By Craig Carroll
A lot has changed since our New York Jets seven-round mock draft from back in February. The Jets traded for an elite wide receiver in Brandon Marshall, signed Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine at cornerback and added Marcus Gilchrist at safety to form what could be one of the best secondaries in football after a year in which the Jets had one of the worst. They added a starter on the offensive line and added a couple other linemen for depth. New York also traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick to compete with Geno Smith.
Even with the quarterback position still a major weakness, the new-look Jets have a real shot at being a playoff team as the roster stands right now. With all the moves New York has made, they can draft based solely on best player available instead of drafting based on need.
With that, here is our fully updated, seven-round Jets mock draft.
Round One, Pick No. 6
Jets select: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
New mock, same top pick. I have gone back-and-forth over this pick due to reports the Titans and Redskins are serious contenders to select Mariota, and from rumors the Browns and Eagles are looking to trade up to draft him. But I'm going to stick with my gut and say Mariota will have his named called with the sixth overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft by the New York Jets. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year, you should know how talented Mariota is. He has all the tools to be that franchise quarterback the Jets have lacked since Ken O'Brien
Fallback option: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
Round Two, Pick No. 37
Jets select: Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
Harold is an elusive edge rusher who possesses a quick burst off the ball and has elite closing speed, He's one of those endless motor guys who will track the ball through the whistle. On the downside is his lack of bulk on his lower half and his lack of experience in coverage. But make no mistake, he has the ability to be one of the top edge rushers to come out of this draft.
Fallback option: Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State
Round Three, Pick No. 70
Jets select: Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
Johnson was one of the most explosive running backs in his time at Miami. He's tough, quick and would provide the Jets with an option as a kick returner. He could be that game-changing home run threat the Jets thought they were getting last year with Chris Johnson.
Fallback option: Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
Round Four, Pick No. 101
Jets select: Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB, Louisville
Jets coach Todd Bowles isn't done drafting players that can get after the quarterback. After taking Harold in Round 2, the Jets dip back in, taking Mauldin to play the other side. In a couple years, Harold and Mauldin could form a scary duo for opposing quarterbacks. Mauldin is a tough, high-character athlete who plays with a chip on his shoulder. The Jets have what appears to be a very dangerous defense that could easily be one of the best for years to come.
Fallback option: Daryl Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Round Five, Pick No. 134
Jets select: Trade with Chicago Bears for WR Brandon Marshall.
Round Six, Pick No. 165
Pick traded to the Seattle Seahawks as part of the Percy Harvin deal.
Round Seven, Pick No. 198
Jets select: Max Garcia, C, Florida
Was a well-respected team captain at Florida and has a toughness to possibly hang around in the league.
Fallback option: Tevin McDonald, FS, Eastern Washington.
Round Seven, Pick No. 199
Jets select: Rannell Hall, WR, Central Florida
Hall has shown a willingness to put in whatever work it takes to succeed. He's fast and does have talent, but he will need to make his mark on special teams if he wants to make the team.
Fallback option: Andrew Donnal, OT, Iowa