Mel Kiper of ESPN recently released his latest NFL Mock Draft. Who did he have the New York Jets picking?
It was a poor season for the New York Jets in 2016. Due to their below .500 record, they will have the sixth pick in the NFL Draft.
With such a high pick comes some expectations to get an impact player. As expected with a poor record, the Jets have issues in multiple areas. In Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft, he had the Jets selecting running back Leonard Fournette from LSU.
It is certainly surprising to see the Jets taking a running back in the mock draft. Here’s what Kiper had to say about the pick.
“Wait — what?” I can hear you. Let me explain. The Jets do have a quarterback problem to solve, but that seems more likely to come in free agency after they took a QB in Round 2 just last year. They could also draft a defender here, but the top cornerback is off the board. So why Fournette? For one, if they truly go with the best player available here, there’s a real chance it’s him, just as Ezekiel Elliott was for Dallas at No. 4 last year. Secondly, they know they can get a ton of reps from Fournette right now, and this is a team that needs to be better.
As Kiper mentions, this would be the best player available pick for the Jets. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore was taken by the Tennessee Titans with the fifth pick in this mock draft, and he is certainly a player that the Jets would like to have.
While running back isn’t a need for the Jets, there’s no denying that Fournette is a talented player. In 2015, Fournette had an amazing sophomore season, as he totaled nearly 2,000 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. Fournette only played in seven games in 2016, which limited his production in his junior season.
With Bilal Powell and Matt Forte on the roster still, adding Fournette would certainly make for a crowded backfield. With plenty of other needs, running back is actually a position that isn’t a glaring need for the Jets in the draft. However, Fournette has drawn comparisons to Ezekiel Elliott, which would obviously be an impact player.