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Cornerback is one position where the Jets obviously need to upgrade.
They opted not to pick up a corner from last year's deep draft class until they took two project players - Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones - in the sixth round. The coaching staff claimed to like the upside of these players along with Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts as well as Rashard Robinson, who was added via trade at the deadline.
However, none of these players stepped up as hoped.
Morris Claiborne's problem has always been durability, and that resurfaced last year. Although he didn't miss many games, he was banged-up over the second half of the year, and his play went downhill after a promising start. Buster Skrine was the other starter and he had his moments, while displaying improved play against the run. However, he has always seemed better suited to a slot specialist role than a starting job.
If the Jets don't add a starter in free agency, then a first round cornerback could be an option. The most likely player to justify selection at with the sixth pick is considered to be Iowa's Joshua Jackson. However, if the Jets traded down - or traded back into the first round - Ohio State's Denzel Ward, Colorado's Isaiah Oliver and Louisville's Jaire Alexander could also be potential first-rounders.
Jackson burst onto the scene with five interceptions in a two-game span last year, including three in an upset win over the Buckeyes. He ended up with eight interceptions, which he returned for 168 yards and two scores, and 18 passes defensed. Jackson plays on an island a lot, and was therefore targeted considerably more than the rest of the top prospects. As a result, he gave up plenty of yardage and four touchdowns, but his overall coverage numbers were still very good.
Unless we're counting Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick as a cornerback, Ward is perhaps the most likely player to challenge Jackson as the best cornerback prospect in this year's class. However, he doesn't have the same kind of length as most of this year's top prospects at 5-foot-10. Oliver does have the length and is a good tackler, but isn't as polished as Ward. As ever, the combine could vault any cornerback with good measurables into first round consideration.
There are a group of potential day two picks that bring different things to the table. Holton Hill from Texas has the most size and length at 6-foot-3. Kameron Kelly from San Diego State was the most productive prospect against the run. Greg Stroman from Virginia Tech has excellent versatility as he can tackle and return kicks. He's even been used at wide receiver, and as a punter in the past. Stroman gave up catches on just over a quarter of his targets, although there were some big plays as he averaged 19.8 yards per reception when targeted.
There are also some highly-rated players who will be seeking to dispel concerns over the next few months. DJ Reed from Kansas State lacks size, but hasn't played in the slot much - as he'll likely be expected to in the NFL. Stanford's Quenton Meeks didn't have outstanding coverage numbers, giving up a catch on two-thirds of his targets. The duo of Anthony Averett and Levi Wallace from Alabama will have to deal with the perception that cornerbacks who played under Nick Saban often take longer to develop.
At the Senior Bowl, North Carolina's MJ Stewart and Boston College's Isaac Yiadom were reportedly the two players who raised their profile the most. Stewart is productive in run support, has good numbers in the slot and can return kicks but hasn't intercepted a pass since 2015. Yiadom is more of a boundary corner, who is also an excellent punt gunner.
JC Jackson from Maryland is considered a player with day two talent but he has serious off-field concerns and also got called for 10 penalties last year.
For completeness, some other players with day two potential include Mike Hughes from UCF, LSU's Donte Jackson, Auburn's Carlton Davis and Christian Campbell from Penn State.
Finally, possible sleepers could include Danny Johnson, a small-school slot prospect from Southern, Jalen Davis, another slot option from Utah State who also had four sacks and three pick-sixes last year, and Parry Nickerson from Tulane, who had 16 career interceptions and plays the run well.
Even if the Jets retain Skrine and re-sign Claiborne, they will probably still be in the market for a starter, although that would most likely come through free agency. Nevertheless, the draft will be a useful place to mine for players with potential to enhance the competition for playing time, or fill specific roles in Todd Bowles' defense.