Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The NFL's supplemental draft takes place on July 10th, with the potential for multiple selections for the second year in a row. Could any of the available players interest the Jets, though?
New general manager Joe Douglas has already stated his intent to investigate any and all options to upgrade the roster he inherited from his predecessor, Mike Maccagnan. With the option to forego a 2020 draft pick to add a draftable prospect at this late stage of the offseason, he might be tempted to pull the trigger.
When Douglas and new director of player personnel Chad Alexander were both on the Ravens staff, they opted to use a fifth-round pick on tackle Jared Gaither in 2007. This proved to be a nice pick-up as he started 28 games in his first three years. New assistant general manager Rex Hogan was also on a Bears team that used a seventh-round pick on fullback Harvey Unga in the 2010 supplemental draft. This pick was less successful, though.
For their own part, the Jets haven't used a pick since they used a first rounder on wide receiver Rob Moore back in 1990. However, they acquired one of last year's supplemental draft entrants - safety Brandon Bryant - as a free agent after he went unselected. Bryant spent most of last year on the practice squad and will compete for a roster spot in 2019.
Of the five players that have declared their intention to enter this year's supplemental draft, two are regarded as having a good chance of being selected.
The highest profile prospect was the last to enter, as Washington State's Jalen Thompson had been regarded by some draft experts as a possible day two pick in 2020. Thompson, a 190-pound safety, has posted some excellent coverage numbers in the slot and some believe he could contribute in a nickel back role at the NFL level.
In 2017, Thompson led the Cougars in tackles and posted four interceptions as he was selected as an all-Pac 12 second-teamer. His statistical production wasn't as good last year, but he still performed well.
West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms also has a chance of being selected and the Jets were one of six teams at his pro day last week, which saw him post some decent numbers, including a 4.40 40-yard dash. Simms posted career-highs with 46 catches for 699 yards last season and also has some experience as a return specialist.
However, his return numbers in 2018 were disappointing and he is considered to have some character concerns. Simms was the Mountaineers' third-best receiver last year after fourth-round pick Gary Jennings and the undrafted David Sills V, so it seems unlikely any team would risk anything more than a late-round pick on him.
Undersized Syracuse linebacker Shyheim Cullen is unlikely to get selected, although he is a good athlete. Entering into his senior year, Cullen had barely played for Syracuse, but he gradually worked his way into the rotation and made four starts. He ended the year with 31 tackles, a sack and two passes defensed. Cullen is a good special teamer, so could command interest if he goes unselected as per expectations.
Rounding out this year's class are two small school prospects. Tight end Devonaire Clarington from Northland Community College is one.
He's apparently a good athlete but sounds like a long-term project at best. The other is defensive back Bryant Perry, who played nine games last year for St. Francis having previously played at the junior college level. Neither of these is expected to have any team looking to use a pick on them.
With an extra sixth-round pick in hand for 2020 following the Darron Lee trade, the Jets might be prepared to bid a late pick to bring one of these players aboard. However, with none of them representing an immediate solution in an area of need, this doesn't seem likely to be high on their list of priorities.
Theoretically, Thompson could be a possibility if they feel like they need more competition for Brian Poole and Parry Nickerson in the nickel back role or perhaps Simms could be brought in should the team want to add one more body into the return game mix. However, neither of these roles seem imperative right now. Instead, if the Jets really are prepared to give up a 2020 pick to upgrade the current roster, they're arguably more likely to try and trade for a veteran.