Two years ago, in his first NFL Draft as New York Jets general manager, Mike Maccagnan said that his plan was to take the best player available.
Coming off a 4-12 season, the Jets owned the No. 6 overall pick.
Imagine Maccagnan’s surprise when arguably the best player available in the draft class, USC defensive end Leonard Williams, fell into his lap.
The Jets were seemingly set on the defensive line, with Pro-Bowlers Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, as well as 2016 All-Pro Damon Harrison.
“We felt he was too good a value to pass up.” Maccagnan said.
Flash forward to present day Damon Harrison is a Giant, Muhammad Wilkerson is coming off the worst season of his career, and Sheldon Richardson’s future with the franchise is in question.
The Jets’ one Pro-Bowler in 2016? Leonard Williams.
This brings us to tonight, which was arguably an even better scenario for the Jets. In taking Jamal Adams, not only did they take the best player available once again, but this time they did so at a serious position of need.
The Jets’ secondary was downright ugly last season, ranking in the bottom third in the league in passing touchdowns allowed, yards per opponent’s passing attempt, defensive interceptions, and opponent’s passer rating.
So what better position to draft than safety?
Adams, the number one safety in the draft, could’ve gone to Cleveland, San Francisco, Chicago, Jacksonville, or Tennessee.
Thanks to a series of fortunate events, a rarity when it comes to Jets’ drafts, Adams was available when it was the Jets’ turn to pick.
Once again, the Jets lucked out and saw one of the best players in the draft fall into their lap.
With Adams the Jets are getting a playmaker with a fantastic ability to read plays as well as a strong character whose leadership can have a Revis-like impact on the young defense.
The Jets now have Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams as cornerstones of this up and coming defense.
They have the magic at No. 6 to thank for it.
Feature image courtesy of Newsday
Leonard Williams image courtesy of Bleacher Report