If the Jets don't love a quarterback in this spot, it will make sense to see if there are any takers for a trade. If there aren't, starting over at QB would make sense. Wilson has significant arm talent.
A three-down rusher with a winning background, Etienne runs with great urgency and competitiveness. Improving the ground game could have a huge impact on the success of a young QB, if the Jets do indeed take a passer at No. 2 overall.
College football fans seem to prefer Ohio State's Justin Fields with this pick. NFL draft followers seem to prefer Wilson. The thought is that Wilson has a little bit of Patrick Mahomes in his game. He can make crazy off-platform throws, will fit the ball in the tightest of windows and he has a decent amount of athleticism. This is a pick that might go back and forth until draft night.
The wide receiver situation for the Jets is grim. Veteran Jamison Crowder led the team this season in receiving yards with 699. Robby Anderson isn't walking back through that door, and even if he was the Jets would need a wide receiver. Could Bateman be this year's version of Justin Jefferson?
The Jets will have their pick of the rest of the top QBs in this class at this spot, and may opt to make the highly talented and battle-tested Fields their future franchise passer. Fields has a complete skill set and would be a very nice fit in the Kyle Shanahan--style offense that new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is expected to run, a scheme featuring lots of play-action, bootlegs, and deep shots.
The Jets have plenty of needs on both sides of the ball, but building an offensive line that can protect the team's new franchise quarterback should be at the top of the list. Mekhi Becton looks like a future star at the left tackle spot, and Davis would be a natural fit protecting his old college teammate at right guard.
This draft's intrigue begins with the Jets, who seemed destined for a union with Lawrence until their Dec. 20 defeat of the Rams changed everything. New York has myriad options at quarterback -- draft one, pursue Watson or stick with underachieving 2018 first-rounder Sam Darnold among them. The latter two options only deepen the intrigue as GM Joe Douglas assesses the best ways to strengthen his supporting cast -- and trading what should be a highly coveted selection might be the best way to do that. But Douglas, whose inaugural draft pick was LT Mekhi Becton last year, is a proponent of building his team from the inside out. In this scenario, taking Sewell (6-6, 330) -- a gifted player who can bolster pass protection and elevate run game production with his mauling pancakes -- would seem like the logical way for Douglas practice what he preaches.
A sweet dual threat out of the backfield, he can be what Le'Veon Bell was supposed to be for this offense. Etienne averaged nearly 1,800 yards from scrimmage and 22 TDs over his final three years with the Tigers and would certainly ease the burden on Darnold, Watson or whoever is New York's next quarterback.
This is where the intrigue in the draft begins. Will the Jets stick with quarterback Sam Darnold for another year, or will they take Zach Wilson or Justin Fields? (Or maybe even trade for Deshaun Watson?) The good news for general manager Joe Douglas and new coach Robert Saleh is that they have three months to figure it out. This is a huge decision, and Douglas and Saleh have to be 100% sure that Wilson or Fields is an upgrade over Darnold. My feeling right now is that yes, Darnold's stats are ugly, but he's only 23 and he has had no offensive talent around him for three years. Do the Jets really want to move on from him and watch him thrive elsewhere? That's why they could give him a one-year audition under Saleh, pick the Heisman Trophy winner at No. 2, and give Darnold one more shot to put all of his talent together. Smith is the true No. 1 target Darnold hasn't had.
The Jets have needs all over. After I gave them wideout DeVonta Smith at No. 2, they really have to go with the best available prospect here to build up their talent base. I think they will likely bring back free-agent safety Marcus Maye, but we know Robert Saleh's defense is built around big defensive backs. Six-foot-1 Horn -- yes, his father is former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn -- is a fit. He had two interceptions (both in the win over Auburn) in seven games last season before he opted out, but he has great instincts in coverage and should pick off more passes in the NFL. This is also a spot to watch for edge rushers -- New York needs to improve there.
Don't get caught up in the "we can't take a running back in the first round" conversation. You need to have playmakers on offense to play winning football. Etienne would add an explosive element as both a runner and receiver.
Neither new coach Robert Saleh nor general manager Joe Douglas were part of the regime that drafted quarterback Sam Darnold in 2018, so it seems as if the former No. 3 overall pick will be on the move this offseason. But Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur believe Darnold has "untapped potential," so perhaps the Jets will look to trade down and build a better team around the former USC star. If not, Fields or BYU quarterback Zach Wilson are the only picks that make sense.
The Jets' best cornerback, Brian Poole, is set to hit free agency, and the defense ranked 28th in DVOA against the pass. You can bet defensive-minded coach Robert Saleh is going to want to fix that. Horn is an aggressive, physical corner who can help solidify a young secondary.