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New York Jets 2017 NFL Draft Review: Safety in Numbers
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15 Apr 2018 02:29 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Jets safety Jamal Adams. (Image Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Entering general manager Mike Maccagnan’s third draft the New York Jets had needs up and down the roster, which really allowed him to make his picks based purely on value, regardless of position or need. Here’s a review of the 2017 NFL Draft of the New York Jets:

Rd 1 (No. 6 overall) S Jamal Adams, LSU: The Bayou Bengal is the real deal! A sound tackler, Adams proved to be a very active playmaker and finished third on the team in tackles with 83, second with his eight tackles for loss. A big hitter who does his best work in the box and in attack mode. Not just an impact player on the field, Adams has shown the ability and desire to be a leader. He’s already emerging as the face of New York’s defense.

Rd 2 (No. 39 overall) S Marcus Maye, Florida: Many were surprised when the Jets doubled up on safeties but it worked out very well in Year 1. Maye joined Adams as a rookie starter in the defensive backfield and while not as impactful as the first rounder, this Florida man proved to be a quality defender. He did do something Adams did not as a rookie and that’s intercept a pass, two in fact. His 79 tackles placed him fourth on the team. The duo should ensure the Jets are good at safety for years to come.

Rd 3 (No. 79 overall) WR ArDarius Stewart, Alabama: It was a disappointing season for the rookie receiver, who caught only six passes on 12 targets. The Jets needed a third receiver to emerge behind Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, an opportunity that Steward failed to take advantage of. It’s too early to right him off but with several free agent additions at the position he will have to step up his game in Year 2.

Rd 4 (No. 141 overall) WR Chad Hansen, Cal: Not much more productive than Stewart, Hansen caught nine passes on 18 targets, an identical 50 percent catch rate on a team that completed 63.3 percent of their passes. Both rookies brought certain tools that would indicate the ability to make an impact immediately and Hansen needs to make significant progress in 2018 if he’s going to be part of the future. He has good size and feet, with quality hands.

Jets Draft: On the Clock | Josh Allen | Sam Darnold | Baker Mayfield | Josh Rosen | 2013 Review | 2014 Review | 2015 Review | 2016 Review | OSU Pro Day | PSU Pro Day |

Rd 5 (No. 150 overall) TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson: As a rookie, Leggett did even less than the aforementioned receivers. A knee injury kept him out for the entire season but judging by their inactivity at the position via free agency, the Jets are still high on the Clemson product. If the season were to start today it appears the pass-catching Leggett might be the favorite to be the starting tight end in 2018.

Rd 5 (No. 181 overall) OLB Dylan Donahue, West Georgia: A small-school project who is undersized, but athletic, Donahue is learning how to play outside linebacker. Some believe he has potential as an edge rusher. Unfortunately, to this point he’s made more noise off the field (see DWI/DUI) than on it.  

Rd 6 (No. 188 overall) RB Elijah McGuire, Louisiana-Lafayette: Among their Day 3 picks, McGuire had the biggest impact with 315 rushing yards. While his 3.6 yards per carry left a lot to be desired, he flashed toughness and some explosiveness as a runner. With the additions of free agent backs Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls to go along with Bilal Powell, McGuire will have to earn his roster spot and carries.

Rd 6 (No. 197 overall) CB Jeremy Clark, Michigan: Still recovering from an ACL injury suffered at Michigan during the 2016 college season, Clark spent most of his rookie year on the injury list. The Jets love his size (6’3”/220 pounds).

Rd 6 (No. 204 overall) CB Derrick Jones, Ole Miss: Another project, Jones played receiver and cornerback at Ole Miss. He’s not as bulky as Clark (188 pounds), but Jones is very long (6’2”) with speed to burn. Active for just three games as a rookie, Jones failed to make a tackle.  

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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