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Since the Jets moved up in the draft a few weeks ago, there's been plenty of coverage debating who they're going to end up selecting with the third pick. However, a month out, let's consider who they might have their eye on to potentially fill a hole with their second pick; the 72nd overall pick in the third round.
Assuming they opt to address a need with this pick, positions the Jets might be seeking to fill could include a defensive lineman, a starting tight end, or an edge rusher. Adding some depth and potential on the offensive line is another option.
Although things might change between now and draft time, these areas are where the main needs appear to be. Let's look at each of those options in turn to consider who might be available...
On the defensive line, the Jets have re-signed Mike Pennel and Xavier Cooper, but perhaps they won't feel entirely comfortable with either of those taking over from Muhammad Wilkerson. With the versatility of Leonard Williams and Steve McLendon, the Jets could probably bring in a conventional 4-3 defensive tackle, a five-technique at defensive end, or a run-plugging nose tackle and make it work.
Derrick Nnadi from Florida State is a stout and disruptive force in the trenches, but posted disappointing numbers at the combine. Virginia Tech's Tim Settle is one of the best nose tackle-types, but might not drop to No. 72.
So, how about RJ McIntosh from Miami? While he might need to bulk up to succeed at the NFL level, he has the length and athleticism the Jets like, and his film and production have been impressive. In particular, he held his own against Quenton Nelson, who is regarded as the draft's best offensive lineman.
At tight end, Mike Gesicki lit up the combine with a phenomenal set of numbers. However, his film is underwhelming, and he evokes memories of a more athletic version of Jace Amaro without the production. Indiana's Ian Thomas looks to be more NFL ready and posted pretty good workout numbers himself.
The best bargain here could be another Big Ten tight end; Wisconsin's Troy Fumagalli. Fumagalli has great hands and technical route-running skills, and fared better than the majority of this year's tight end class when tasked with blocking defensive linemen. Fumagalli was standing out at Senior Bowl practice before suffering an injury that has so far prevented him from working out for teams. As a result, he might slip under the radar, and the Jets could find themselves an NFL-ready player.
The need for an edge rusher has been apparent for the past few seasons. Ideally, the Jets would like someone who could start at the rush linebacker position, but even if they just found a situational rusher, that would add a dimension to their defense. Auburn's Jeff Holland or Dorance Armstrong from Kansas could be candidates. Armstrong might be overlooked as he only had two sacks in 2017, but that may have been because offenses gameplanned specifically to slow him down after he had 10 in 2016. Holland had 9.5 of his 12.5 career sacks in a break-out 2017 campaign.
Another good option could be Josh Sweat from Florida State. Sweat, like many of his teammates, probably underachieved in 2017, but he was still productive and posted tremendous numbers at the combine. According to most big boards, he could be there at 72 and, if he can live up to his potential, could be a steal.
On the offensive line, while the Jets don't necessarily need someone to start right away, they would love to add someone who can start in the future, enabling them to move on from one of their higher-priced veterans. Two athletic guards who had excellent seasons in 2017 but could be available at 72 are Wyatt Teller from Virginia Tech and Auburn's Braden Smith. Smith had no penalties in 2017, while Teller didn't surrender a sack.
Alternatively, if they want to add a tackle, Ohio State's Jamarco Jones didn't have great workout numbers, but possesses the length and technique to potentially be an effective pass protector at the NFL level.
Ultimately, the Jets may not opt to address a need with this pick. They may instead go for the best available player regardless of position. They might also decide to trade down to bolster their total number of picks, or even package the pick with another pick or a player to move up.
Whatever they opt to do, this is an important asset for the Jets, and the pressure to use it on a contributor has intensified because of the other picks they surrendered in the trade with the Colts. At least they have plenty of options.