The New York Jets certainly tried to trade up in Friday’s second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported. They wanted USC WR Marqise Lee, who had slid out of the first round, and the Jets were unable to trade up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take him before the Jaguars took him.
Saturday, armed with nine selections, the Jets didn’t seem to want to trade up. Nine selections would do just fine.
The Jets drafted early and often Saturday. They had the fourth pick of the day, #104 overall, by way of the Darrelle Revis trade with Tampa Bay. They chose Oklahoma wide receiver Jalen Saunders, and they were not done drafting wideouts – not even done for the round. Eleven picks later, they took UCLA wide receiver Shaquelle Evans. They also had a compensatory pick in the fourth round, which they used to draft offensive lineman Dakota Dozier from Furman.
The team continued to address their many needs. The Jets are not particularly deep at inside linebacker, so they drafted Iowa State’s Jeremiah George at that position in the fifth round. Then came the sixth round, where the Jets held their normal pick at #195 plus three compensatory picks – #209, 210 and 213. They returned to cornerback at #195 by taking Northwest Missouri State’s Brandon Dixon. Then, they took their third wide receiver of the day, Nebraska’s Quincy Enunwa. After DE/LB IK Enemkpali from Louisiana Tech at #210, they did what I had expected them to do for a while and draft a quarterback – Clemson QB Tajh Boyd.
To wrap up the day, the Jets drafted another pass rusher, Utah DE/LB Trevor Reilly.
~The Jets did not trade up or down at all throughout the entire draft, opting instead to use all 12 of their picks. I think this means that Rex Ryan and John Idzik wanted plenty of new bodies to address their plentiful needs. With all the talk about how deep this draft was, it was smart of them to stay in their slots and not jump up for a certain player, when they could find the same caliber of talent without trading up.
~That being said, they were trying to trade up to draft Marqise Lee, and I would have been perfectly glad to see that happen, too.
~Without drafting Lee, the Jets still spent three of their 12 picks on wide receivers. Saunders is 5’9, 165 pounds, a speed guy, while Shaq Evans is 6’1 and physical. Saunders, Evans and Enunwa join free agent signings Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford for a total of five new wide receivers on the Jets’ roster – which does not bode well for Stephen Hill’s future in green and white.
~Dakota Dozier and IK Enemkpali are two of my favorite names of this draft. Enemkpali and Trevor Reilly were both listed as defensive ends by NFL Network, but NJ.com tags them both as linebackers. In Rex Ryan’s 3-4 scheme, there is potential for both of these prospects to be converted to standing-up pass-rush linebackers as Quinton Coples was.
~And then, of course, there is Tajh Boyd. Rex Ryan’s son, Seth, plays wide receiver at Clemson, and while he didn’t catch any passes his freshman year, the Clemson connection may be part of the reason Rex liked Boyd. Matt Simms now has some competition for a roster spot this summer.