There has long been a conventional wisdom in the NFL that safeties aren't usually worth high draft picks. There are exceptions, of course, but good ones can often be developed later. And there are more premium positions like quarterback, receiver, cornerback and defensive end.
Still, the value was so high on LSU safety Jamal Adams that he was a great pick for the Jets when he fell to No. 6.
But taking another one near the top of the second round?
It's an odd choice for a team with so many needs on both sides of the football. Instead of doubling down with Florida safety Marcus Maye with the 39th overall pick, they could've added a cornerback or a tight end - instead of waiting until the fifth and sixth rounds to (sort of) address those positions. There were top tackles available too. And receivers.
Still, going back-to-back on the safeties isn't as crazy as it looked.
Remember, other than quarterback, the safety position was the biggest disaster on the field for the Jets last season. Think of how many times the Jets were beaten on deep passes. And sure, the cornerbacks got most of the blame for that - particularly Darrelle Revis. But how many times did you watch that happen and think "Where was the safety help?"
Adams and Maye should provide that help. And with Calvin Pryor - whom the Jets reportedly tried (and failed) to trade during the draft - Todd Bowles has a lot more options for his defensive scheme.
"We have a bunch of packages where we play three safeties at one time," Bowles said. "We like to do that. We didn't have the luxury last year, but we have that in our packages."
If those two safeties work out, think about the pieces the Jets have to build around. They will solidify the back end of their defense for years. Leonard Williams is their pass rusher of the future up front, with linebacker Darron Lee behind him. Cornerback remains a bit of a hole - the two sixth-round picks the Jets drafted are both long-term projects - but the Jets seem to like Marcus Williams, Juston Burris and even Dexter McDougle a little better than most people. They also still have Buster Skrine and some hope for the newly signed Mo Claiborne, too.
Would they have been better off adding a corner or an offensive player at 39 instead of Maye? Time will tell. But in the middle of a major rebuilding project, GM Mike Maccagnan wasn't going to reach when pretty much every pick fills a need.
"I thought there was a bit of a separation between him and some of the other players around him (on the Jets' draft board," Maccagnan said. "He was a guy that we identified early. We thought this would be a good young player to build with going forward."
And despite the conventional wisdom, other teams have done it. Just think how important Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor were to the Seahawks Legion of Boom defense. Sure, the Jets new safety duo has a long way to go to even come close to that. But at least Adams and Maye are a good beginning.
If it works out, their back-to-back selections makes safety a position the Jets may not have to worry about for years.