Who Should the New York Jets Draft First in 2020?

By Michael Wynn in NFL
| April 19, 2020 2:18 am PDT
New York Jets 2020 NFL Draft

The writing’s on the wall in the Big Apple. Sam Darnold desperately needs a weapon on the outside, and that was before Robby Anderson skipped town and signed a deal with the Panthers. No matter how Adam Gase and Joe Douglas assess the situation, it’s hard to come up with a legitimate reason to pass on a WR at #11.

In terms of who the New York Jets should draft first, that’s where things get exciting. Gang Green could have their pick of the litter in what is an exquisite WR draft class. At the very least, they’ll have an opportunity to draft one of the top wideouts who can immediately transform an offense.

New York Jets’ Biggest Draft Needs

  • WR
  • OL
  • Edge

After hammering home the importance of drafting a top-tier WR, let’s not lose sight of the Jets’ other areas of concern. Adding depth in the trenches needs to be addressed, and acquiring an edge rusher is also a major need. There are a couple of big-time tackles who could intrigue Douglas at #11, and Darnold could clearly use some extra protection.

I’ll now point out a trio of players who could be on their way to NY.

Draft Jerry Jeudy

Jerry Jeudy landing in New York at #11 is what you are going to see in this Jets mock draft. On that note, Jeudy to the Jets will start to sound like a broken record if you spend some time sifting through mocks.

Many think Jeudy is the best wide receiver in this draft, and most scenarios involve him being available at #11. I could see the Broncos potentially trading up from #15 to #10, but rumors have swirled that Henry Ruggs III is the wideout that John Elway covets most.

With nearly 2,500 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns during his final two seasons in Tuscaloosa, it’s safe to say that Jerry would qualify as a shiny new toy for Sam Darnold to play with.

Draft CeeDee Lamb

Maybe Jerry Jeudy goes in the top 10, or perhaps CeeDee Lamb is the top WR on the Jets’ big board. Either way, drafting Lamb at #11 might be the best decision New York’s revamped front office could make.

I extolled Jeudy above for his 2,478 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns over the last two years, but ready to see Jerry one-upped?

Lamb accounted for 2,485 receiving yards and 25 TDs over that same stretch. CeeDee not only possesses great size and speed, but his acute awareness allows him to do a bunch of damage once he’s got the ball in his hands.

If the Jets draft CeeDee Lamb with their first pick, they’d get an “A” for effort from me. 

Draft Jedrick Wills

Between Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, and Jedrick Wills, it’s hard to say who will be the first offensive lineman drafted. Georgia’s Andrew Thomas could also be in the mix, but it looks like both the Cardinals (#8) and the Browns (#10) are in line to take one of these aforementioned tackles. Even the Giants at #4 are a sincere landing spot for one of these individuals.

With how many gifted wideouts will be on the board when the Jets pick at #48, it’s certainly conceivable that New York could spend the 11th pick on an OL and wait to draft a WR. Chances are Wirfs and Becton are gone, but Jedrick Wills is a player who could feasibly wind up with the Jets.

Who Will the Jets Draft First?

New York plucked a former Crimson Tide player in last year’s first round, and it looks like there’s a pretty good chance that history will repeat itself. The signing of George Fant over the offseason puts a little less pressure on the Jets to draft an offensive lineman early, and it has never been more blatant that NY needs a playmaker on offense.

The acquisition of Breshad Perriman helps, but it’s not the ultimate solution.

On the other hand, drafting Jerry Jeudy could be the answer.

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