The New York Jets made the first big splash of the 2015 NFL offseason, landing wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 5th round draft pick. This wasn’t the first trade talk that new General Manager Mike Maccagnan engaged in this offseason. Per reports, the Jets have agreed to a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to send the 6th overall pick of this year’s NFL Draft to the Eagles if Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota is available at that spot.
The two moves certainly alter the Jets’ draft priorities. With wide receiver no longer a pressing need (or, at the very least, not worthy of a first round pick), who could the Jets be looking at with the 6th (if Mariota doesn’t fall to them) or 20th (if Mariota does) pick of the first round?
Brandon Scherff, OT/G, Iowa: Scherff is an elite run blocker, and projects to guard or right tackle at the next level, both of which are positions of dire need for the Jets. Scherff is generally considered the best prospect in a draft class that is deep but lacks star power at the top. Scherff would most likely be the pick here.
Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska: If Mariota is taken (presumably by the Titans which the second overall pick), the order of events will likely leave either Gregory or Florida’s Dante Fowler, Jr. available at this spot (I think it’s more likely that Gregory is available). He’s on the leaner side, but he’s a pure pass-rusher, something the Jets lack from the outside linebacker position. That said, I think its unlikely the Jets use a first round pick on a pass-rusher like Gregory.
Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: Character concerns (Peters was kicked off the team at Washington this past season) are just about the only thing that will keep Peters from being picked higher. It’s not a lock that Peters is available here, but if he is, he should be a no-brainer for the Jets. Cornerback is their biggest position of need, and Peters should be a very good one. If he’s gone, Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson seems like a good fit at this spot– a better one than LSU’s Jalen Collins. Whomever it may be, I’d be willing to wager that, if the Jets end up picking here, they will draft a cornerback.
La’El Collins, OT/G, LSU: Collins is pretty much a poor man’s Scherff, though it seems he’s more likely to stay at tackle than Scherff is. Either way, he can immediately plug a big hole in the Jets O-line. He’s something of an enigma, in that no one is quite sure where exactly he will be drafted. He’s certainly not a lock to be available at this spot.