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Breaking Down the Jets 2017 Draft Class

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By Glenn Naughton

The New York Jets entered the 2017 draft with a total of seven choices to make.  Following a slew of trades, GM Mike Maccagnan added a pair of extra picks to leave the weekend with nine new players, five on defense, four on offense.  JetNation.com takes a look at each player and what they may bring in 2017 and beyond.

Jamal Adams: Round 1 (6th Overall), S – LSU

For the second time in three years, the Jets had a player who was regarded by many as the top talent in the draft fall in to their laps when Adams didn’t go in the top three as many had projected.  In Mike Maccagnan’s first draft in was USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who will now be joined by Adams as a cornerstone of the Jets defense for years to come.

A fundamentally sound and versatile defender, grabbing Adams gave head coach Todd Bowles a do-it-all safety to move around in his secondary in an effort to prevent opponents from regularly generating explosive plays on offense, a sight that was all too common last season.

With Alabama tight end OJ Howard on the board, the Jets passed up an opportunity to add an immediate difference-maker on offense, but there’s no denying Adams’ talent.

A likely replacement for safety Marcus Gilchrist, Adams was welcomed to the team via twitter by safety Calvin Pryor.

But then this happened….

Marcus Maye: Round 2 (39th overall), S – Florida

With another safety in round 2, the Jets front office drew the ire of plenty of Jets fans who were still clamoring for offense, but it’s a clear sign that the team has visions of pairing Adams and Maye on the back end for the short and long term future.

Choosing Maye means no more excuses on defense as Todd Bowles attempts to lead the Jets to the kind of season that will once again have him regarded as one of the top defensive minds in the NFL after watching his unit surrender 27 points or more on nine different occasions last season.

While not projected to be the player Adams is, Maye also brings a great deal of versatility to the Jets secondary, making Bowles’ goal of “interchangeable safeties” a reality.

Unlike Adams, Maye did not receive a tweet from Pryor welcoming him to the team.

Ardarius Stewart: Round 3 (79th overall), WR – Alabama

Finally, the Jets go offense and they do it by grabbing a hard nosed wide receiver out of Alabama in ArDarius Stewart who, at first glance, looks like a toned down version of current Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa.

If the Jets do in fact deploy a west coast type of offense, Stewart will have a chance to shine given his willingness to go across the middle and absorb a hit while also showing the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands as Yards after catch (YAC) average was just over 10 yards per reception.  In fact, Stewart’s toughness drew an interesting comment from NFL insider Ian Rapoport, he said the Alabama product is “a badass”.

Regarding the value of the pick and whether or not the Jets would have been able to get Stewart later, according to NFL.com, the NFL draft advisory committee tabbed Stewart as a 2nd round choice, which played a role in his decision to enter the draft.

Chad Hansen: Round 4 (141st overall), WR – California

Another receiver here made little sense at the time, but makes a bit more sense as GM Mike Maccagnan announced to the media in his post-draft press conference that third year receiver Devin Smith will miss all of the 2017 season after suffering another torn ACL.

Hansen has good size at 6′ 2” 202 lbs and while his 40 time is far from elite at 4.53, he was able to break away from defenders regularly at Cal, due largely in part to his ability to hit top speed early on according to OptimumScouting.com.

Hansen’s final season at Cal drew praise from at least one AFC scout who said:

“I’ll bet you he will turn into a hot name during the draft. He’s kind of unassuming when you see him in person, but he’s a really competitive guy who plays bigger and faster than he might test. Coaches are going to love him.” — West regional scout for AFC team

In their post-draft grades, CBSSports.com gave the Jets’ choice of Hansen their highest grade (A+) of the nine players selected based on value and his impressive production during his final season at Cal when he caught 92 balls for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Jordan Leggett: Round 5 (150th overall), TE – Clemson

Whoever is taking snaps from under center at quarterback this season will be a big fan of this selection.

Sticking with offense, the Jets address the gaping hole on their roster at the tight end with the 150th pick in Jordan Leggett out of Clemson.

NFL.com makes a curious comparison for Leggett in linking him to former Jets tight end Kellen Davis whose lone asset was his blocking.  Leggett is nowhere near the blocker Davis was made out to be, and his production at Clemson shows he’s more of a receiving threat than a blocker and it’s not even close.

During his time at Clemson, Leggett caught 112 passes for 1,598 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Work ethic is a concern for Leggett who has at times referred to himself as “lazy”.  With any effort at all, Leggett has a good chance to start for Gang Green, so his questionable work ethic will be under the microscope from the outset.

Dylan Donahue: Round 5 (181st overall), OLB – West Georgia

It wasn’t a question of “if”, but “when” in regards to the Jets selecting a player who fit Donahue’s profile as a high energy player with a non-stop motor.

New Jets outside linebacker coach Kevin Greene played the game much like Donahue and would likely have asked for a similar type of player to mold, which brings us to Donahue.

According to Eric Allen of NewYorkJets.com, Donahue is the first player ever to be drafted out of West Georgia, and his tape and numbers make it clear as to why.  Donahue regularly displayed great intensity which led to outstanding production.

In his last two seasons at West Georgia, Donahue tallied 25.5 sacks to go along with 37.5 tackles for loss.

Elijah McGuire: Round 6 (188th overall), RB – UL Lafayette

According to Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, the Jets view McGuire as a return specialist early on, but one would imagine McGuire will likely have the opportunity to pick up some offensive reps along the way.

The 5′ 10” 214 lb McGuire who ran a respectable 4.53 40 at the combine, put up some big numbers over the course of the past three years, eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark every season while averaging an impressive 6.1 yards per carry over the duration of his collegiate career.

A dual-threat weapon, McGuire not only ran over opposing defenses, but racked up 130 receptions for 1,394 yards and 10 scores in four seasons.

McGuire’s once churned out 265 yards on the ground in a single game in facing Arkansas State in 2014.

Jeremy Clark: Round 6 (197th overall), CB – Michigan

With their penultimate pick, the Jets chose the tall, lanky Clark out of Michigan who checks in at ‘6 3” 220 lbs after completing a three year career with the Wolverines.

Purely a developmental player, Clark makes sense as the Jets passed on any cornerbacks in the earlier rounds, but will enjoy the opportunity to develop a physical defender who likes to mix it up at the line of scrimmage.

Derrick Jones: Round 6 (204th overall), CB – Ole Miss

Once again, the Jets roll the dice on a project cornerback with excellent height at 6′ 2”, and plenty of potential.

As cited in his NFL.com bio, Jones may actually benefit from his lack of reps at cornerback as the converted wide receiver entered the draft as more of an unknown, likely allowing him to fall all the way to the 204th pick.

Todd Bowles knows his Jets need help in the secondary and Jones was the fourth defensive back chosen by the Jets. Along with Clark, Jones will look to make an impact on special teams while the pair hope to learn and grow at the pro level in to regular contributors.

Be sure to check out our complete 2017 NY Jets draft video below.

 

 

 

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LOL:

Hansen has good size at 6′ 2” 202 lbs and while his 40 time is far from elite at 4.53

 

The 5′ 10” 214 lb McGuire who ran a respectable 4.53 40

 

Weird.

 

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I placed this in the Clark thread since there's little info out there on Jones. 

 

Derrick Jones/DB/Mississippi: Jones was graded as a street free agent by scouts entering the season, which was understandable. His four seasons on the Ole Miss football team was split between receiver as well as cornerback, and Jones never developed at any one position. He put much of that concern to rest during pro day. Jones first turned in a terrific workout then performed brilliantly in position drills. Measuring 6020/189 pounds, he touched 41 inches in the vertical jump, 11 feet in the broad jump and timed as fast as 4.40 in the 40. During cornerback drills, Jones was fluid, smooth and very quick. Those on hand mentioned he looked more like a second-day pick rather than a street free agent. At the very least, Jones will now get late-round consideration. 
 

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11 minutes ago, Jet_Engine1 said:

LOL:

Hansen has good size at 6′ 2” 202 lbs and while his 40 time is far from elite at 4.53

 

The 5′ 10” 214 lb McGuire who ran a respectable 4.53 40

 

Weird.

 

 

A 4.53 for a WR is slow.

A 4.53 for a LB is pretty good. 

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Difficult to see how the Jets franchise is going to be competitive anytime soon with an offense as depleted as this one is, making the two safeties--while they may be fine players--relatively worthless. The right move was to pad the nest for a future QB, but the offense is going to be in full rebuild at all the skill positions as soon as Decker and Forte leave, and unless two of these receivers emerge, Maccagnan is going to have to go buy one in free agency simply to give Darnold/Rosen/Allen a chance to not perish. And despite the copious resources burned on DBs since Mac and Bowles got here, they're going to have to go shopping for a CB1 next year, to boot. There's just no coherent plan with this team. 

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9 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

 

A 4.53 for a WR is slow.

A 4.53 for a LB is pretty good. 

Bullsh*t. Seems to be right in the Range for wideout. .And considering he's 6'2 205 with good hands He's a good prospect. Here's some comparison. FYI, he ran faster than JuJu.

Kennet Golladay, Northern Illinois: 4.51

Chad Hansen, Cal: 4.53
Keon Hatcher, Arkansas: 4.65
Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech: 4.46
Krishawn Hogan, Marian: 4.56
Mack Hollins, UNC: 4.54
Bug Howard, UNC: 4.58
Zay Jones, East Carolina: 4.46
Cooper Kupp: 4.62
Jerome Lane, Akron: 4.61
Keevan Lucas, Tulsa: 4.60

Artavis Scott, Clemson: 4.62
Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M: 4.70
JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC: 4.54
Jamari Stapes, Louisville: 4.52
ArDarius Stewart, Alabama: 4.51
Ryan Switzer, UNC: 4.52

Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M: 4.70
JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC: 4.54
Jamari Stapes, Louisville: 4.52
ArDarius Stewart, Alabama: 4.51
Ryan Switzer, UNC: 4.52

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6 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Difficult to see how the Jets franchise is going to be competitive anytime soon with an offense as depleted as this one is, making the two safeties--while they may be fine players--relatively worthless. The right move was to pad the nest for a future QB, but the offense is going to be in full rebuild at all the skill positions as soon as Decker and Forte leave, and unless two of these receivers emerge, Maccagnan is going to have to go buy one in free agency simply to give Darnold/Rosen/Allen a chance to not perish. And despite the copious resources burned on DBs since Mac and Bowles got here, they're going to have to go shopping for a CB1 next year, to boot. There's just no coherent plan with this team. 

the plan is to appease Todd Bowles, what Bowles wants, Bowles gets

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1 minute ago, HessStation said:

There's no coherent plan to help out next year's first round QB by taking a WR in the 3rd and 4th rounds and a receiving TE in the 6th? 

Difficult to foresee Stewart or Hansen as anything more than niche 3rd, 4th receivers unless one or both of them exceeds every expectation. 

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1 minute ago, NoBowles said:

the plan is to appease Todd Bowles, what Bowles wants, Bowles gets

Which is a head scratcher to the extreme. The locker room quit on Bowles last year and as a result, every young player on the roster floundered, which ends up getting a GM fired. Mac should be covering his own ass at this point, not entertaining a dude who's killing both of their careers

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6 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Which is a head scratcher to the extreme. The locker room quit on Bowles last year and as a result, every young player on the roster floundered, which ends up getting a GM fired. Mac should be covering his own ass at this point, not entertaining a dude who's killing both of their careers

Not really a head scratcher to me, Bowles has more clout with Woody then Mac does.... He was hired first. Woody is a moron

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6 minutes ago, NoBowles said:

Not really a head scratcher to me, Bowles has more clout with Woody then Mac does.... He was hired first. Woody is a moron

Lol....no.

Macc is driving here .....bring on TC and PS. ..can't wait to see all these guys play....and btw wtf with game pass and no coaches tape on PS games?

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21 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Difficult to foresee Stewart or Hansen as anything more than niche 3rd, 4th receivers unless one or both of them exceeds every expectation. 

I wouldn't call it optimal but I'd call it coherent pending how his picks pan out.

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26 minutes ago, Jet_Engine1 said:

Bullsh*t. Seems to be right in the Range for wideout. .And considering he's 6'2 205 with good hands He's a good prospect. Here's some comparison. FYI, he ran faster than JuJu.

Kennet Golladay, Northern Illinois: 4.51

Chad Hansen, Cal: 4.53
Keon Hatcher, Arkansas: 4.65
Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech: 4.46
Krishawn Hogan, Marian: 4.56
Mack Hollins, UNC: 4.54
Bug Howard, UNC: 4.58
Zay Jones, East Carolina: 4.46
Cooper Kupp: 4.62
Jerome Lane, Akron: 4.61
Keevan Lucas, Tulsa: 4.60

Artavis Scott, Clemson: 4.62
Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M: 4.70
JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC: 4.54
Jamari Stapes, Louisville: 4.52
ArDarius Stewart, Alabama: 4.51
Ryan Switzer, UNC: 4.52

Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M: 4.70
JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC: 4.54
Jamari Stapes, Louisville: 4.52
ArDarius Stewart, Alabama: 4.51
Ryan Switzer, UNC: 4.52

 

That's fine but your statement seemed to suggest WR's and LB's are held to the same standard on 40 times.  They aren't, and shouldn't be. 

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20 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Which is a head scratcher to the extreme. The locker room quit on Bowles last year and as a result, every young player on the roster floundered, which ends up getting a GM fired. Mac should be covering his own ass at this point, not entertaining a dude who's killing both of their careers

Bowles definitely lost the locker room which is why they cut bait on Revis (lack of hustle) and Marshall (loud mouth) and focused on high character guys in the draft. 

Those moves won't solve his inability to coach, but it gives him a chance to restructure the mentality of the team. If he loses this team, he will lose his job. 

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12 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

 

That's fine but your statement seemed to suggest WR's and LB's are held to the same standard on 40 times.  They aren't, and shouldn't be. 

First off, Maguire is the Running Back we picked up in the 6th from UL-L. Not a LB'er.  

 

I was just laughing at the unintended sterotype referenced in the white WRs time of 4.53 as being "far from elite"...While the Running Back/KR guys same time is "respectable". 

 

Well yeah, if Hansen had run an "elite" time at his size and production, he would have been a much higher pick. He slipped because he ran a good time, and gets the "White men can't run" subconscious label. 

 

Whereas Maguire, with the same time, is referred to as "respectable". In the same sentence. It's just me being Pedantic in observing language, and it's funny. 

I mean, seriously Hansen had better 40 times than a few guys taken before him, but since he's a white guy, it's "far from elite". LOL. So what does that makes JuJu Smith-Schusters 4.54? Glacier-like slowness? LOL or does he get the benefit of the "more quick than fast" crap? Maybe he had "short area quickness"? Instead of "far from elite".....

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Hansen is an interesting pick, and someone that has some potential.  I think he's much more of a possession receiver than the intermediate to deep threat skills he displayed in college.  His cuts and breaks in routes seem pretty good, but he's not a finished product by any means.  

This is the game tape from their game vs. Cal (It's Davis Webb's tape) and he's No. 6.  The CB he's facing on most plays is Sidney Jones.  He does well, although the TD seems to be a zone play for the defense.  

 

I have no idea why we picked up Stewart over a bunch of guys that were available.  I would have much rather gotten Carlos Henderson (helps the return game as well), or Goodwin or Chesson.  While the upside isn't bad, I have no idea what they saw in him to grade him higher than some guys.   

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1 hour ago, NoBowles said:

Not really a head scratcher to me, Bowles has more clout with Woody then Mac does.... He was hired first. Woody is a moron

This is 100% speculation on your part and it is wrong. Woody being a moron is right, the other part is wrong lol.

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I dont understand all the crying about this draft. I loved it and I think mac did a masterful job. Rounds 1& 2 went just as I was hoping with the back to back safeties with TJ  Watt not being available in the second. Was hoping Adams/Watt but if Watt not there Adam/M. Williams or M.Maye. Felt all along we were getting Adams in the 1st. We just could not go into 2017 with  Pryor who  cant cover and Gilchrist coming off of surgery. None of the backups showed any starter potential. I mean last years secondary was horrible.Mostly due to poor saftey play and mr. Mevis.  Personally I would have sent him to the bench or better yet the practice squad. The way he dogged it out there was shameful. No effort at all. Yes I would have loved an OT like most but the board just didnt break that way. I sure didnt want to reach for one. Weak OT class to begin with. You cant get it all in one draft especially when you have the number of needs as the jets have. We got a couple of CB's I know late but look at the recievers we got late last year. Maybe one turns into something. We picked up Claboirne from dallas who Im counting on being at least decent and I think Burris looks very promising.  Now for all those screaming for a QB. Well that QB was not in this draft and if he was he went pick no. 2.  I happen to still believe our future  QB may already be on our roster. I do not get all the negative talk about Petty at all. I mean my God what where you all thinking was going to happen? That he was going to step on the field right off the bat and be Joe Willie Namath? Really did ya"ll not see some of his throws? Yes I know they werent  all pretty but there was some I thought were great. I saw some bad decisions but I saw improvement each week.I saw enough to continue on with him in 2017  and let him play. did Payton light it up year one? NO.  Did Farvre? NO. This could be a pretty long list of bad QBs first years. What he showed was giving the chance and time he could be a really good QB in this league. Now if we go into training camp and Hack out plays him or plays equal to him( hes younger) then lets give Hack the chance and time. What I do not want to see is mcCown starting off the season at QB. Hope hes there to mentor and as a  last resort QB. 

 

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1 hour ago, T0mShane said:

Difficult to foresee Stewart or Hansen as anything more than niche 3rd, 4th receivers unless one or both of them exceeds every expectation. 

Yeah that never happen.....those mock draft guru's never wrong...that sh*t science man.

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If you think about it, this draft was almost completely need.  They drafted players for positions where they wanted to replace who they had.  The expectation is that they all make the team.  They were not drafting players high to sit on the bench  

We have on OL which is paid for.  Center?  We need to draft one-there is Johnson for a 2nd round tender.

WR-Devin Smith is done, and my guess is that they would like to save Deckers cap space.   Worse comes to worse Decker can be put on IR and saved for Hack.

TE-Legget displaces someone.

CB-covered for 2018.

ILB-ditto

S-obvious full replacement.   

The first five rounds were about replacing roster and starters.   

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1 hour ago, varjet said:

If you think about it, this draft was almost completely need.  They drafted players for positions where they wanted to replace who they had.  The expectation is that they all make the team.  They were not drafting players high to sit on the bench  

We have on OL which is paid for.  Center?  We need to draft one-there is Johnson for a 2nd round tender.

WR-Devin Smith is done, and my guess is that they would like to save Deckers cap space.   Worse comes to worse Decker can be put on IR and saved for Hack.

TE-Legget displaces someone.

CB-covered for 2018.

ILB-ditto

S-obvious full replacement.   

The first five rounds were about replacing roster and starters.   

I get what you are saying but in the 2nd round I think they stayed with the draft board and went BAP. Yes obviously they want two new starters at safety. But if they were going need there I think they would have gone WR in the 2nd. They knew they would take heat for going safety \ safety so that tells me they had Marcus ranked higher than anyone on the board at that point.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Jet_Engine1 said:

LOL:

Hansen has good size at 6′ 2” 202 lbs and while his 40 time is far from elite at 4.53

 

The 5′ 10” 214 lb McGuire who ran a respectable 4.53 40

 

Weird.

 

A 4.53 is far from elite, as the elites run in the 4.3/4.4 range (and sometimes under) whereas a 4.53 isn't going to do much for the draft stock of a RB or WR, but is respectable enough that if the guy can play, he'll still get drafted.

Why is it weird that I described two guys who had the same 40 time by using different (yet still accurate) terms?

 

 

 

Edited by AFJF

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7 hours ago, Maxman said:

The Jets drafted the guy they want to be their franchise QB last year. They held him off the field because 1) The season was a dumpster fire and 2) They knew they were changing offensive coordinators. They get killed for holding him out, but that seems like a very coherent plan to me. Add in they signed a veteran to mentor him.

Communication breakdowns were plaguing the defense all year last year. They gave up big play after big play. They changed several assistants and are basically rolling out a completely new secondary.

Pass rush was a huge issue, so they brought in an incredible OLB coach to work with several talented kids.

They cut every overpriced veteran that didn't produce last year. They will have a young team that is hungry and they can see who shines. Then next year they could have 80 million in cap space.

Seems like a pretty good plan to me.

Cutting disgruntled veterans would seem to be a lot more coherent if you weren't the same guy who just signed and traded for those notoriously disgruntled veterans two years ago. It's like spending twenty grand on a crotch rocket and driving it straight to the garbage dump because it's dangerous to own a crotch rocket.

 

Who are these "talented kid" linebackers? The dude from Appalachia? Or the two dudes who run 4.8/40's? 

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