Our draft coverage will kick off in a couple weeks as we send a crew down to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. But the mock drafts are out and some of these forecasts/excerpts will warm the hearts of many in Jets Nation…
Matt Miller, NFL Draft Lead Writer
Jerald Hawkins, Tackle, LSU
Hawkins is an athlete on the line, but he also plays with strength and a willingness to get his hands dirty. This is not a finesse tackle. And with his ability in the run game, Hawkins projects as a Day 1 starter at right tackle, but eventually a very good left tackle candidate.
Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
Leonard Floyd, DE/OLB, Georgia
The Jets have plenty of beef up front on defense, but need to add some sizzle on the edges to better put pressure on the pocket. Floyd is a lanky bender with pass rush upside.
Rob Rang, Senior NFL Draft Analyst
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Though his statistics (which included a 28-4 TD-to-INT ratio in 2015) say different, Lynch is quite raw and needs a lot of polish before he can be expect to lead an NFL team. Lynch would be an ideal developmental prospect for offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who has worked well with athletic quarterbacks in the past.
Steve Palazzolo, Senior Analyst
Leonard Floyd, Georgia
The Jets were rotating their 300-pound defensive lineman on the edge last season, and while they had success, finding a true edge player is still an offseason goal. Floyd dabbled at traditional linebacker this season, only adding to his versatility, but it's his pass rushing that makes him a first-rounder ( 28.8, 13th in the nation). He was strong against the run as well at 17.0, and while an Anthony Barr-like NFL transition may be unlikely, he does bring a movable chess piece to a blitz-heavy defensive front.
Chris Burke, NFL Writer
Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
The Jets' potent D-line is just begging for a force to pair with it at outside linebacker. Lorenzo Mauldin showed glimpses, but Floyd is a better prospect. The redshirt junior also showed this season that he can do a little bit of everything at linebacker, meaning he doesn't have to be stuck in a rush-only role.
Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
It's not a complete unit, but Bowles is a defensive minded head coach who could use a stud linebacker to sit behind his rising defensive front. A linebacker like Georgia's Leonard Floyd. Floyd was a huge piece of the Bulldogs defensive success over the last few years, and he has the skill set that Bowles can use to birth a new linebacking corps in New York. He has a pass rushing presence that will come in handy for the Jets but he has also established an ability to cover receivers as well. Sitting in a division with Rob Gronkowski, and playing in an era where tight ends are basically extra wideouts, having someone as versatile as Floyd is exactly what the Jets and Bowles need.
New York Jets: Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama