Needs: The Jets are once again picking in the top 10 after a disastrous 2016 season. An offseason full of veteran cuts and a lack of additions leaves New York with one of the worst rosters in football.
Fortunately, the draft class is deep at positions of need. They’ll look to add players at quarterback, running back, cornerback, safety and tight end.
Picks: First round (6), second round (39), third round (70, 107), fifth round (150), sixth round (191), seventh round (224)
Getty ImagesJonathan Bachman
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
It’s essentially a toss-up between Hooker and Jamal Adams for the top safety in the draft, and the Jets couldn’t go wrong with either, really. Hooker, though, has the higher ceiling in today’s pass-happy NFL. A true center field free safety, Hooker would give the Jets a ball hawk in the middle of the field. Think along the lines of Ed Reed or Earl Thomas.
Now, there are concerns about him in run support, especially with a bad shoulder, but Hooker is one of the best safeties to come out in the past few years. He’d fill a huge need for the Jets at six.
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Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The Jets don’t have a No. 1 cornerback on the roster, and their secondary might be the worst in football. Lattimore is undoubtedly the top corner in the draft, and landing him with the sixth pick would do wonders for the defense. Todd Bowles loves to blitz, but in order to do so successfully, you need good cover corners. Lattimore is one.
As long as the hamstring issues are behind him and don’t become a recurring hindrance, he’ll be a Pro Bowl corner in no time. He’d be a nice replacement for Darrelle Revis — and an upgrade.
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Adams might just be the best (and safest) pick in the draft. He’s aggressive against the run with elite speed and awareness, and he’s far from a liability in coverage. In short, he can do it all, and at a very high level. For a team like the Jets that lacks playmakers at safety, Adams would be perfect.
The biggest question is whether he’s available at No. 6. There’s a decent chance he goes in the top five and the Jets miss out on one of their top targets. If he does fall in New York’s lap, though, he might be the safest pick the front office can make.
Derick E. HingleDerick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Only one tight end has been taken in the top 10 since Vernon Davis in 2006, and that was Eric Ebron in 2014. Howard most likely will be a top-10 pick, and he’s certainly deserving of being picked that high. Underutilized at Alabama, Howard never was able to showcase his full skill set. He’s an elite athlete for his size and his hands are terrific.
As a blocker, Howard can improve and add bulk, but he’s pretty much a complete tight end. The Jets have utilized tight ends less than any other team in the NFL the past two years, and Howard’s presence can change that.
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Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
The Jets have a clear need at offensive tackle after moving on from Ryan Clady and Breno Giacomini. Bolles isn’t likely to be a first-round pick, but his sweet spot could be when the Jets go on the clock in the second round. He’s one of the most athletic tackles the draft has seen in recent years, giving him big potential. Unfortunately, he’s played only one year of high-level college football, which makes him a bit of a risk.
The Jets already have Kelvin Beachum on the roster as a fallback option, and if they were to take Bolles in the second rouhd, he could compete right away. The Jets will likely take a tackle at some point in the early rounds, and Bolles would be a good target.
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Kevin King, CB, Washington
King has risen up draft boards in recent weeks after he impressed at the Combine. He has eye-popping quickness at 6-foot-3, which is what makes him so intriguing. King also has good ball skills, as shown by his one-handed interception last season. There are concerns about his pure coverage ability, but with the right coach, he’ll improve.
Unfortunately for the Jets, who had him in for a private workout, King might not fall to them in the second round. He’s a fringe first-round player who could be scooped up by a team like the Seahawks or Chiefs. As a result, the Jets might need to trade up to land him late in the first.
Jennifer BuchananJennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Jets have showed a fair amount of interest in Trubisky, which should come as no surprise. They don’t have a solid starter on the roster as Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty haven’t showed enough to earn the job yet. Trubisky is better than both players right now, but his ceiling isn’t exactly sky high.
Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Jets take him with the sixth pick, if he falls to them. I don’t necessarily believe it would be the best move, but the Jets have to at least explore that possibility in the event that he’s the best player available. They need a quarterback; there are just so many unknowns with this year’s class.