The Jets now have the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, and they could take Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa, but there are still plenty of other NFL prospects who will be on their radar during the 41 bowl games. And not just Top 5 players either, since the possibility exists that the Jets will trade down.
With all that in mind, here are just a few of the players the Jets should, and probably will be watching and scouting during bowl season:
DE Zach Allen, Boston College
6-foot-5, 285 pounds Servpro First Responder Bowl, Wed., Dec. 26 1:30 p.m.
The Jets have a gaping hole at edge-rusher, and in a draft loaded with them, it's hard to envision them going in another direction in the first round. Allen is one of the most complete edge rushers on the board, equally adept at stopping the run and getting to the quarterback. He's got the size to be a defensive end too, if the Jets end up going to a 4-3 defense under a new coach.
OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
6-foot-5, 340 pounds Peach Bowl, Sat., Dec. 29, noon
He is an enormous man who could play left or right tackle for the Jets, and might be the only offensive linemen in the draft in the same realm as Alabama's Jonah Williams (who we'll get to later). He is young and a bit inconsistent, according to scouts, and probably will need to start his NFL career on the right side. Maybe not a Top 5 pick, but an option if the Jets trade down.
DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
6-foot-5, 260 pounds Cotton Bowl/National Semifinal, Saturday, Dec. 29, 4 p.m.
Generally considered to be the consolation prize in the draft for any team that can't get up to grab Bosa, he is probably the next-best edge rusher in this class. He'd be ideal for the Jets 3-r scheme, and could step right in as a starter. He started three years for the Tigers and had 26 sacks, including 10 ½ this season. He's a strong candidate for the Jets if they pick in the Top 5, but not at No. 1.
OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
6-foot-5, 301 pounds Orange Bowl/National Semifinal, Saturday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
The Jets' offensive line needs a ton of work, and Williams is the best offensive line prospect in the draft. He could be their left tackle for many years, or even a temporary right tackle depending on who returns or who they add in free agency. NFL scouts love his feet, strength and technique, and consider him a Top 5 pick. He might be the one Top 5 player who could tempt the Jets not to take a pass rusher.
DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
6-foot-4, 289 pounds Orange Bowl/National Semifinal, Saturday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
An edge rusher may be a priority, but with veteran Steve McLendon on his way out and Nathan Shepherd not showing much as a rookie, the Jets could use an interior push, too. Williams is a freakish athlete who has a lightning-quick first step and had eight sacks this season. His presence would be another way to open things up a little more for Leonard Williams.
RB Damien Harris, Alabama
5-foot-10, 214 pounds Orange Bowl/National Semifinal, Saturday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
It's so hard to evaluate Tide running backs because they work behind a mammoth offensive line, and their workload is usually low because they are a deep team that blows out opponents regularly. Still, it's hard not to like Harris' career average of 6.5 yards per carry and 21 touchdowns. He had two 1,000-yard seasons before dipping to 771 this year. If the Jets land Le'Veon Bell in free agency, this isn't a need. If they don't, they'll need someone to replace Bilal Powell.
WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
5-foot-11, 160 pounds Orange Bowl/National Semifinal, Saturday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
He had a brilliant season for the Sooners, with 75 catches for 1,317 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's a little smaller than the ideal, but he more than makes up for it with his 4.3 speed. He's probably much more likely for the Jets in the second round of the draft, but they desperately need play makers. He has the explosiveness to turn a lot of short Sam Darnold passes into huge gains.
WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford
6-foot-3, 225 pounds Sun Bowl, Monday, Dec. 31, 2 p.m.
He's not the fastest receiver in the draft by far, but 4.6 isn't terrible at all. What he is, though, is big and productive. He caught 60 passes for 969 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Cardinal, and had 28 touchdowns in three seasons. He has drawn comparisons by many to Tampa's Mike Evans. Every young quarterback needs a big target like that, especially in the red zone. He's another one who could be available in Round 2.
RB Bryce Love, Stanford
5-foot-10, 202 pounds Sun Bowl, Monday, Dec. 31, 2 p.m.
A year ago, he rushed for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns and came back to school anyway. This year, he has battled injuries and rushed for only 739 yards behind a porous offensive line in 10 games. Still, he's drawn the obvious comparisons to Christian McCaffrey, though he's not quite in the same class as a receiver. It's a weak year for running backs, though, so he could be a second-round option.
LB/DE Josh Allen, Kentucky
6-foot-5, 260 pounds Citrus Bowl, Tuesday, Jan 1, 1 p.m.
He'll likely be much more effective in a 3-4 defense, coming off the edge, especially since his run-stopping skills are suspect. But he has blazing speed and never stops moving. If he's coming off the edge behind (or next to) Williams, teams will have to overload that side of the field, and they'll have a tough choice deciding who to block.
CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
5-foot-11, 185 pounds Sugar Bowl, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m.
It's not clear if Morris Claiborne and/or Buster Skrine will be back, and the Jets haven't really developed a young corner to step in and play alongside Trumaine Johnson. If they can add one, they will have locked down a top secondary for years. Baker, with his 4.5 speed and comparisons to Cleveland's Denzel Ward, might be the top corner in the draft and he's got a definite nose for the football.