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Mel Kipers Full Mock Draft 1.0


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4. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Jets had big defensive issues in Robert Saleh’s first season as coach, from the front seven to the secondary. They didn’t get after quarterbacks, and they couldn’t cover pass-catchers, which is a recipe for another top-five draft pick. Hamilton would fill a void at safety, especially if Marcus Maye leaves in free agency. Six-foot-4, 220-pound Hamilton has rare traits for his size, and he can play in the box or as a center fielder (he had eight career interceptions for the Fighting Irish). He was one of the most versatile defenders in college football for the past three seasons. Hamilton played in only seven games in 2021 because of a knee injury, but I’m told he’ll be ready to work out at the NFL combine in March.


10. (via SEA) Drake London, WR, USC

Quarterback Zach Wilson had a rough rookie season, as the Jets finished near the bottom in most offensive statistics. So if I’m giving them defensive help with the No. 4 pick, let’s give Wilson a target here, because his best pass-catchers in 2021 are all better out of the slot. Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios are good players, but they’re never going to be down-the-field aerial threats. London -- who is 6-foot-5 and also played on the USC basketball team -- has a chance to be a special outside receiver. He caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games this season. His record-breaking year ended in late October because of a fractured right ankle, but he is expected to be ready for the 2022 season. He can be Wilson’s top target, giving the Jets a huge red zone threat.

 

 

Mel Kiper: NFL Mock Draft 1.0

1) Jacksonville Jaguars — DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

2) Detroit Lions — DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

3) Houston Texans — OT Evan Neal, Alabama

4) New York Jets — S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

5) New York Giants — OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

6) Carolina Panthers — OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

7) New York Giants (via CHI) — OLB David Ojabo, Michigan

😎 Atlanta Falcons — CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

9) Denver Broncos — ILB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

10) New York Jets (via SEA) — WR Drake London, USC

11) Washington Football Team — QB Malik Willis, Liberty

12) Minnesota Vikings — CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati

13) Cleveland Browns — WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

14) Baltimore Ravens — C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

15) Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA) — ILB Devin Lloyd, Utah

16) Philadelphia Eagles (via IND) — DE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State

17) Los Angeles Chargers — DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

18) New Orleans Saints — QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

19) Philadelphia Eagles — WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

20) Pittsburgh Steelers — QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss

21) New England Patriots — WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

22) Las Vegas Raiders — CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

23) Arizona Cardinals — DE George Karlaftis, Purude

24) Dallas Cowboys — DE Travon Walker, Georgia

25) Cincinnati Bengals — OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

26) Miami Dolphins (via SF) — WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

27) Buffalo Bulls — CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

28) Detroit Lions (via LAR) — QB Sam Howell, North Carolina

29) Kansas City Chiefs — DE Cameron Thomas, San Diego State

30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers — DL DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

31) Tennessee Titans — CB Kyler Gordon, Washington

32) Green Bay Packers — TE Trey McBride, Colorado State

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1 hour ago, LAD_Brooklyn said:

4. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Jets had big defensive issues in Robert Saleh’s first season as coach, from the front seven to the secondary. They didn’t get after quarterbacks, and they couldn’t cover pass-catchers, which is a recipe for another top-five draft pick. Hamilton would fill a void at safety, especially if Marcus Maye leaves in free agency. Six-foot-4, 220-pound Hamilton has rare traits for his size, and he can play in the box or as a center fielder (he had eight career interceptions for the Fighting Irish). He was one of the most versatile defenders in college football for the past three seasons. Hamilton played in only seven games in 2021 because of a knee injury, but I’m told he’ll be ready to work out at the NFL combine in March.


10. (via SEA) Drake London, WR, USC

Quarterback Zach Wilson had a rough rookie season, as the Jets finished near the bottom in most offensive statistics. So if I’m giving them defensive help with the No. 4 pick, let’s give Wilson a target here, because his best pass-catchers in 2021 are all better out of the slot. Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios are good players, but they’re never going to be down-the-field aerial threats. London -- who is 6-foot-5 and also played on the USC basketball team -- has a chance to be a special outside receiver. He caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games this season. His record-breaking year ended in late October because of a fractured right ankle, but he is expected to be ready for the 2022 season. He can be Wilson’s top target, giving the Jets a huge red zone threat.

 

 

Mel Kiper: NFL Mock Draft 1.0

1) Jacksonville Jaguars — DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

2) Detroit Lions — DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

3) Houston Texans — OT Evan Neal, Alabama

4) New York Jets — S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

5) New York Giants — OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

6) Carolina Panthers — OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

7) New York Giants (via CHI) — OLB David Ojabo, Michigan

😎 Atlanta Falcons — CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

9) Denver Broncos — ILB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

10) New York Jets (via SEA) — WR Drake London, USC

11) Washington Football Team — QB Malik Willis, Liberty

12) Minnesota Vikings — CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati

13) Cleveland Browns — WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

14) Baltimore Ravens — C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

15) Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA) — ILB Devin Lloyd, Utah

16) Philadelphia Eagles (via IND) — DE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State

17) Los Angeles Chargers — DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

18) New Orleans Saints — QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

19) Philadelphia Eagles — WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

20) Pittsburgh Steelers — QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss

21) New England Patriots — WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

22) Las Vegas Raiders — CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

23) Arizona Cardinals — DE George Karlaftis, Purude

24) Dallas Cowboys — DE Travon Walker, Georgia

25) Cincinnati Bengals — OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

26) Miami Dolphins (via SF) — WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

27) Buffalo Bulls — CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

28) Detroit Lions (via LAR) — QB Sam Howell, North Carolina

29) Kansas City Chiefs — DE Cameron Thomas, San Diego State

30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers — DL DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

31) Tennessee Titans — CB Kyler Gordon, Washington

32) Green Bay Packers — TE Trey McBride, Colorado State

No - McBride needs to last to round 2!!!

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16 minutes ago, Barry McCockinner said:

I'll do the same if we take any T in the first round.

Yeah…g*d forbid we have another T other than Becton (big question mark), Fant (30 injured, and on last year of deal) and Moses a UFA. 
Now if we sign Moses pre-draft I might agree, but I would bet Moses goes else where 

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33 minutes ago, JoeWillieWhiteShoesHOF said:

Again, if your name isn’t Palumalu or Sean Taylor, Safety’s shouldn’t be drafted in the 1st Rd, the thought of being in the Top 10 is totally insane, not the way the rules are in place now.

Pull up the top ten safeties and redo your list. You missed a few. 

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Ahmad Gardner fits our scheme really well. Looks like Bryce Hall out there with better ball skills. If we go corner, I’m leaning towards him being my preferred guy.

Enough with the safety stuff. We finally got over the allure of drafting soapy DTs. Let’s get passed the position-less safety next.

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11 hours ago, Sarge4Tide said:

If we draft Hamilton over Ikem Ekwonu, I will drive to Florham Park, break in,  and personally drop a deuce on Joe Douglass' desk

 

11 hours ago, Barry McCockinner said:

I'll do the same if we take any T in the first round.

Looks like we got a dookie standoff.

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11 hours ago, Sarge4Tide said:

If we draft Hamilton over Ikem Ekwonu, I will drive to Florham Park, break in,  and personally drop a deuce on Joe Douglass' desk

We arent taking a tackle at 4 book it. We took one 2 years ago and have Fant and I bet resign Moses. 

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11 hours ago, greenwave81 said:

Yeah…g*d forbid we have another T other than Becton (big question mark), Fant (30 injured, and on last year of deal) and Moses a UFA. 
Now if we sign Moses pre-draft I might agree, but I would bet Moses goes else where 

Not only that, but this guy can play RG day one if we sign Moses, if not he will slide into RT day one.

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9 hours ago, Darnold Schwarzenegger said:

I’d much rather “reach” for a center like linderbaum at 4 then reach for hamilton @ 4. Neither is probably worth a top 5 pick but I’d much rather have the center over a fookin safety.

Totally fine with drake London at 10.

A ballhawk safety is quite easily and demonstrably a higher value position than center. 

There are 7 safeties (ok, 6 plus Adams) making more than the highest-paid center. Moreover, that pace-setter for centers ($13.5MM) is a new contract, while top safeties had eclipsed the $14MM level for years, so the disparity is skewed to make it seem less than it is.

The position is of even less value to the Jets, when the the team has an average, under-30, veteran center already under contract, with the first growing-pains year in a slow-to-learn blocking scheme out of the way, while the #32 defense has at best one fingers-crossed option at safety from a late-season converted corner.

There's an unhealthy obsession with the false idea that center is anything other than one of the 2-3 lowest value starting positions in football. Further, it's the only one among those three (C, TE, RB) that isn't a potentially massive difference-maker position for improvement above the mean (which the team already has).

Linderbaum is not even going to be a top 10 pick, let alone a #4 overall pick. Maybe - maybe - trade up a little to take him in the mid-late 20s if he slips that far. 

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Damn it.  This is the 1st mock ive seen w/ McBride going in Round 1.  If the Jets fall in love with him at the senior bowl, they can either trade back in round 1, accumulate more picks and take McBride in the 20s.

or

They can package both second round picks and jump back into the 1st round to get him.

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24 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

A ballhawk safety is quite easily and demonstrably a higher value position than center. 

There are 7 safeties (ok, 6 plus Adams) making more than the highest-paid center. Moreover, that pace-setter for centers ($13.5MM) is a new contract, while top safeties had eclipsed the $14MM level for years, so the disparity is skewed to make it seem less than it is.

The position is of even less value to the Jets, when the the team has an average, under-30, veteran center already under contract, with the first growing-pains year in a slow-to-learn blocking scheme out of the way, while the #32 defense has at best one fingers-crossed option at safety from a late-season converted corner.

There's an unhealthy obsession with the false idea that center is anything other than one of the 2-3 lowest value starting positions in football. Further, it's the only one among those three (C, TE, RB) that isn't a potentially massive difference-maker position for improvement above the mean (which the team already has).

Linderbaum is not even going to be a top 10 pick, let alone a #4 overall pick. Maybe - maybe - trade up a little to take him in the mid-late 20s if he slips that far. 

Plus McGovern played very well at Center once they filled the hole next to him that was called Mount Van Rotten.

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If the draft plays out this way, I would prefer OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State at #4 and WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State at #10, as of right now.

For reasons stated elsewhere (repeatedly) in re: Offense > Defense, building/supporting Zach Wilson, premium positions of maximum impact, etc.

If we went the way I prefer, I could see Defense with both picks in the 2nd and in the 3rd, as the unit does need alot of help.  That would mean no TE in the draft.

Caveat:  All depends on who and what we get in FA, of course.  

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14 hours ago, 65 Toss Power Trap said:

Why Ekwonu? 

Out of Neal, Ekwonu, and Cross, do you grade/value Ekwonu highest?

Yes, the Jets should rate Ekwonu the highest of the 3 as he perfectly fits our zone blocking scheme. NC State basically runs the same play concept as us. So there's less of a learning curve. A team like Jags  should favor Neal as he fits perfectly into their gap blocking scheme. 

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14 hours ago, JoeWillieWhiteShoesHOF said:

Again, if your name isn’t Palumalu or Sean Taylor, Safety’s shouldn’t be drafted in the 1st Rd, the thought of being in the Top 10 is totally insane, not the way the rules are in place now.

Also Kiper doesn't grasp, despite beinga round the cap-obsessed NFL for almost 5 decades,  any player taken that early is set to be a huge part of your cap with his 2nd contract. But may be Kiper is right in the sense the Jets learned NOTHING from taking DTs and safeties that high over and over. Unless you liked Adams and the Williamses and the invariable "should we retain a decent player at a nonpremium position for ridiculous money" 2-3 years in. 

Again, Eric Weddle was signed last week off the street to start at safety in a playoff game. Safety is a cut above punters and  kickers. 

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1 hour ago, Sperm Edwards said:

A ballhawk safety is quite easily and demonstrably a higher value position than center. 

There are 7 safeties (ok, 6 plus Adams) making more than the highest-paid center. Moreover, that pace-setter for centers ($13.5MM) is a new contract, while top safeties had eclipsed the $14MM level for years, so the disparity is skewed to make it seem less than it is.

The position is of even less value to the Jets, when the the team has an average, under-30, veteran center already under contract, with the first growing-pains year in a slow-to-learn blocking scheme out of the way, while the #32 defense has at best one fingers-crossed option at safety from a late-season converted corner.

There's an unhealthy obsession with the false idea that center is anything other than one of the 2-3 lowest value starting positions in football. Further, it's the only one among those three (C, TE, RB) that isn't a potentially massive difference-maker position for improvement above the mean (which the team already has).

Linderbaum is not even going to be a top 10 pick, let alone a #4 overall pick. Maybe - maybe - trade up a little to take him in the mid-late 20s if he slips that far. 

What are your thoughts on tight end salaries in the context of the idea contracts are proportional to draft position? They get paid a tick higher than centers but the top ten or so guys at each spot clump in a similar area. I think it’s actually the most similar pay setup to center of the positions I poked into - seems like more centers get eight figures a year than a few other non premium positions that pay the tippy top guys more.

Feel like NFL teams set semi arbitrary pay ceilings in place until some player who doesn’t like it comes along and makes a stink instead of signing an extension - top tight ends are all contract extensions.

As an aside I’d rather be paying a top tight end than other skill positions looking at those deals. Pass game and run game impact, skill set makes it less problematic to lose a step so they usually age pretty well, and man they make peanuts. Kelce, Kittle, and Andrews have to be some of the most valuable non-QB contracts in the league.

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46 minutes ago, Maxman said:

Plus McGovern played very well at Center once they filled the hole next to him that was called Mount Van Rotten.

Agree, and while he still had some ups & downs even after GVR was replaced, it's also true that LDT was a noticeable improvement more than he was so awesome himself. Upgrading LDT - or even a full camp with him in place as the starter - will go further still.

No one uses the #4 overall pick in the draft with the goal in mind - if the prospect pans out exactly as hoped - of potentially having a top-3 center instead of a mere top 12-15 center. And no one ever will. It's not even a worthwhile discussion if we had no center under contract next year. 

Leave it alone for another year with McGovern, draft a future C/G prospect in rounds 3-4 (give or take a round as value presents) to groom for later, and if he looks like sub-dog***t in camp then think about extending McGovern midseason for 2+ more years as long as he's still playing well enough.

Or before burning such a high pick on the position, 100x out of 100 I'd sooner sign a 2-year solution in FA like Jason Kelce or among other centers whose contracts are expiring in March (any of which have no real incremental cost since it'd make the $9MM McGovern expendable if they didn't want to move him to RG).

Easier to just keep McGovern. Use a top pick on a position that'd cost $20-25MM for a veteran FA, not one that can be easily subbed in for under $10MM. Otherwise we may as well start going back to rationalizing the drafting of a kicker in round 2.

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I'm definitely starting to lean towards going offense/offense, especially if we cannot trade down.

If we are being honest with ourselves we are still looking towards 2023 to be really competitive.

I'd rather build up the offense now, lose 10 games next year by an average score of 42-35 and then really focus on building up the defense after the 2022 season.

I just think it takes a lot more time for a bunch of young offensive players to "jell" then a defense.  

If we started 2023 with something along the lines of the below we could be in a good position to compete late into the playoffs in 2023.

QB - Wilson (year 3)

RB - Carter (year 3)

WR - 2022 1st round (year 2)

WR - Moore (year 3)

TE - 2022 2nd round draft pick (year 2)

O-line of Becton/Fant/AVT/2022 1st rounder/Random free agent

 

 

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14 hours ago, Sarge4Tide said:

If we draft Hamilton over Ikem Ekwonu, I will drive to Florham Park, break in,  and personally drop a deuce on Joe Douglass' desk

Agreed. Starting to feel he may be the best guy in the draft. This may be the mock I hate the most for us. 

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11 minutes ago, derp said:

What are your thoughts on tight end salaries in the context of the idea contracts are proportional to draft position? They get paid a tick higher than centers but the top ten or so guys at each spot clump in a similar area. I think it’s actually the most similar pay setup to center of the positions I poked into - seems like more centers get eight figures a year than a few other non premium positions that pay the tippy top guys more.

Feel like NFL teams set semi arbitrary pay ceilings in place until some player who doesn’t like it comes along and makes a stink instead of signing an extension - top tight ends are all contract extensions.

As an aside I’d rather be paying a top tight end than other skill positions looking at those deals. Pass game and run game impact, skill set makes it less problematic to lose a step so they usually age pretty well, and man they make peanuts. Kelce, Kittle, and Andrews have to be some of the most valuable non-QB contracts in the league.

I just lumped the 3 positions to make a point that they're not viewed as highly. While TE is usually about the same for a merely-acceptable starter, unlike with centers there's a huge difference for the very top guys where they can dramatically change the whole offense (and in turn the whole team). A truly elite TE is like having another WR on the field: the luxury of having 4-WR sets without having to tip one's hand that you're clearly passing.

The difference between a merely good center and a great one isn't lifting an offense nearly as much as the difference between a merely good TE and a great one. A great Kittle/Kelce over a really good Hooper/Goedert is a dramatic difference. That's why Atlanta took Pitts #4. I still question that draft value, but if he turns into Shannon Sharpe II his selection up there was well worth it. Conversely, if Linderbaum turns into Kevin Mawae II it's still a stupid pick at #4. That's unless you also know in hindsight the guy drafted instead was a bust (which one could say about the value of any 2 prospects in hindsight). 

Regardless, even though it's such a trigger-event for Jets fans after the Adams pick (maddeningly followed by Maye a round later), a safety up there is a far better value pick than center. I'd rather they don't take a safety that high either, but hell yes I'd do that over a ****ing center, even more so given what this team has and needs. Too much obsession about "we'll have our [name position] locked in for the next 10 years" as though it truly matters. Don't get me wrong -- it's nice, but ultimately it's not that important.

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12 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

I just lumped the 3 positions to make a point that they're not viewed as highly. While TE is usually about the same for a merely-acceptable starter, unlike with centers there's a huge difference for the very top guys where they can dramatically change the whole offense (and in turn the whole team). A truly elite TE is like having another WR on the field: the luxury of having 4-WR sets without having to tip one's hand that you're clearly passing.

The difference between a merely good center and a great one isn't lifting an offense nearly as much as the difference between a merely good TE and a great one. A great Kittle/Kelce over a really good Hooper/Goedert is a dramatic difference. That's why Atlanta took Pitts #4. I still question that draft value, but if he turns into Shannon Sharpe II his selection up there was well worth it. Conversely, if Linderbaum turns into Kevin Mawae II it's still a stupid pick at #4. That's unless you also know in hindsight the guy drafted instead was a bust (which one could say about the value of any 2 prospects in hindsight). 

Regardless, even though it's such a trigger-event for Jets fans after the Adams pick (maddeningly followed by Maye a round later), a safety up there is a far better value pick than center. I'd rather they don't take a safety that high either, but hell yes I'd do that over a ****ing center, even more so given what this team has and needs. Too much obsession about "we'll have our [name position] locked in for the next 10 years" as though it truly matters. Don't get me wrong -- it's nice, but ultimately it's not that important.

So as to your first two paragraphs - why are they not paid proportionally to the impact and why are they drafted that high if they’re not paid that high?

Positions that get paid are clearly and overwhelmingly QB, LT, WR, DL, and CB. I think if you look at it exclusively from the pay context any other position would be a mistake - it’s just differing degrees of mistake. And the Jets have themselves in a bit of a bind with two top ten picks in this particular draft context.

Splitting hairs with that mistake just ends up digging into different ways teams have made draft and contract mistakes over the years. And that’s before you get into stuff like how crazily WR’s are overpaid and over drafted.

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