It is no secret that the New York Jets have yet another debacle at the quarterback position. However, in his first 2017 NFL Mock Draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. passed up a pair of quarterbacks in favor of Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
One of Kiper Jr.’s reasons for this decision was he feels the Jets shouldn’t abandon 2016 second-round pick, Christian Hackenberg.
“You already drafted Hackenberg in the second round [last year],” Kiper Jr. said in a conference call with reporters. “You could say, ‘well, he didn’t show anything,’ but who does when you don’t play and you’re coming off the injury and you had the struggles late in your career as a sophomore and junior?”
He continued: “So all of a sudden, do you give up on a quarterback you drafted just because as a rookie he didn’t play? I don’t believe that.”
In Kiper Jr.’s mock draft, the Jets passed on Clemson star Deshaun Watson (No. 10, Buffalo Bills) and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer (who fell out of the first round) in favor of the Buckeyes cornerback.
“I don’t think [North Carolina quarterback Mitch] Trubisky will be there at six,” Kiper Jr. said. “I think that Watson certainly could, and if he is, sure it’d be under consideration. But when you need to win, you have to get a player that can be a whole-saler and Marshon Lattimore, the corner from Ohio State could; Mike Williams, the wide receiver from Clemson, would be a great addition.”
New York, which finished 5-11 in 2016, has several holes on its roster and there may be more as the offseason progresses. Cornerback Darrelle Revis and wide receiver Brandon Marshall may be cut to free cap space, moves which would create vacancies on the starting offense and defense.
For Kiper Jr., the option to pass on a quarterback went back to Hackenberg once again.
“I think there’s going to be too many players that fill holes that are impact players, hopefully as rookies, over a quarterback when you drafted one in the second round last year.”
Photo courtesy of nyjets.com