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New York Jets Off the Clock: Fifth-Round Pick Tight End Jordan Leggett, Clemson Tigers
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12 May 2017 04:55 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Clemson Tigers tight end Jordan Leggett scores in ACC Championship Game. (Image Source: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The New York Jets had nine picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, with six coming on Day 3. As we take the Jets “Off the Clock,” we’ll break down all nine of their draft picks, continuing with their fifth-round selection:

Round 5; Pick 6 (150th Overall): TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson

Measurables: Tipping the scales at 258 pounds with a 6’5” frame, Leggett has very good size for a tight end, heavier than seven of the eight drafted ahead of him at the position. He also has long arms (33 ½”) and especially large hands (10 3/8”). As for most of the drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, like the three-cone (7.12) or the vertical jump (33”), the Clemson man was very near the middle when compared to other tight end prospects in Indianapolis. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds at his pro day.

Skill Set: Versatile, Leggett can line up wide, but has more experience playing in the trenches than many of the tight ends in this class. He’s capable of being an in-line blocker, a “move” tight end, as well as a slot receiver. Blessed with very reliable hands, the ACC product offers a large catch radius to his quarterback. He uses his frame well, often going out to snag the football, on passes both high and low. As a receiver, Leggett can really stretch the field especially down the seam, and he can even make yards after the catch. Entering the NFL, he’s more developed as a pass catcher than he is a blocker, which is par for the course for most tight ends coming out of college in today’s football.  

New York Jets Off the Clock: Off Needs | Def Needs | Jamal Adams | Marcus Maye | ArDarius Stewart | Chad Hansen |

Value: Given a fourth-round grade by NFL.com, Leggett was rated as the 96th player overall by CBSSports.com and 79th by ESPN.com, so most evaluators would rate this as a high-value pick. Arguably the best “value” the Jets got in the 2017 NFL Draft. New York may have benefitted from this being the deepest tight end class in years, because it’s hard to imagine Leggett would have lasted this long in most drafts.

Need: Jets tight ends combined for a ridiculously-low 26 receptions in the past 32 games, which is an absolutely stunning statistic. The only tight end with a true roster spot heading into the draft was Austin Seferian-Jenkins, so the Jets addressed arguably their biggest need with this selection.

Mogollon’s Pick: After passing up a chance to draft tight ends Jake Butt (No. 145) and George Kittle (No. 146) with the 141st pick, I would have pounded the table for Leggett. The Jets desperately need a tight end and should feel lucky the Clemson Tiger was still on the board.

Who Did They Pass Up? Having also ignored their need at cornerback through the first four rounds the Jets could have opted for Miami’s Corn Elder (No. 152) or Nate Hairston (No. 158) out of Temple. Florida State offensive tackle Roderick Johnson (No. 160), who was selected with a pick once owned by the Jets, would have been an intriguing developmental choice.

NFL Draft OTC: Picks 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20, 21-24, 25-28, 29-32, By State; Giants OTC: Needs | Evan Engram | Dalvin Tomlinson |

The Fit: Unlike Chan Gailey, who seemed to detest throwing to the tight end during his tenure as OC of the NYJ, new offensive coordinator John Morton comes from an offensive system that keys on using the tight end in the passing game. Jordan Leggett’s ability as a pass catcher makes him an excellent fit for New York’s West Coast attack.

2017 Outlook & Beyond: With only Austin Seferian-Jenkins blocking his path, Leggett might have the best chance to start in 2017 of any rookie on the roster, other than first-round pick Jamal Adams at safety. He will get every chance to start and earn as much playing time this season as he deserves. In fact, he may be forced into playing time he doesn’t deserve because of the lack of talent at the position. Ideally, the Jets are grooming Leggett to be their starting tight end for the future, someone who is a big part of the throw game, while still contributing to the run game as an in-line blocker.

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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