The 2020 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 23. As a lead up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of each team’s current depth chart and how big of a need each position in the upcoming draft. Find all teams and the rest of our draft content in our NFL Draft Hub.
Be sure to follow our new Twitter account @SharpFBAnalysis for additional content like this, plus in-season NFL analytics, betting insights, fantasy football analysis, and game picks & props.
New York Jets 2020 Draft Picks Overview
Round 1 (11)
Round 2 (48)
Round 3 (68)
Round 3 (79)
Round 4 (120)
Round 5 (158)
Round 6 (191)
Round 6 (211)
New York Jets Offense
by Rich Hribar
2019 New York Jets Offensive Ranks
*denotes new addition
Sam Darnold was able to take a half-step forward last year, improving his completion rate (61.9%), touchdown rate (4.3%), and decreasing his interception rate (2.9%) in year two. Although those rate stats still fall in the below-average portion of NFL passers — as well as his 6.9 yards per pass attempt — Darnold was able to still improve despite being diagnosed with early-season mononucleosis that forced him to miss three games, a questionable at best supporting cast of playmakers and arguably the league’s worst offensive line.
Darnold will be judged much tougher in the third season of his career, but enters his third season still as one of the youngest quarterbacks in the league, turning only 23 years old this June. In context, expected No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow turned 23-years-old this past December. Behind Darnold, the Jets still have done nothing to address their backup situation despite being exposed for no tangible depth at the position a year ago.
Last offseason, the Jets signed Bell to a four-year contract, but can get out of that contract after the 2020 season with minimal damage ($4M in dead cap space). Bell set career-lows in nearly every major category in his first season with the Jets. His patient rushing style was a poor fit for the Jets porous offensive line, which ranked last in yards before contact (0.71) per carry for their running backs and 31st in adjusted line yards created (3.80) per Football Outsiders. The Jets should add to their backfield With the potential of moving on from Bell after the season and the limited assets behind him.
Jets wideouts were in the back half of the league with 12.1 receptions (17th) for 150.8 receiving yards (21st) per game while combining for 12 touchdowns (24th). Jamison Crowder is signed through the 2021 season and has the slot position locked down in this offense, but the rest is up in the air in terms of reliability. Crowder led the team in receptions (78), receiving yards (833) and touchdowns (six) in his first season with the team.
The team lost Robby Anderson (52-779-5) via free agency, directly replacing him with a veteran in Perriman, who broke out the final five weeks of last season, catching 25-of-37 targets for 506 yards (20.2 yards per catch) and five touchdowns over his final five games of the season. The team only gave Perriman a one-year deal, the jury is still out on how sticky that end of the season output was.
The team has Quincy Enunwa under contract through the 2022 season, but with Enunwa being forced to the sidelines after just one game a year ago due to spinal stenosis, his future playing career is in jeopardy. The Jets need to add viable perimeter targets for Darnold in year three.
The Jets will get 2018 fourth-round pick Chris Herndon back this season after a throwaway season in 2019. Herndon was suspended for the opening four weeks of the season and then managed to play just 18 snaps afterward as he dealt with hamstring issues. A post-hype breakout is still on the table after a 39-502-4 rookie season in 2019. Veteran tight end Ryan Griffin is signed through the 2022 season.
LT: George Fant*
LG: Alex Lewis/Conor McDermott/Brad Lundblade
C: Connor McGovern*/ Jonathan Harrison/Leo Koloamatangi/ James Murray
RG: Brian Winters/Ben Braden/Josh Andrews
RT: Chuma Edoga/Greg Van Roten
The Jets fielded a bottom-run offensive line in 2019, ranking 30th in pass blocking efficiency per Pro Football Focus, 31st in adjusted sack rate allowed (9.2%) and as mentioned with Bell, 31st in adjusted line yards created. Darnold was under pressure for a league-high 42% of his dropbacks in 2019.
The team upgraded at center this offseason by signing McGovern to a three-year contract. They also added Fant on a three-year deal, but that contract has the ability to be just a one-year deal if Fant doesn’t work out, as he carries only a $2M dead cap hit after this season. Fant allowed 20 pressures on just 201 pass blocking snaps in 2019. The rest of the line is also a major question, with all of Lewis, Winters, and Edoga finishing in the bottom half of their respective positions in grade per Pro Football Focus.
New York Jets Defense
by Dan Pizzuta
2019 New York Jets Defensive Ranks
interior defensive line
Quinnen Williams didn’t live up to expectations as the No. 3 overall pick last season with just six quarterback hits but was still a good run defender. Steve McLendon and Folorunso Fatukasi were also great against the run. The Jets had the No. 2 run defense by DVOA last season. There is a deep group of interior defenders that could use a little more pass rush outside of a Williams improvement.
Jordan Jenkins re-signed for one year after not getting a better deal as a free agent. He was the Jets’ best edge rusher last season, which probably tells you enough about this edge group. Jenkins and Tarrell Basham had similar pressure rates, but Jenkins converted a much higher rate into sacks. Behind them, there’s not much. The Jets did rank 12th as a team in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate, but were 22nd in pressure rate per SIS and relied heavily on blitzing, 30% which tied for the eighth-highest rate in the league in 2019.
The Jets spent a lot of money to bring in C.J. Moseley last season but the former Raven lasted just two games before his year ended. Avery Williamson was also lost for the season before it began with a torn ACL in August. The injuries left the Jets with a hole that wasn’t filled well by a rotating cast. Neville Hewitt, Blake Cashman, and James Burgess were good blitzers but failed to hold up with other responsibilities.
When Pierre Desir is signed to potentially be the team’s No. 1 corner, there’s a depth and talent issue. Desir struggled a bit with the Colts last season and was released just a year into a three-year deal with Indianapolis. Brian Poole was one of the league’s best nickel corners last season and was a bargain to bring back on a one-year deal in free agency. After those two, whew. Nate Hairston was one of the most targeted corners on a per snap basis last season and there was good reason. This is a group that is likely to be exploited without an upgrade but the value of this draft class doesn’t exactly match with the need at pick No. 11.
Jamal Adams is a do-it-all safety and it appears he wants to do-it-all somewhere else. Adams only has one year remaining on his rookie deal and the Jets say extension talks will continue after the draft. Adams’s frustrations with the franchise have not been kept secret. Marcus Maye has also been a good safety opposite Adams. This is only a need should Adams get traded.