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2016 NFL Draft Grades: New York Jets

20th overall: Darron Lee, ILB, Ohi

20th overall: Darron Lee, ILB, Ohio State 51st overall: Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State 83rd overall: Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia 118th overall: Juston Burris, CB, North Carolina State 158th overall Brandon Shell, OT, South Carolina 235th overall: Lac Edwards, P, Sam Houston State 241st overall: Charone Peake, WR, Clemson   It’s not really a surprise any more when the Jets select a defensive player in the first round is it? This was an NFL record-tying 8th year in a row Gang Green took a defensive player, even with their offense poised so delicately between ok and awful.   Still, you can’t blame them for liking the potential in Darron Lee. The former quarterback is a stellar athlete who can absolutely fly around the field. His lack of experience means there are some holes in his game such as losing his leverage in zone coverage but his athleticism helps cover up a few issues. He is a deadly blitzer – something Todd Bowles likes to do more than almost everyone else – and his should be well protected by the terrific Jets defensive line against the run.   In the second round the Jets took a shot at finding their quarterback of the next 15 years by taking Christian Hackenberg. The Penn State quarterback was expected to be a top 5 pick this time last year so finding him this late is nice, but why did Hackenberg slide? Well partly because he got beaten up every saturday this year with Penn State. His offensive line was terrible, resulting in Hackenberg throwing dirt out of his face cage more often than he did touchdowns. That kind of abuse, as we’ve seen with David Carr and Blaine Gabbert, can result in an irreversible lack of confidence for quarterbacks as their eyes drop to watch the rush over the coverage. Personally, I think the Jets made the right move given Ryan Fitzpatrick’s reluctance to sign a new deal.   With the rest of the draft the Jets made a nice balanced set of picks. With premium positions selected like an edge rusher, corner and offensive tackle they gave themselves a lottery ticket at key positions. However they did draft a punter which I don’t like. It was no Buccaneers move, but still, not my favourite part of their draft. Grade: A-  

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Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.


I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

2016 NFL Draft Grades: New York Jets

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