By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Given the unpredictability of this year’s draft class, the first 30-40 picks can seemingly go in just about any order. Players once projected to be top-15 picks are being mocked in the second round, making this one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory.
Here is out updated 7-round Jets mock draft.
Round 1: Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
There should be a handful of linebacker/defensive end prospects on the board when the Jets pick at nine, including Oregon’s Dion Jordan and Texas A&M product Damontre Moore, but Mingo’s burst off the line is what separates him from the rest.
Mingo has apparently added weight to get ready for the combine. It will be interesting to see how or if he added weight will impact the speed and burst that projects him as a top-10 pick.
Round 2: E.J. Manuel, QB, FSU
Manuel was one of the most impressive players at the Senior Bowl and could see his stock continue to increase if he puts up a good showing at the combine. Manuel has a strong arm and solid athleticism, but he needs to clean up some mechanical and accuracy issues if he is going to be a quality starter in the NFL.
For the Jets, using a second-round pick on Manuel allows them to sit Manuel behind Mark Sanchez until he is ready to take over. If Manuel doesn’t pan out, the regime does not have the strong ties to him they would have if they took him in the first round.
Round 3: Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
The Jets are now in need of two starting outside linebackers with little cap room to get veteran help. Carradine would have been a first-round pick if he did not tear his ACL late in the season, but if he can make a full recovery from the injury, he could be one of the biggest steals of the draft, as some regard him as a better on-field prospect than teammate Bjoern Werner.
Round 4: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
With Shonn Greene likely on his way out, the Jets need to find another runner to give Bilal Powell some help. Taylor can do it all as a runner and a receiver and would be able to make an immediate impact on a Jets offense that is void of offensive talent.
Round 5: Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
If the Jets are unable to retain Dustin Keller, tight end suddenly becomes one of the team’s top needs. Escobar is not much of a blocker, but he is a very athletic receiver and will be a tough matchup for opposing linebacker. If he runs well at the combine, he could go much earlier in the draft.
Round 6: Omorege Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech
The Jets have three free agents along of the offensive line, including both of their starting guards. Uzzi could at least provide the Jets with some depth and possibly even compete with Vladimir Ducasse for one of the starting guard positions.
Round 7: Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse
The Jets have one safety waiting in the wings in Josh Bush, but they need to add more depth in case Yeremiah Bell or LaRon Landry leave in free agency. Thomas is a bit of a liability in coverage but Rex Ryan and his defensive staff could fall in love with his physicality.