It took the Jets until the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft to address their glaring need at cornerback and they took a pair of corners with their final two picks. They put a bow on the weekend by drafting Michigan cornerback Jeremy Clark 197th overall and Mississippi cornerback Derrick Jones 204th overall.
The 6-foot-3 220-pound Clark started his senior season at Michigan strong, accumulating 10 tackles and two pass-breakups early on. His draft stock fell after he tore his ACL in just the fourth game of the season, an injury that he said he’s 75% recovered from.
Clark is the third defensive back the Jets have taken in the 2017 Draft. He will hope to join first-round safety Jamal Adams and second-round safety Marcus Maye in the New York’s rebuilding secondary.
Derrick Jones is 6-foot-2 and 188 pounds. One of his biggest strengths is his ability to leap, posting a 41 inch vertical and an 11-foot, 8-inch broad jump at Mississippi’s pro day. He also ran a solid 4.46-second 40-yard dash.
Jones played both cornerback and occasionally wide receiver in his four years at Mississippi. Last season he finished second on the Rebels with five pass breakups. He can also make an immediate impact on special teams, namely the kickoff unit with his ability to get down the field quickly.
These picks mark the end of an interesting draft that saw the Jets make almost as many trades back as they did picks. The Jets traded back five(!) times in just a 24-hour span and made a total of nine picks. They entered the draft with only six total selections.
Lastly, with the picks of Clark and Jones, the Jets have now drafted the same position using back-to-back picks on three separate occasions during this draft. They took two safeties in Rounds 1 and 2, two receivers in Rounds 3 and 4, and finally took consecutive cornerbacks in Round 6.