Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum used to say “the hay is in the barn” at this point in preparation for the NFL Draft.
The teams have done all of their work and are now just tinkering with their draft board, talking to other teams about potential trades, running things past ownership and going through scenarios for Thursday night.
This is our final crack at the Jets’ full draft. With the help of the Fanspeak mock draft tool, we simulated the draft, making the Jets’ picks. Here is our draft:
Round 1 (pick 11 overall) — OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
The Jets find their blindside protector for Sam Darnold. At 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, Becton is a mountain of a man who also can move (5.10 40-yard dash). In this simulation, Becton and Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas were both still available. I went with Becton because I think the upside is higher.
The decision of whether to take a tackle or a wide receiver to help Darnold is a fascinating one. Ultimately, I am leaning toward tackle because they are harder to find. Elite tackles do not become available too often in free agency or in trades and are hard to find outside the top of the draft. You can find wide receivers later in the draft and they shake free in trades much more often than tackles.
I think the Jets will choose any of the top four tackles available at 11.
Round 2 (pick 48 overall) — WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
After going tackle in Round 1, the Jets land their receiver in Round 2. Aiyuk is an explosive receiver who starred for former Jets coach Herm Edwards at Arizona State. He ran a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and excels at yards after catch. He also can return kicks, something the Jets could use.
Round 3 (pick 68 overall from the Giants) — CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn
The focus has been on how much the Jets need to upgrade at tackle and wide receiver recently, but cornerback is just as big of a hole on this team. They fill it here with Igbinoghene, who is the son of track stars. He was a track star himself in high school and has elite speed and athleticism. Still learning cornerback after moving there from wide receiver in 2018.