Much of the 2019 season for the New York Jets was one to forget. However, the Jets did manage to win six of their final eight games to salvage a final record of 7-9, finishing third in the AFC East. Entering the second season of the Adam Gase era, the Jets must address a number of needs in the NFL Draft.
The Jets entered the free agency period with needs all across the roster. To their credit, they addressed many positions with several signings that, although not exactly sexy, were sorely needed. The Jets will look to round out their roster construction through the draft and give themselves the best shot possible to be competitive in the now Tom Brady-less AFC East. Here are some of the biggest draft needs the Jets must address.
Jets Draft Picks
- Round 1, Pick 11
- Round 2, Pick 48
- Round 3, Pick 68 (from NYG)
- Round 3, Pick 79
- Round 4, Pick 120
- Round 5, Pick 158
- Round 6, Pick 191
- Round 6, Pick 211 (from KC)
Jets Biggest Draft Needs
Any plan of offensive improvement in 2020 needs to start up front. The Jets surrendered 52 sacks last season, the third-most in the NFL. If Sam Darnold is going to improve as an NFL quarterback, he needs a clean pocket in which to do so. The struggles of running back Le’Veon Bell in his first season as a Jet were well-documented, with much of it due to poor offensive line play. New York’s line ranked 31st in the NFL in run blocking efficiency, according to Football Outsiders. The bulk of the Jets’ free agency activity was focused on addressing the interior of the line. The team cannot afford to let the best edge protectors of the draft class pass them by.
Dream Pick: Mekhi Becton, Louisville (11th overall)
Besides the offensive line, drafting an elite wide receiver should be the Jets’ other offensive priority in this year’s draft. The team currently has Jamison Crowder and free agent acquisition Breshad Perriman as the top two wideouts on the depth chart. Deep threat Robby Anderson signed with Carolina, so the Jets need to prioritize adding a third weapon that can stretch the field and has the size to win a jump ball in the red zone. It will be tempting to take a wideout in round one, but New York is best off waiting, given the depth of talent in this year’s receiver class.
Dream Pick: Chase Claypool, Notre Dame (48th overall)
Stopping the run was no problem for the Jets defense a season ago, as they finished second in adjusted efficiency in that category, per Football Outsiders. What was a problem was holding up against opposing aerial attacks. A large part of this can be attributed to the minimal pressure up front. The Jets generated just 35 sacks total. More cause for concern is the fact that safety Jamal Adams had the second-most on the team, with 6.5, a clear reflection of the defensive front’s inability to penetrate opponent backfields. Adding a strong edge rusher in the draft is paramount to a stronger 2020 showing.
Dream Pick: A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (48th overall)
Secondary Team Needs