New York Jets general manager, Mike Maccagnan, ended the 2019 offseason with a very strong NFL draft. Without a second round pick which was traded in the trade last offseason in order to acquire their franchise quarterback Sam Darnold, Maccagnan made the most of the picks he had.
The most notable selections were Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams in the first round and University of Florida outside linebacker Jachai Polite in the third round. He followed those selections by drafting USC offensive tackle Chuma Edoga, West Virginia tight end Trevon Wesco, University of Minnesota inside linebacker Blake Cashman, and Rutgers cornerback Blessuan Austin.
With the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Mike Maccagnan selected Alabama star defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. Williams has a unique combination of size and speed drawing a lot of comparisons to one of the best defensive lineman in the NFL Aaron Donald. At the NFL combine, Williams ran a 4.83 40-yard dash at 6’3” and 303 pounds which is truly incredible. According to Sports Reference, Quinnen Williams had 8 sacks along with 19.5 tackles for loss while playing on the inside for Alabama coach Nick Saban’s defense.
Williams was known by many to be the best player in the draft and is a piece that can play anywhere on the defensive line and dominate. He will be an instant impact to a Jets defensive line that needed help and has defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that can help him reach his full potential.
Next up, Maccagnan selected Florida outside linebacker Jachai Polite in the third round. This was a very interesting pick because Polite is a very talented player that fell due to his below average NFL combine. The reason for this has a lot to do with the fact that he participated in the combine and his pro day with a hamstring injury that did not allow him to put up the best numbers he could.
Polite had the tape and intangibles to be a first round pick but fell drastically due to his injury history. He is an edge rusher that the Jets desperately need and fills a major need. According to Sports Reference, Polite had 11 sacks to go with 19.5 tackles for loss for a team in the SEC which is a far from easy conference.
He played against legitimate offenses all season and showed throughout the season that when healthy he can disrupt the passing game with his quick first step and tremendous speed and help any team in need of a pass rusher. Mike Maccagnan made a high risk high reward pick in Polite which is a great pick and makes complete sense in the third round especially when it fits a major need.
Next, also in the third round of the draft, the Jets traded up one spot with the Minnesota Vikings to select offensive tackle and former teammate of quarterback Sam Darnold, Chuma Edoga. According to Pro Football Focus, Edoga ranked second in pass blocking efficiency among draft eligible tackles which is also something to be aware of.
The offensive line position is a major need for the Jets despite this pick being more beneficial in the future as opposed to an immediate impact pick. At this point in the draft, all of the immediate impact offensive lineman were off the board. Edoga has the size and quickness to be a solid offensive tackle in the future but lacks the consistency to be an immediate impact.
His tape showed he was very on and off and inconsistent along with struggling heavily on screen plays. While he could compete for a spot on the offensive line, it makes more sense that they look at him for a future replacement when he develops his game more.
In the fourth round of the draft, Maccagnan selected West Virginia tight end Trevon Wesco. The Jets traded down twice in the fourth round and eventually selected Wesco to be a compliment to 2018 breakout tight end Chris Herndon.
Sam Darnold and Chris Herndon developed great chemistry and Wesco compliments Herndons receiving talents being a massive tight end that can block at a high level. ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay referred to Wesco as the best blocking tight end in the draft per ESPN. In the fourth round, that is outstanding value to get a player that can compliment their every down starter, Chris Herndon.
Lastly, the Jets selected inside linebacker from Minnesota Blake Cashman in the fifth round and Rutgers cornerback Blessuan Austin in the sixth round to finish the draft. Blake Cashman was drafted solely to backup CJ Mosley and Avery Williamson and has potential after leading his team in tackles with 104 per ESPN.
He lacks high end speed but has a knack for finding the ball carrier and making tackles. To complete the draft, Blessuan Austin was selected as a 6’1” cornerback with a significant knee injury history. This was the least significant pick of them all but is a pick that can make an impact if he can stay healthy given his physicality and athleticism.
Overall, Mike Maccagnan has this Jets team headed in the right direction and made great picks in this years draft to make the team significantly better.
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