The New York Jets hold the sixth selection in the NFL Draft for the third time since 2015.
New York’s 2017 campaign ended at 5-11 with a 26-6 loss to the New England Patriots. After that, wins by the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ensured the Jets the sixth pick in the 2018 draft.
Perhaps the Jets can continue their string of luck in this slot, which they’ve received weirdly frequently. New York picked Leonard Williams sixth overall in 2015 and Jamal Adams sixth last April.
Entering Week 17, the Jets were tied with San Francisco for seventh and could have finished as high as fifth or as low as 11th. They actually received their biggest boost in Week 16, when they lost to the Chargers and moved up in the order past the Bears and Bengals, who both won.
San Fran’s five-game, Jimmy Garoppolo-fueled December winning streak also benefitted the Jets tremendously. But Denver’s loss to Kansas City ensured they would stay tied with the Jets, and pick ahead of them based on strength of schedule. The Jets will pick higher than the Bucs and Bears thanks to a weaker strength of schedule.
The top 10 picks are as follows:
- Cleveland Browns (0-16)
- New York Giants (3-13)
- Indianapolis Colts (4-12)
- Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans, 4-12)
- Denver Broncos (5-11)
- New York Jets (5-11)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
- Chicago Bears (5-11)
- San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
- Oakland Raiders (6-10)
The Jets also have three picks in the top 50 because the Seattle Seahawks missed the playoffs. Seattle’s second-round pick that belongs to the Jets through the Sheldon Richardson trade clocks in at no. 49 overall. The Jets’ second- and third-round picks are no. 37 and no. 72 overall, because tied teams rotate their order in lower rounds.
Now that general manager Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles have had their contracts extended through 2020, it will be their jobs to get these picks right and add to the promising, young foundation they’ve laid. Many mock drafts have the Jets selecting LSU edge rusher Arden Key or Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward in the first round. Other prospects that could be on New York’s radar in the no. 6 range include Notre Dame offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson or Alabama wideout Calvin Ridley.
Of course, there’s always the quarterback question. The Jets’ 3-2 start to the 2017 campaign quashed any likelihood they’d be naturally positioned to take one of the top two prospects, UCLA’s Josh Rosen or USC’s Sam Darnold. Though trading up is certainly on the table, New York could also consider someone in the deep second tier of prospects that includes Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph.
We’ll have all the Gang Green draft coverage and analysis you could ask for from now through April. Stay tuned to nyjetfuel.com and @NewYorkJetFuel on Twitter.