The New York Jets finally have a promising young franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold. The problem is, they do not have much else on offense. Running back Le’Veon Bell was signed to a massive four-year, $52 million contract last offseason, and the team already seems to be trying to get out from under it.
Darnold’s best receiver, Robby Anderson, left New York for Carolina. The team at least signed Breshad Perriman from Tampa Bay and took a flier on former first-round bust Josh Doctson. Oh, and the offensive line has been a mess. Suffice to say, the Jets are wasting Darnold’s five rookie contract years.
Fortunately for the Jets, this is a great draft for wide receivers and offensive tackles. If the Jets mess this up, it would be inexcusable.
That brings us to John B of Gang Green Nation in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. Does he screw it up with the No. 11 pick?
11. New York Jets: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
John B: This pick almost certainly will be either a tackle or a wide receiver. Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy is tempting, but the depth of this year’s wide receiver class leads the Jets to take the tackle early. There will be high-quality receiver prospects available on Day 2.
The hideous play of the offensive line was one of the biggest reasons the Jets struggled to maintain a functional offense in 2019. This team simply hasn’t made the necessary investments to win in the trenches. This would be the first time the Jets have used a first-round pick on the offensive line since 2006. Yes, the Jets signed three new linemen in free agency, but building a top-tier line has to include an influx of premium talent through the draft. One of the top four tackles falling to 11 would help the team start down that road.
Analysis: This draft scenario has played out perfectly for the Jets. Other than CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma, the top wide receivers are still available. Perhaps more importantly, one of the top four offensive tackles is still available in Wills.
That makes it a chicken-or-egg situation for the Jets. Which is more important for the offense: a receiver or a tackle? Most would say offensive tackle. But a receiver like Alabama’s Jeudy could be the sure thing Darnold needs. Then again, a blocker like Wills would help the team get more out of Bell while giving Darnold more time to target Perriman, Doctson, and Jamison Crowder.
This is one of the great conundrums of the first round of the draft.
Top five remaining players:
- 7. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
- 12. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
- 13. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
- 14. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
- 15. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
We’re now one-third of the way through the 14th annual SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. We’ll have one more selection today with Bill Williamson of Silver and Black Pride making pick No. 12 for the Las Vegas Raiders.
What grade do you give the pick of Wills by the Jets?
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