Joe Douglas “NFL Draft” sweet spot is key to Jets recovery


Joe Douglas looks like a mill. He’s a guy with rolled up sleeves, who’s not afraid to do the little things.

Former Jets coach Herman Edwards talked a lot about “cornering,” a reference to the importance of making sure every little detail has been taken care of. Douglas looks like a guy who lives in these corners.

The Jets’ first general manager, starting Thursday and for the next two days, will make his first NFL draft with his new team, which is starving for talent as we are all starving to put this coronavirus crisis behind us and go back to our daily routines.

At the time of the Giants’ first two Super Bowls, then coach Bill Parcells reveled in calling his line players “the lunch bucket guy.” “Douglas is a quintessential” lunch bucket guy. “

All Jets fans hope that every fiber of their being should be a good thing for a team with so many needs to enter this repechage, success does not lie in the first round, where the Jets rank 11th in the standings general, but in the middle rounds.

Intermediate draft cycles are what build the foundations of teams. And, based on the rampant failures of previous regimes, that’s why the Jets foundation right now seems to be made up of twigs and balsa wood.

Douglas and his scouts, of course, must get an immediate start with the 11th pick overall – probably one of the best tackles available.

But most of all, if he is not doing home runs, Douglas must at least make some doubles and triples on the wall with his second, third and fourth round picks.

Because the Jets can no longer bear third and fourth round failures like Jachai Polite (2019 third round linebacker who was eliminated at training camp)… ArDarius Stewart (2017 third round catcher who caught six assists for 82 yards as a Jet) … Chad Hanson (2017 fourth-round receiver who caught nine assists for 94 yards as a Jet) …

… Juston Burris (2016 fourth round cornerback who started two games as a Jet)… Lorenzo Mauldin (2015 third round linebacker who started four games and lasted two seasons)… Dexter McDougle (cornerback third round 2014 who did not start a game in three seasons or more and failed to intercept a single pass)… Jalen Saunders (2014 fourth round catcher who caught a 7-yard pass as jet)… Shaquille Evans (2014 fourth-round receiver who has never played for the Jets).

They too can no longer survive second round busts like Jace Amaro (tight end chosen in 2014 and totaling 41 catches for 404 yards as a Jet)… Devin Smith (catcher chosen in 2015 and caught 15 passes as a Jet) … And Christian Hackenberg (quarterback chosen in 2015 who has never played a match as a Jet).


I’m stopping now. You get the picture.

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If Douglas, a former high school and college offensive lineman, takes a tackle in the first round as most of the league thinks, then he must immediately turn his attention to the catcher position, where the Jets are thin and this project is fat.

Although Sam Darnold needs a left tackle to protect his blind side, he needs a heavyweight receiver to threaten opposing defenses.

Unless he surprises and catches in the first round, Douglas must choose one in the second round, 48th place overall, and possibly one of his two choices in the third round.

Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool (a match nightmare at 6 feet 4 inches, 238 pounds), Justin Jefferson of LSU (111 caught for 1,540 yards and 18 TDS last season), Clemson’s Tee Higgins (6-4, 216 with tall red time zone skills), Brandon Aiyuk of Arizona State (65 for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns last year) and / or Jalen Reagor of TCU (4.47 out of 30) may be available in the second round.

If Douglas opts for a receiver in the third or fourth round, Denzel Mims of Baylor, Gabriel Davis of central Florida or K.J. Hamler are possibilities.

NFL Network analyst and draft specialist Daniel Jeremiah, who worked as a scout with the Ravens alongside Douglas in the mid-2000s, knows Douglas’s strengths and said last week, “Joe is going to do very well in the middle of the rounds of this repechage; this is where the sweet spot is. »»

It should be sweet music to the ears of the Jets, who have two third-round picks, with the Giants’ second trade gain from Leonard Williams, with a fourth, fifth and sixth roundness.

” [The Jets] don’t have many top notch players in top positions, “said Jeremiah. “They have to find ways to score points; they just couldn’t do it last year [the Jets scored 276 points in 2019, which ranked 31st in the league]. They have to get it fixed, and it starts to get a lot better at first, and you have to give Sam Darnold weapons. I imagine it will be at the top of the priority list with this project. “


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