New York Jets NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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New York Jets Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Edge Rusher
- Offensive Line
- Wide Receiver
- Defensive Line
The New York Jets made a big move pre-draft, trading up for the 3rd overall pick via the Indianapolis Colts. On the surface, the moved seemed a bit risky as they traded the 6th overall selection, three 2nd round picks (2 from 2018 & 1 from 2019) for an opportunity to potentially draft the third best quarterback in the draft. Either they were comfortable with the QB3 on their board? Or they had an inclination that the Giants selecting 2nd overall were all in on RB Saquon Barkley. Well, the trade worked exactly how the Jets drew it up and they selected the “consensus” number 1 quarterback in the draft class after Mayfield and Barkley went 1, 2 respectively. Darnold’s best and most discussed attribute is how well he plays in the biggest moments of the game. His cool, calm and collective demeanor is tailor made for the bright lights of New York. That’s the good, but now let’s get to the bad. Darnold often times puts his team in an adverse position by his inconsistent play and his propensity for giveaways as he led the nation with 22 turnovers in 2017. Time will tell if Darnold lives up to the hype as he has a low floor (bust potential) but a high ceiling. The rest of the draft class lacks the sexy but includes some interesting rotational players on defense with the strong and athletic Nathan Shepherd, the ball-hawking Parry Nickerson and the highly productive Folorunso Fatukasi.
When evaluating defensive backs I covet ball skills over all traits and 6th round pick Parry Nickerson foots the bill. I was a little late on the corner from Tulane but the Jets got themselves a feisty, ball-hawking playmaker in the secondary. Nickerson lacks the ideal size for an outside corner, therefore a move in the slot seems more appropriate where he can be the future replacement for Buster Skrine. The Jets add a 4.3 confident DB with 16 career collegiate interceptions to a secondary that already consists of newly acquired CB Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne, Marcus Maye and defensive tone setter Jamal Adams. #UpToSomething
Fantasy Football Implications
Last season many thought this roster had zero hope for fantasy success but the Jets gave us some surprising fantasy sleepers with Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse and streamer extraordinaire Josh McCown. This year with Darnold under center (Yes, he will play the majority of the games) some may be more optimistic of the fantasy output for the weapons around their rookie quarterback. Temper your expectations because the key word is rookie. I expect Darnold to struggle in Year 1 causing Anderson and Kearse to be inconsistent from a fantasy perspective. Add Quincy Enunwa back in the mix and you have yourself a muddled situation. In the backfield it’s more complicated as the Jets added Isaiah Crowell to go along with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire. Honestly I would take a wait and see approach this season in re-draft leagues. For dynasty leagues, Darnold would be the 4th rookie QB off my board behind Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson.