Jets 2018 draft grades

New York Jets
2012 New York Jets Schedule Wallpaper” by Charlie Lyons-Pardue is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Furtakes

The 2018 draft is officially over. The Jets made a lot of nice moves to end up in this position. The Jets had to give up plenty of picks this year to move up to three. Some fans felt we actually should have just stayed put at six. It wasn’t as exciting because most Jets fans have been waiting to be able to use those two second round picks we had, but we had to give those to Indianapolis to trade up. After a three-day period of college players becoming New York Jets, here are my final grades on who they drafted.

Round 1 Pick 3 – QB Sam Darnold, USC

In the first round the Jets drafted Sam Darnold, who is a quarterback out of the University of Southern California. Darnold was projected by most to be the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft, but somehow fell to the Jets. Darnold, in my mind, is the most ready quarterback from this draft class. He may have had some turnover issues in college, but those are mistakes he at least realized. He has an above average arm and is very good sensing pocket pressure. To bring up what I said in my mock draft, him having two veterans in the Jets organization is a major key for any rookie quarterback. Getting Darnold was a great move to by the organization because it brings the fans back to life. It gives them hope that this guy can be the savior we need. Draft Grade A+

Round 3 Pick 72 – DT Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays State

The Jets decided to re-tool the defensive line in the third round by drafting Nathan Shepherd from Fort Hays State, which is a division two school. Some fans may find that alarming, but it doesn’t make that big of a deal. There are plenty of players that can translate success from the division two level to the pros. Shepherd is a big nose tackle who will likely take the spot of Steve Mclendon. I’ll be honest, I have never heard of this guy till the Jets drafted him, but Head Coach Todd Bowles has done a decent job drafting defensive players. Shepherd has all the intangibles you would look for in a prospect. He could play anywhere on the line if need be. Draft Grade B

Round 4 Pick 107 – TE Chris Herndon, Miami

The Jets drafted a tight end out of Miami in Chris Herndon IV. I really like this guy a lot. He seems to always give it his best shot while blocking, even though it’s not his best strength. Herndon is more of a receiving tight end like Jordan Leggett. It’s interesting to see the Jets would draft another similar tight end, but the loss of Austin Seferian Jenkins hurt the Jets and here they addressed a depth need while also giving Darnold another weapon. Tight ends are great to have for rookie quarterbacks simply because of check downs. Draft Grade B+

Round 6 Pick 179 – CB Parry Nickerson, Tulane

Here is my favorite pick outside of Sam Darnold. The Jets drafted Parry Nickerson out of Tulane. Nickerson plays cornerback, but with the Jets will most likely take over for Buster Skrine in that nickel role. Nickerson ran the fasted 40-yard dash at the combine, so the speed is clearly there, something the Jets have lacked in the secondary. Nickerson being on the short side as well doesn’t help, but when you’re that fast it will make up for it. Lets be real here, there are plenty of undersized players all over the NFL making a difference on teams. I could see him starting opening day for the Jets. Draft Grade A

Round 6 Pick 180 – DT Foley Fatukasi, UCONN

This pick was a surprising one. It wasn’t a bad pick, but the Jets could have addressed another position issue, preferably offensive line. The Jets drafted Folorunso Fatukasi. Listed at 6’4″ and 315 pounds, he seems to be the new breed of defensive lineman the Jets want in their scheme. He will most likely play anywhere form a one tech to a five tech in their scheme when they wish to throw teams off a bit in their 3-4 look. Fatukasi will help on the depth and may even have to be called into action sooner rather then later. A versatile player is always good to have on the defensive front. Draft Grade C+

Round 6 Pick 204 – RB/KR/PR Trenton Cannon, Virginia State

The Jets drafted Trenton Cannon, who is a division two player from Virginia State. He has the ability to be a kick returner, which is why they made this pick. I doubt he will play much at running back given the addition of Isaiah Crowell, while Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire will all be in the backfield. Hopefully Cannon can make an impact on special teams, and who knows, maybe be the next Terrell Davis. Draft Grade B-

Bonus Grade!!!

The Jets traded a seventh round draft pick to the Colts for Henry Anderson. Anderson will fit nicely into the 3-4 scheme the Jets run and has started a couple of NFL games in his career. Even though he is coming off some big injuries, their is a lot of value and upside getting a guy like Anderson for just a seventh round pick. If healthy, I expect him to start opposite of Leonard Williams this upcoming season, a great move by the Jets. Grade B+




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