By Craig Carroll
It's that time once again where every team in the NFL believes they can get that game-changing, franchise-changing player that puts them over the top in the never-ending chase to become world champions. The New York Jets focus on this year's NFL Draft with a new head coach, in Todd Bowles, and a new front office, led by general manager Mike Maccagnan. They have a lot of work ahead of them after the previous general manager, John Idzik, left this team barren of talent during his two-year stint.
So, without further ado, we offer our assistance as to what the Jets should do when they are on the clock at the upcoming NFL Draft with our full, seven-round mock draft.
Round One, Pick No. 6
Jets Select ... Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Can the New York Jets afford to take the chance and pass on Mariota if he's available when they select the sixth overall player? Absolutely not, The Jets could never live it down if they pass on Mariota and he goes on to become a great quarterback for the next 10-15 years. So, if Marcus Mariota is there at six the Jets must MUST take him. Mariota has all the tools to succeed at the next level, but will have to work hard to make the switch from the fast uptempo pace of Oregon to the NFL. Having new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who runs a spread offensive attack, will make the transition easier for Mariota.
Fallback Option: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Round Two, Pick No. 37
Jets Select ... Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
I believe Green-Beckham would have been a sure-fire top 15 pick if it were not for his off the field issues. Beckham still might get selected late in the first round, but with the WR class so deep, teams will make the safer choice with their first round pick. Green-Beckham, if he gets his head straight and focuses on football and staying out of trouble. could be the best wide receiver in an absolutely awesome wide receiver class. The Jets have been known to pass on troubled players in years past (Warren Sapp anyone), but with money to spend, a new staff and a hungry fanbase, the Jets take the huge risk for a huge reward.
Fallback Option: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
Round Three, Pick No. 70
Jets Select ... Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
One of the Jets biggest needs once again is the cornerback postilion. There's a better than good chance Antonio Cromarte comes back to New York in free agency, which would lessen the need for a corner here, but as a former coach once said, you can't have enough good corners. Johnson has above average cover skills and his closing speed is close to if not at elite level. Johnson would join Dee Milliner, Dexter McDougle, Marcus Williams and possibly Cromarte to take this unit from a weakness to a strength in 2015.
Fallback Option: Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
Round Four, Pick No. 101
(Seattle would receive this pick if Percy Harvin is still on Jets' roster)
Jets Select ... Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB/DE, Louisville
New York wants to get younger on the edge and Mauldin would provide the Jets with a high motor player with a knack for getting to the ball. You also might not find a tougher young man in this draft than Mauldin, as he's had to deal with a rough upbringing which has given him the "I won't be stopped" attitude that is needed to survive and thrive in the NFL.
Fallback Option: Trey Flowers, OLB/DE, Arkansas
Round Five, Pick No. 134
Jets Select ... Jamil Douglas, OG, Arizona State
In the long list of team needs for the Jets, replenishing the offensive line must be a priority in the draft and free agency. Douglas is a very athletic offensive lineman, which would be great if he was a offensive tackle, but he's a guard. Douglas needs to improve his strength and needs to add a tough, nasty attitude a majority of the elite guards possess.
Fallback Option: John Miller, OG, Louisville
Round Six, Pick No. 165
Jets traded this selection to Seattle in the Percy Harvin trade from last season. The pick could turn into a fourth round selection if the Jets keep Harvin on their roster.
Round Seven, Pick No. 198
Jets Select ... JJ Nelson, WR/KR, UAB
Nobody taken as a 7th round pick is really expected to make the roster come opening day, so the Jets should take a chance on Nelson, predominantly a return man. With his blazing speed (4.28 in the 40), Nelson could perhaps stick around if his kick return dominance translates to the pros.
Fallback Option: Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary
Let us know your thoughts on our mock draft, or ways you believe the Jets will go, in the comments section below.