Google “2014 Jets mock draft” and open up any of the 19.3 million links. Odds are you’re probably looking either at a wide receiver or a cornerback projected to the Green & White at pick No. 18.
Take it a step further to look at Round 1 and 2 combos, and you’ll find no such consensus. Our research of 15 different position groupings for the Jets’ first two rounds yielded nine different results. Still, there are some patterns to note.
Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard is the most frequently named player in these scenarios, including in Real Football Services’ Jets-only mock draft on newyorkjets.com with this explanation:
“A lot of fans want to see a receiver in this spot, and Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks and Marqise Lee were all sitting there on the board for us. But with the QBs and OTs pushing the WRs down in this scenario, and given the depth of talent at receiver, we knew there would be good players available in the next three rounds…”
Tight End Second
TEs Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington) appear to be the most intriguing Round 2 options, and three of the 15 analysts pair one of these two prospects with a first-round wide receiver.
In ESPN’s three-round co-op mock between Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, the latter writes, “Kiper took a wide receiver for the Jets at No. 18 in Brandin Cooks, and we'll add another weapon in Amaro, who doesn't have elite speed but is a big target [6'5", 265 pounds] in the passing game.”
But Not in That Order
Aside from the already discussed CB/WR and WR/TE pairings, a pair of defensive-minded analysts went with corner/defensive end and corner/safety, while the only other Round 2 tight end selection preceded the pick with a guard.
Wide Receiver Can’t Wait
Seven of the 15 have us taking a wideout first; five of the 15 have us taking a wideout second.
As has been the case for quite some time now, Beckham, Cooks and Lee are the likely Round 1 options at the position, while Round 2 possibilities include Penn State’s Allen Robinson, Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, Fresno State’s Davante Adams and Ole Miss product Donte Moncrief.
If WR truly is as deep as many say, though, don’t be surprised to see the Jets pass on a dynamic wideout twice within the first 50 overall picks.
But Safety Can
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama) and Calvin Pryor (Louisville) could both go during the first half of Round 1. Once they’re off the board, there’s a significant talent dropoff at safety in the eyes of many, with Jimmie Ward (Northern Illinois) leading the second tier.
“Ward is a playmaker with the cover skills to match up with slot receivers and the speed to play a centerfielder-type role, making him a good fit for the Jets,” writes ESPN.com’s Steve Muench in a recent Jets-specific mock draft. “While he doesn't have great size at 5'10" and 193 pounds, he's above-average in run support.”