After obtaining some dawgs in free agency and adding some young pups on this draft weekend, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan took a breath before his roster building continued.
“There are definitely areas I still think we can improve upon, but I do think we’ve added some pieces,” Maccagnan told reporters as the 2019 NFL Draft neared a conclusion. “We are kind of excited to see some of our young players come back too and how they do, but like everything else, you’re never really done building the roster. You’re constantly doing that, but we felt at this point of time, we feel like we’ve made some good strides and we have some good pieces in place.”
Maccagnan and his scouting staff were scheduled to go right to the phones Saturday evening, trying to recruit undrafted free agents to One Jets Drive.
“There are some guys out there that we have draftable grades on and if they don’t get drafted —obviously we’ll go after them,” he said.
Top Images of the Green & White's Selections in the 2019 NFL Draft
When the weekend began Thursday night in prime time, Maccagnan landed perhaps the best entire prospect in this class with the selection of Alabama DL Quinnen Williams at No. 3 overall. Then he came back on Friday and took Florida edge standout Jachai Polite and athletic USC tackle Chuma Edoga in the third round.
Entering Saturday with just two picks, Maccagan moved back a pair of times in the fourth round before taking TE Trevon Wesco from West Virginia.
“We think he has a skill set to be a starting Y tight end, which is an on the line of scrimmage blocking tight end,” Maccagnan said. “But he also has the ability to be an effective receiver and from our standpoint, the value was good at that point of time and we liked the kid and we liked the player. We think he has a chance to develop into a starting caliber player.”
The trades — one with New Orleans and another with Tennessee —allowed Maccagnan to gain a spot in the fifth round and they used that pick to take Minnesota LB Blake Cashman. The Jets ended their draft with a gamble on Rutgers CB Blessuan Austin in the sixth. Austin, a Queens, NY native, who was limited to two games the past two seasons because of knee injuries, registered four interceptions and 18 PDs in his collegiate career.
“We’ll see how he continues to progress. He’s not obviously 100 percent cleared and ready to go right now,” Maccagnan said of Austin. “But I think when we were looking at it, we were thinking he’d have a chance to start the season on PUP possibly or active, but most likely PUP. We’ll bring him along a little slowly and just make sure he’s in a good situation.”
While this was Maccagnan’s fifth draft as the team’s general manager, it was his first working alongside head coach Adam Gase.
“Adam has been very involved in the whole process through all the draft meetings,” Maccagnan said. “We have breakout meetings where Adam, myself and a few other people are in. During the draft, he’s been sitting, for the most part, next to me when the pick is coming up. I know right now he’s getting ready to go help recruit for college free agency. So, he’s been pretty much in the process the whole way through. Any player we pick, draft or sign from pro free agency to the college draft, he’s very involved. He’s pretty much in step with everything we do.”
Maccagnan, who re-signed veteran C Jonotthan Harrison in free agency, was asked today about whether he had intentions on adding a center in the draft.
“In some cases, you target some players at positions that are needs,” he said. “But if they’re not the best players available at that point of time, sometimes it’s better to build with good players that you think have a chance to come in and be good players at other positions.”
Another position that Maccagan addressed was cornerback with him stating the team was excited about seeing how veteran Darryl Roberts performs and adding he would have no problems bringing back veteran Morris Claiborne. And after signing C.J. Mosley to a lucrative contract in free agency, Maccagnan was again asked about the future of veteran inside ‘backer Darron Lee.
“I’m not going to sit here and speculate about players and if they’re going to be on or off the roster. But again, Darron has played and done some good things for us,” he said. “We’ll see how this unfolds moving forward. I think we have some good competition at a lot of positions right now and we’ll see how it unfolds going forward.”