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New York Jets 2016 NFL Draft Review: The Team Building Continues
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14 Apr 2018 02:13 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee. (Image Source: Elsa/Getty Images)

General manager Mike Maccagnan’s second turn running the draft room of the New York Jets has been more fruitful, as the team added starters to all three phases of the game. Here’s a review of the 2016 NFL Draft of the New York Jets:

Rd 1 (No. 20 overall) LB Darron Lee, Ohio State: An emerging impact player as an inside linebacker, Lee improved across the board in his second season in the NFL. He was reliable and created more negative plays (8 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles). If Lee continues to get better, he’s still only 23, the Ohio State product should be a big part of New York’s young defensive corps.

Rd 2 (No. 51 overall) QB Christian Hackenberg, Penn State: It’s safe to say this pick is a bust. Some predicted this outcome at the time of the selection but it was understandable why general manager Mike Maccagnan took his shot in the second round. Hackenberg showed so much upside as a true freshman but regressed from there. He’s been so bad that the Jets have never put him under center in two years, not even for a single snap.

Rd 3 (No. 83 overall) OLB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia: This a critical year for Jenkins. It’s season number three and the first time he will go into camp as a sure-fire starter. It’s not just a big year for Jenkins and his career but for the team. This is their weakest position on defense and the Jets need Jenkins to make progress. He’s flashed enough to make one believe he can be a solid starter in the league. Jenkins recorded 49 tackles last season, including three sacks. He’s strong at the point of attack but probably better suited to being the secondary edge pass rusher.

Rd 4 (No. 118 overall) CB Justin Burris, North Carolina State: The Jets liked his size coming out of the ACC but his development has been slow. In his third year in New York, Burris will be at best the fourth cornerback on the team and he will probably have to compete for a roster spot. He looks like a career backup.

Jets Draft: On the Clock | Josh Allen | Sam Darnold | Baker Mayfield | Josh Rosen | 2013 Review | 2014 Review | 2015 Review | OSU Pro Day | PSU Pro Day |

Rd 5 (No. 158 overall) OT Brandon Shell, South Carolina: Potentially one of the best value pics of the Maccagnan era, Shell started 12 games at right tackle last season and he enters 2018 as the guy. He came in with more upside than your typical fifth-round pick and is starting to play like it. Is he a given for years to come? Heck no, Shell still has work to do. This could be a make or break year for the SEC product as the Jets will probably focus on the O-line next offseason.  

Rd 7 (No. 235 overall) P Lac Edwards, Sam Houston State: The Aussie had a much-improved second season in the NFL. He saw his average jump from 43.1 yards to 46.6, his NET from 37.3 to 40.5, and his percentage of punts dropped inside the 20-yard line from 32 percent to 35.1 percent. Very solid numbers across the board.

Rd 7 (No. 241 overall) WR Charone Peake, Clemson: After a 19-reception rookie campaign, Peake recorded just one catch in 2017. With Quincy Enunwa coming back and three receivers added via free agency, Peake’s days in New York are likely numbered.   

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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