Round 1, 11th overall pick
There is a consensus but its more about the position than an individual. The New York Jets are going offense as 24-of-26 mock drafts have Gang Green headed in that direction. 20 of them believe NYJ selects a tackle.
When we started compiling the mock drafts, Alabama wide receiver was the favorite, now he shows up once (Todd McShay of ESPN). The trend is continuing toward someone who can anchor the Jets offensive line. The recent NFL Scouting Combine has greatly changed the draft dynamic.
There is a top tier of four tackles, Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, and Andrew Thomas. Additionally, four teams in the top 11 have a young quarterback and need dependable tackles, NYG (4), Arizona (8), Cleveland (10), and the Jets (11). It brings up a “good news, bad news” situation for Gang Green.
The good news is that Gang Green is going to get a very good tackle. While the bad news is they get a player the first three passed on. Last issue’s leader, Louisville’s Becton, ran an astounding 5.1-second 40-yard dash, which has moved him up many mock draft boards. That leaves Andrew Thomas from Georgia as the player most likely headed to the New York Jets. Here is the number of times each tackle was projected to go to NYJ: Thomas – 9, Wills – 7, Becton – 3, Wirfs – 1.
Thomas didn’t do poorly at the combine, some of the other just did a little better. When last season ended, Thomas was seen as the best tackle in the draft after dominating in the SEC over the past two seasons. He may be the most polished of the four.
A starter as a true freshman at Georgia, Thomas grew into Jake Fromm‘s blindside protector. His combination of size and strength is rare. Thomas is strong and quick enough to open up big holes for running backs. At the same time, he can hold the edge with an outstanding technique that doesn’t allow pass rushers to go around or bullrush him.