coverman. Plus, he does have a proven track record. In addition, they are banking on Roberts playing up to starting-caliber level, as well as one of their younger corners (most-likely Parry Nickerson) making major improvement this season.

Draft History at Cornerback:

Last First-Round Pick: Dee Milliner (2013/No. 9 overall)

Drafted in the Past Five Years: Parry Nickerson (2018 6th Round), Jeremy Clark (2017 6th Round), Derrick Jones (2017 6th Round), Justin Burris (2016 4th round), Dexter McDougle (2014 3rd round), Brandon Dixon (2014 6th round)

Over the past five drafts, the Jets have selected six cornerbacks, however five of those picks have come on Day 3 of the draft, when it’s less likely they’ll find a starter. They haven’t taken a corner higher than the third round since Dee Milliner in 2013 and that’s unlikely to change in 2019.

Reported Private Visits: Ugo Amadi (Oregon), Sean Bunting (Central Michigan), Amani Oruwariye (Penn State)

All-Star Game Connections: Ka’dar Hollman (Toledo), Jordan Wyatt (SMU)

Most-Likely First-Round Target: None

Crystal Ball: When it comes to cornerback, it’s very cloudy. The Jets could very well use their second pick (which is in the third round), to draft a coverman. However, they could also pass on the position altogether if they wait until Day 3. The roster already has five players who are 25 or younger competing for backup roles.

With the 3rd pick … Unless Mike Maccagnan decides to trade down in the first round, out of the top 10, cornerback simply isn’t in play for the Jets on Thursday night.  

On Day 2(No.’s 68, 93) … There are two names connected with the Jets who would be very tempting candidates at No. 68. Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye and Sean Bunting out of Central Michigan, both of whom the club has visited with. I’m more familiar with Oruwariye, who was among the more active covermen in the Big Ten over the past two seasons, but both have starter potential. Other big names projected to go in that range are Julian Love out of Notre Dame and Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen. At the back end of Day 2, someone like Kris Boyd (Texas) could be in play or Kendall Sheffield, a true boom-or-bust prospect.

On Day 3 (No.’s 105, 196, 217) … It’s possible that either Sheffield or Boyd could still be on the board when Day 3 gets underway, if not, SMU’s Jordan Wyatt is a potential option in the sixth or seventh round, while Oregon’s Ugo Amadi seems to be drawing interest despite most projections having him going undrafted. Rutgers product Blessuan Austin could also develop into a real Day 3 find.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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