The three day fiasco we all know and love came to a fitting close on Sunday after Trey Quinn was dubbed “Mr. Irrelevant”. 256 Selections, a plethora of trades, and a fair share of drama filled the weekend as each team attempted to set themselves up for the future. A team that capitalized on this rebuilding notion was the New York Jets, who, hopefully, picked their last first round passer for the next decade and a half. That doesn’t mean it was the right pick, though. The New York Jets compiled a haul of the following players as they completed part two of their three step plan:
- Round 1, 3rd Overall: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- Round 3, 72nd Overall: Nathan Shepherd, iDL, Fort Hays State
- Round 4, 107th Overall: Chris Herndon IV, TE, Miami
- Round 6, 179th Overall: Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane
- Round 6, 180th Overall: Folorunso Fatukasi, iDL, Connecticut
- Round 6, 204th Overall: Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State
Here’s how each selection holds up:
Toughness, durability, size, mobility, leadership…
Sam Darnold's got it all. 🛫 pic.twitter.com/LfeTsxnWdt
— New York Jets (@nyjets) April 27, 2018
Round 1, 3rd Overall: Sam Darnold, QB, USC (B+)
After Cleveland shocked the world selecting Baker Mayfield first overall, and the crosstown rival fumbled the second overall pick, Sam Darnold fell into the hands of the New York Jets. First on many teams’ boards, it was not surprising that the Trojan star was selected once he fell to three, and it seems that the Jets sprinted the pick in.
However, this pick left me in a state of brobdingnagian anxiety as we passed on my QB1, Josh Rosen. Knowing the two will be tied at the neck for their entire careers still scares me and the realization that we passed on such a high-caliber prospect has the potential to haunt the franchise if Darnold doesn’t pan out. On the flip side, I was relieved because, well, we aren’t Buffalo. We got enough value and filled a need, but the fact that we passed on the best passer available sticks with me.
Round 3, 72nd Overall: Nathan Shepherd, iDL, Fort Hays State (B)
In terms of pure talent, this pick was one of the most valuable of the entire draft. Mac needed someone to fill that Wilkerson role, and he very well may have found his guy. Shepherd draws concerns with his age as he enters his rookie season as a 25 year old, along with serious injuries that at times derailed his career.
If his talent is transferable, it will show up quick and we could have an immediate starter to help in both the pass rush and the run stuff. Rebuilding this defense started with the secondary and continued with the defensive line.
Round 4, 107th Overall: Chris Herndon IV, TE, Miami (C)
Last year, Jordan Leggett was the Jets’ pick at tight end, but his chance to stay alive on the roster decreases by the day. Herndon most likely won’t start for the Jets, especially in year one, but his balanced approach to the position will make him important on key packages and in the red zone. He could develop into a key weapon for Sam Darnold’s offense.
Herndon fails to do anything extremely well, and that may keep him off of the field at times and in all likelihood he won’t be putting up big numbers early on. With Josh Sweat, Tyrell Crosby and others on the board, I personally would have liked to see them go in a different direction than what will most likely be a depth tight end.
The #Jets find tremendous value in the 6th round with Tulane CB Parry Nickerson, the 55th ranked player on the PFF big board. He has allowed just one touchdown in each of the past two seasons pic.twitter.com/GviZlqo1do
— PFF NY Jets (@PFF_Jets) April 28, 2018
Round 6, 179th Overall: Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane (A-)
After adding a free agent corner in Trumaine Johnson, the Jets look pretty good on defense. Their secondary has all the talent in the world and was in reality only missing an inside corner. At 179 overall, they got their nickelback of the future.
Nickerson is known for his innate, standout athletic traits and ability to lock up whoever faces him in the slot. He is fast, fluid, and enough a ball hawk to make opposing quarterbacks wary. He is currently sitting behind awful defensive back Buster Skrine, but it would not be surprising to see the Tulane product take his role and run with it, because he certainly has the talent to.
Round 6, 180th Overall: Folorunso Fatukasi, iDL, Connecticut (B+)
When it comes to nose tackles, there aren’t many better than “Foley” Fatukasi. The UCONN kid has the size, strength, and talent to play on the inside for years to come. This was another quality value pick, and a defensive line of Leonard Williams, Fatukasi, Shepherd, and Henry Anderson (who the Jets traded their seventh round pick for) will be fun to watch.
This doesn’t even include the rest of this young, up-and-coming defense. His snap count will be limited due to the nature of the position, but his impact will be felt when he is on the field.
New #Jets RB Trenton Cannon is FAST. I went into iMovie to get an exact, frame by frame time on him: @cannnon25 went from one 30 yard line to the other (40 yds) in 3.9 seconds! pic.twitter.com/rcmEAtPL7h
— Daniel Mosher (@DanielMosherNY) May 2, 2018
Round 6, 204th Overall: Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State (C+)
Out of all the New York selections this past weekend, Cannon at 204 may have been the most shocking. Cannon dominated against small school foes during his time at Virginia State with great speed and burst, but vision and strength questions clouded up his future.
Cannon constantly outperformed his opponents, but to take him over bigger-name running back prospects seems like lunacy. Other positions of need still available, but the Jets went with a small school back in an already overcrowded running back committee.
Final Grade & Summary
In summation I think this team did a lot of good without too much bad, but the concerns with each quality prospect they drafted scare me off from being too optimistic. If their first round pick pans out however, the rest of this class won’t matter.