The Jets in this draft could be like the guy who sits down at a restaurant, looks at the menu and says, “Give me one of everything.”
You can look up and down the roster and find needs that general manager Joe Douglas needs to fill. That is why the debate about what they should do with the No. 11-overall pick has been so much fun. A tackle? Yes, that would work. A receiver? They need a few of those, too.
Douglas showed in free agency that his priority was shoring up the offensive line in front of third-year quarterback Sam Darnold. You can figure that will continue in the draft. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is likely beating on Douglas’ door, though, asking for some help on his side of the ball.
There are plenty of direction for Douglas to go. Here is how The Post views the Jets’ five greatest needs:
This relates directly to Darnold. Douglas made several signings in free agency to better protect the quarterback, but the tackle situation is still shaky. They signed George Fant to a three-year deal in March, and the former Seahawk is penciled in as their left tackle right now. Still, the Jets can’t feel too confident in a player who was a part-time starter in Seattle.
On the right side is Chuma Edoga, who struggled as a rookie last season. If the Jets take a tackle at No. 11, that player can possibly start on the left side and Fant can go to the right side, or they may want the player to man the right side for at least his rookie year. Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs and Andrew Thomas are the top four tackles. We’ll see who is on the board when the Jets’ pick arrives.
Some people will argue that wide receiver is the bigger need, but the pick here is cornerback. The Jets cut both of their Week 1 starting cornerbacks from last year — Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts. They signed Pierre Desir and re-signed Brian Poole and Arthur Maulet. Bless Austin also could compete to start.
That crew of cornerbacks is not going to scare many offensive coordinators. Now, they can count on Williams to scheme things up and protect the corners with safety help, but that won’t work against better quarterbacks. It is a huge need for the Jets.
No one is talking about Florida cornerback CJ Henderson as a possibility at 11, but Douglas needs to consider it. If Douglas trades out of 11 and moves back, then cornerback becomes an even bigger consideration. If he does not take one in the first round, he should take one on Day 2 of the draft.
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The Jets desperately need an upgrade at this position. They replaced Robby Anderson, who departed to Carolina in free agency, with Breshad Perriman. Jamison Crowder is back in the slot. But after that, there are question marks. Quincy Enunwa may never play again. Josh Doctson and Vyncint Smith have not proven they can be consistent contributors.
All of this has to have Adam Gase, a former wide receivers coach, queasy. That is why some have argued the Jets should take one of the top receivers at No. 11 — either CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs. But this is a very deep receiver draft, and Douglas may be able to find a strong receiver on Day 2 if he goes a different direction at No. 11. It would not be surprising if the Jets take multiple receivers.
There is an argument to be made this is the Jets’ biggest need. But it is being lowered based on the desire to bolster the offense around Darnold and the lack of a lot of good rushers in this draft. It is Chase Young and everyone else, and the Jets will not get a crack at Young. The second tier of pass rushers is more likely to get drafted in the late teens or 20s, so the only way the Jets should take one is if they trade back. They could draft a project later in the draft, but that player is unlikely to help the defense immediately.
Le’Veon Bell is not going anywhere in 2020, but it seems unlikely he will be around in 2021. It is time to get a player who can back him up this year and possibly take over as the top back next year. The Jets need to add speed on offense. Finding a speedy back in the middle rounds could boost Gase’s offense.
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