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Friday, December 22, 2023

Mel Kiper Jr. Predicts Yet Another Boneheaded New York Jets Overreach

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has made a habit of overpaying, and he could be reaching for his third straight draft day blunder. This time around the team is set to select USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the 3rd overall pick in 2018 NFL Draft. Though Darnold’s skill set appears promising, it will be tough for him to beat out current starter Josh McCown given the lack of weapons on offense.

The “mel kiper mock draft 2020” is a prediction by Mel Kiper Jr. that the New York Jets will make yet another boneheaded overreach in the NFL Draft.

The New York Jets have often overreached and made terrible judgments in the NFL draft over the previous decade. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. says the club will choose USC wide receiver Drake London at No. 4 in the 2022 NFL Draft. This choice would fit right in with the rest of the Jets’ errors. Because London, or a guy extremely similar to him, will be available at No. 10 for the Jets.

For a decade, the Jets have been overpaying for first-round choices.

In the recent decade, the New York Jets have struggled in the first round of the NFL draft. Even though the judgment is still out on quarterback Zach Wilson (No. 2, 2021), guard Alijah Vera-Tucker (No. 14, 2021), and tackle Mekhi Becton (No. 11, 2020), Gang Green has had a rough decade of drafting.

The Jets searching for players and positions ahead of where they should pick in the first round is a significant reason for this.

This is seen by Pick No. 3 in 2019. Quinnen Williams, a defensive lineman from Alabama, was selected by the team. Williams has performed well. In three seasons, he has 136 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 21 tackles for a loss, and 32 quarterback hits. According to PFF, he was the 14th-best interior D-lineman in 2021, but he has yet to reach the Pro Bowl, and DTs aren’t defensive difference-makers unless their name is Aaron Donald.

Defensive difference-makers include pass rushers and sideline-to-sideline linebackers. That’s why Jets supporters are enraged that Devin White and (Jacksonville’s) Josh Allen were selected in the second and third rounds, respectively.

The worst example of this was the Jets’ selection of LSU safety Jamal Adams at No. 6 overall in 2017. It’s usually a bad idea to choose a safety in the first round of the NFL draft, but the fact that the Jets chose Adams over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson (and starting Josh McCown and Bryce Petty that season) is unforgivable.

The Jets have done this time and time again throughout the years. In 2016, they did it by selecting Darron Lee, a tweener, over future Pro Bowlers Kenny Clark, Chris Jones, and Xavien Howard. In 2014, he chose Calvin Pryor, an old-school, undisciplined, head-hunting safety, over more contemporary (and more successful) defensive backs like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Darqueze Denard, Deone Bucannon, and Jimmie Ward.

Now, if ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. is correct, the Jets are set to do it again in 2022.

According to Mel Kiper Jr.’s mock draft, the New York Jets will choose USC wide receiver Drake London at No. 4 overall.

Mel Kiper Jr.’s most recent mock draft on ESPN.com sees USC wide receiver Drake London going to the New York Jets at No. 4 overall.

London is a 6-foot-4, 219-pound pass-catcher from Moorpark, California, which is roughly 45 minutes west of the Rose Bowl, where he played his collegiate home games. Over the course of three seasons with the Trojans, the wideout appeared in 27 games. He has 160 receptions for 2,153 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The junior season of London was cut short due to a broken right ankle. Despite missing the last four games of the season, the first-round NFL draft prospect was named to a number of first- and second-team All-American teams and was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

According to USCTrojans.com, the tall, athletic WR even played for the USC men’s basketball team in 2020.

London is undeniably one of the greatest players at his position in this year’s draft. He is Kiper’s top-ranked wide receiver and, as the selection expert forecasts, “can be a weapon in the red zone.”

In classic Jets form, though, selecting him at No. 4 would be a stretch.

The wide receiver class of the 2022 NFL Draft is deep and skilled. 

WR Drake London of the USC Trojans is carted off after an injury on a touchdown catch against Arizona. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has London going to the New York Jets in the 2022 NFL Draft.

WR Drake London of the USC Trojans is carted off after an injury on a touchdown catch against Arizona. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has London going to the New York Jets in the 2022 NFL Draft. Getty Images/Drake London | Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News

Drake London is a high-end talent who is rated as the best wide receiver by several draft analysts. He does, however, have certain flaws.

London has exceptional speed and quickness, so it may struggle to establish separation in the NFL. He “runs and moves like an athletic tight end,” according to the official NFL.com scouting report. That implies he could be Mike Williams (which would be fantastic) or Kelvin Benjamin (which would be terrible).

In addition, the New York Jets have two first-round selections in this year’s NFL draft (Nos. 4 and 10) and could easily get London or another member of the rich and strong 2022 wide receiver class.

In addition to the USC wideout, the Jets may select among Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Alabama’s Jameson Williams, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, and Penn State’s Jahan Dotson with their second-round choice.

Furthermore, waiting until No. 10 to choose a wide receiver would enable the Jets to select an edge rusher or cornerback at No. 4, a position that is less likely to be available at No. 10 than a top-tier WR.

Whether or if the New York Jets franchise performs what Mel Kiper Jr. predicts may go a long way toward demonstrating to New York supporters that the club is or isn’t the same old Jets under head coach Robert Saleh.

Pro Football Reference provided all stats.

RELATED: Dan Orlovsky Likes Malik Willis’ ‘Josh Allen Type of Vibes’ in the NFL Draft

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