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New York Jets Off the Clock: Were the Draft Needs on Defense Filled?
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2 May 2017 05:30 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Florida Gators safety Marcus Maye. (Image Source: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press)

Here’s a look at how the New York Jets did in filling their needs on the defensive side of the ball:

1. Cornerback: Jeremy Clark, Michigan (6th Round; No. 197); Derrick Jones, Ole Miss (6th Round; No. 204)

Potential Pick at No. 6: Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State (No. 11)

Using two of their picks on cornerbacks did not come as a surprise, however waiting until the sixth round was shocking. Mike Maccagnan used his final two picks on corners to which many critics say, too little, too late. I was okay with passing on Marshon Lattimore in the first round because there would be several talented options on the board on Day 2. They did add a lot of size and length in the 6’2” Derrick Jones and 6’3” Jeremy Clark, the biggest cornerback at the scouting combine (220 pounds).

2. Safety: Jamal Adams, LSU (1st Round, No. 6); Marcus Maye, Florida (2nd Round, No. 39)

Potential Pick at No. 6: Malik Hooker, Ohio State (No. 15)

As we mentioned leading up to the draft, the days are numbered for Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist. With the selections of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye with their first two picks, the Jets added range and athleticism to the back end of their secondary and they hope, solidified the safety position for years to come. Taking Adams was a slam dunk, while many were critical of the selection of Maye, but if he turns out to be a productive player will anyone really care?

3. Outside Linebacker: Dylan Donahue, West Georgia (5th Round, No. 181)

Potential Picks at No. 70: Jordan Willis, Kansas State (No. 73); Tim Williams, Alabama (No. 78)

Whether it’s Vernon Gholston (sixth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft) or Quinton Coples (16th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft), the Jets have a history of draft busts when looking for an edge rusher. Two pass rushers, Jordan Willis and Tim Williams, who would fit into New York’s scheme as outside linebacker were selected in between their original third-round pick (No. 70) and the Minnesota selection the Jets traded down to (No. 79). Dylan Donahue is a small-school defensive end who is a very good athlete who should be able to play with his hand off the ground.

4. Inside Linebacker: None

Potential Pick at No. 107: Kendell Beckwith, LSU (No. 107); Ben Gedeon, Michigan (No. 120)

Had the Jets stuck with their third-round compensatory pick, a choice that couldn’t have been traded prior to this year, one has to wonder if they would have been tempted to take either Kendell Beckwith or Ben Gedeon. Finding the eventual replacement for veteran David Harris will have to wait until next offseason.

5. Nose Tackle: None

Potential Pick at No. 188: D.J. Jones, Ole Miss (No. 198)

No surprise, as we did not expect the Jets to draft a defensive lineman. With Steve McLendon, Mike Pennel (25-years old), and Deon Simon (26), they are set at nose tackle for this season and potential into the future with the latter two.

6. Defensive End: None

Potential Pick at No. 141: Carlos Watkins, Clemson (No. 142)

As expected, unless they found a trade partner for Sheldon Richardson there would be no need to add another body at a position where they already have a logjam. As it is, Todd Bowles will be forced to get three defensive ends on the field as much as possible if he’s going to have his best 11 in the game at the same time.  

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. 

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