NFL Mock Draft: New York Jets select Georgia running back Todd Gurley


The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and the means that NFL mock drafts will be watched more and more carefully leading up to the big day.

One of the biggest people to follow for mock drafts is Todd McShay, and in his most recent mock draft, he has the New York Jets going in a completely different direction than expected. The Jets have been projected to draft a quarterback, edge-rusher, offensive lineman, and now according to McShay, they will be draft a running back.

It is a massive rise for Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who was originally thought to be a late first-round draft pick. Since recently being cleared, Gurley has shot up into the Top-10 in McShay’s mock draft.

The Jets need a quarterback, but Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are looking more and more likely to go in the first two picks. The price for the Jets to move up from sixth in the draft into one of the top spots would be extremely high.

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With either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith looking the starting quarterback in 2015, the Jets could look to surround them with as much talent as possible on offense. Now that Gurley has been medically cleared, he is the best running back in the draft, and one of the best offensive weapons overall.

In three seasons at Georgia, Gurley totaled 3,265 rushing yards, 36 rushing touchdowns, and a 6.5 yards per carry average. Gurley is a fantastic runner, but he is also a very talented receiver out of the backfield. In his college career, Gurley totaled 65 receptions, 615 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns.

Last season, Gurley was only able to play in six games, but the stats he put up were ridiculous. In 2014, Gurley totaled 911 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns, and a 7.4 yards per carry average. His season was cut short due to being suspended, and then upon his return tearing his ACL, but he was still able to compile great stats.

A running back hasn’t been drafted in the first-round since 2012, but that will change this year, as Gurley appears to be a lock to be drafted in the first 32 picks. Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon also should be drafted in the first-round after a monster season for the Badgers.

If the Jets do decide that Gurley is the best option for them, they will quickly have a talented backfield. Chris Ivory has been the primary running back for the last two seasons, and this offseason they signed Stevan Ridley, who is also coming off a knee surgery.

Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) breaks a tackle by New England Patriots corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Finding a franchise quarterback is a very difficult thing to do, and general manager Mike Maccagnan would have to mortgage the Jets’ draft picks in order to move up for Mariota or Winston. Neither of those two quarterbacks are a sure thing prospect like Andrew Luck a few seasons ago, as both have numerous question marks surrounding them. Patience in New York is never an easy thing, but when it comes to finding the right quarterback, patience is important.

While neither Fitzpatrick nor Smith will put much fear in a defense, the Jets’ weapons with Gurley could. The Jets’ wide receiving corps is amongst the best in the NFL on paper with Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, and Jeremy Kerley. At tight end, the Jets have high expectations for last year’s second-round pick Jace Amaro, and Jeff Cumberland is also a solid player. The addition of Gurley to the offense could really help the play at quarterback for the Jets, as he has the capability to be an impact player right away.

The Jets drafting Gurley was never really thought of due to his medical questions. Now that Gurley is medically cleared however, he instantly becomes one of the best players in the draft.

Next: Who is the Jets' best first-round pick of all-time?

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