NFL free agency has mostly run its course with a few key players still in question, but the NFL Draft is now the next major football event to look forward to.
Though NFL general managers reportedly want the draft pushed back for numerous reasons, the league is still planning on April 23 to be the start date – albeit without the public setting that we’re all used to.
What will the Jets do?
It would have been hard to believe the Jets would be picking 11th in the 2020 draft after starting the season 1-7. But by winning six of their final eight games, Joe Douglas won’t be picking as high in the draft as many expected. While some fans would’ve preferred New York to finish the tank job and get a better pick, there were plenty of positives to be had as the Jets showed some signs of life in the second half with encouraging play from Sam Darnold and some really strong play from the defense.
The Jets have been active in free agency – mostly by filling holes in the offensive line to try to protect Darnold as he develops into their quarterback of the future. They have already signed guard Greg Van Roten, center Connor McGovern, tackle George Fant, guard Alex Lewis and center Josh Andrews. That’s a lot of depth at a position in which they got killed with by injuries last season.
That could also push Douglas into going somewhere else in the first round and adding more linemen depth later in the draft. The Jets also addressed the departure of Robby Anderson by signing Breshad Perriman to a one-year deal. Perriman plays a similar game as Anderson as a speed receiver on the outside. It’s hard to imagine adding Perriman changes the fact that the Jets need to give Darnold more weapons at receiver, though.
Jets 11th overall pick odds
FanDuel Sportsbook has the following six players as the favorites for the Jets selection at 11th overall:
Andrew Thomas: +290
Jerry Jeudy: +290
CeeDee Lamb: +340
Jedrick Wills Jr.: +550
Tristan Wirfs: +700
Mekhi Becton: +700
As expected, FanDuel’s odds align with the idea that the Jets have two major holes to address in the draft: offensive tackle and wide receiver. People have named the four linemen in these odds as the “big four” due to them being regarded as the clear-cut four best offensive tackles in the draft by most experts.
With the Jets drafting 11th, the most likely scenario is they’ll have the last pick at those four linemen with the Giants, Cardinals and Browns all needing to address offensive line in the draft.
The Giants could surprise with Isaiah Simmons though, which would change things up. Wirfs is expected to be the first tackle off the board and Wills Jr. has been strongly linked to the Cardinals in mock drafts. That leaves Thomas and Becton as options for the Jets if they go tackle.
Risk and reward
Betting on Thomas is a risk because of what the Jets have done in free agency with so many offensive linemen signings. This could be a sign the Jets address offensive line later in the draft in hopes they did enough in free agency. For that reason, Becton has value at +700 for the simple fact that most experts and scouts have him as the third or fourth best tackle, yet the odds have him as the least likely to be the last off the board. Jeudy at +290 also makes sense.
Perriman doesn’t do enough to help Darnold and the Jets offense. And it’s looking more and more like no receivers will be selected before the Jets pick at 11. They can get their No. 1 receiver in the polished Jeudy and not have to worry about striking gold at receiver later in the draft. If Douglas truly does love the linemen he signed, Jeudy makes the most sense at 11.