The Jets added nine players to their roster on Draft weekend, kicking things off with the selection of one of the top prospects in the nation, safety Jamal Adams. The Green & White were slated to have seven picks, but general manager Mike Maccagnan executed five trades, resulting in two extra 2017 picks and the Cowboys' fifth-round choice in 2018.
Head coach Todd Bowles told Eric Allen one goal of this year's Draft was to bring in players with toughness who have a deep passion for the game. Bowles went over each selection with Allen, providing mini-scouting reports.
First Round (No. 6): S Jamal Adams, Louisiana State
In a case of déjà vu for Mike Maccagnan & Co., the Jets were not expecting Adams to fall in their lap, similarly to Leonard Williams in 2015. The 6'0", 214-pounder racked up 209 tackles, 15 pass breakups and five interceptions in his three years in Baton Rouge.
"He's an outstanding player, obviously," Bowles said in his press conference following the first round. "He's smart, fast, tough and physical. He's an alpha. He's good and off the field he checked all the boxes for us . We think we got a real good football player. We had him rated high."
Second Round (No. 39): S Marcus Maye, Florida
The Green & White doubled-down on talented SEC safeties with the selection of Maye. The 6'0", 210-pounder is rehabbing from a broken arm suffered in the 2016 season and it is not known whether he will participate in rookie minicamp this weekend.
"Outstanding football player, great communicator," Bowles told Allen after Day 2. "He sees the ball and goes to get it. He hunts the ball down. He's a very good athlete and safety. He can play either spot and has a lot of versatility. It's similar to some of the things Jamal has and they're interchangeable."
Third Round (No. 79): WR ArDarius Stewart, Alabama
Stewart was the first offensive player the Jets selected. Despite being a part of a run-heavy offense in college, "StarDarius" led the Crimson Tide with 864 yards on 54 catches, 30 of which went for either a first down or a touchdown.
"When I went to see him workout, his route running was a lot better than it showed on film because they only did certain things," Bowles said. "He caught the ball well with his hands and he's explosive with the ball in his hands. He's tough, he brings a lot of attitude to the game and he plays it the right way. We really thought he could help us."
Fourth Round (No. 141): WR Chad Hansen, California
Like Rounds 1 and 2, the Jets took back-to-back players at the same position in Rounds 3 and 4. Hansen transferred to Cal as a walk-on following one year at Idaho State. The 6'2", 202-pounder was extremely productive in 2016 as he had 92 receptions for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"We had good value on him. He can catch the ball, he can run vertical, he's a good route runner," Bowles said. "He's very tough catching the ball in traffic and we hope he brings the same mentality here to New York."
Fifth Round (No. 150): TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson
Throughout the offseason, Maccagnan expressed his desire to add a pass-catching tight end for first-year offensive coordinator John Morton. The 6'5", 258-pounder fits the bill as he racked up 86 catches for 1,261 yards and 15 touchdowns as a two-year starter for the Tigers.
"We went to the private workout and he was there with Deshaun Watson," Bowles said of Leggett. "He caught the ball very well and ran a lot better than we thought he would. When you go back and watch the game film, the tape matches what he did in the private workout, so we're very excited to have a pass-catching tight end. Since we're incorporating a new offense, we're trying to use it more."
Fifth Round (No. 181): OLB Dylan Donahue, West Georgia
Donahue became the first UWG player drafted in school history. Following in his father’s footsteps, the 6'3", 248-pounder wore No. 49 in college and played defensive line, but will transition to outside linebacker in the Jets' scheme.
"Dylan has a high motor. He's just a football player," Bowles said. "He's a warrior with an old-school football mentality. He kind of has the mentality of Kevin Greene, his outside linebacker coach. We're going to love having him here, his intensity is off the charts. He's going to compete every down and that's the kind of guy we want in the building."
Sixth Round (No. 188): RB Elijah McGuire, Louisiana-Lafayette
Entering the Draft, the Jets already had a talented backfield with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. With the release of Khiry Robinson, McGuire will have a chance to earn a roster spot as a returner while giving the RB group a shot of youth.
"Initially, he's a dual returner," Bowles said. "That's what we got him for, but he's a heck of a running back as well and a specialty guy in certain situations. He's 215-pounds, he can run, put his foot in the ground and cut, so we're just looking forward to getting him in and adding him to the mix."
Sixth Round (No. 197): CB Jeremy Clark, Michigan
Clark was playing well in his senior year before tearing his ACL in Week 4 of the season. The 6'3", 220-pounder has prototypical size as a long, press corner in Bowles' defense.
"First we're going to get him healthy," Bowles said. "Obviously, his leg comes first. He's a developmental project for us. If he can get healthy and learn the scheme, with his size and speed, he can try to develop into a good corner."
Top Photos of the Michigan DB
Sixth Round (No. 204): CB Derrick Jones, Mississippi
A converted wide receiver, Jones originally signed with the Rebels as a DB before being swapping to offense and eventually back to the defensive side of the ball midway through his senior year. During his time on defense, he made 54 tackles and two interceptions.
"He's never been at one spot, so he's another guy that's going to need some work at corner," Bowles said. "He's got height, weight and speed. He can run, he's a willing tackler, good intangible skills and he can move all around the field for us. We're going to try to develop him as well, another 6'0"-plus corner, a guy who can tackle very well and he's going to try to develop with the group."