Posted April 10, 2014

New York Jets Mock Draft Tracker

New York Jets, NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
New York Jets 2014 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Eric Ebro, UNC

Eric Ebron, UNC (Jeremy McKnight/Icon SMI)

What will the New York Jets do in the 2014 NFL draft? Keep track of all the predictions made in our mock drafts leading up to Round 1 on May 8.

April 10, 2014  2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 18: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

We said: Both Lee and LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. are explosive, playmaking receivers who would be expected to walk right into the Jets’ starting lineup opposite free-agent signee Eric Decker. Lee didn’t have a monster 2013 season, but his tape doesn’t lie. He knows how to exploit the gaps in a defense and get deep, and he would add the much-needed vertical element to New York’s passing game that 2012 second-round pick Stephen Hill has been unable to provide.

April 1, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 18: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

We said: Grabbing Eric Decker in free agency gives the Jets one piece in a passing game that desperately needs an overhaul, and the signing of Michael Vick gives the team a good Plan B in case Geno Smith still isn’t ready for prime time. To that equation, let’s give Gang Green a sleeper of a receiver in Lee, whose tape is certainly better than the middling accolades he’s received through the pre-draft process. Perhaps it’s because Lee played through injury in 2013, or because this receiver class is so deep, but it certainly seems as if many are missing the boat on the qualities that make Lee an interesting NFL prospect — his second-level speed, explosion after the catch and vertical ability that belies his 6-0 frame. The Jets would be well-served by taking Lee (who reminds me of Reggie Wayne) here.

March 25, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 6.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 18: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

We said: Antonio Cromartie signed with the Cardinals, basically leaving the Jets up a creek at cornerback. Problem solved here with Dennard, an aggressive, in-your-face cornerback who would fit right in with what Rex Ryan likes to do defensively. There is not a more impressive press-cover CB in this draft.

March 18, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 18: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

We said: Seems only logical for New York to add another receiving threat to pair with the freshly minted Eric Decker, or a top-flight cornerback to help offset the loss of Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis over the span of fewer than 12 months. Beckham may have nosed ahead of pass-catchers like Marqise Lee and Brandin Cooks for the distinction of being the draft’s No. 3-rated receiver. But if the Jets want to go with a first-round cornerback for the second draft in a row, after Dee Milliner was taken last year, their choice probably boils down to either Ohio State’s Bradley Roby or Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller.

March 5, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 18: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

We said: The Jets have built up an estimable young defense under Rex Ryan, especially up front. But through Ryan’s tenure, the offense has always been limited. That was never more true than in 2013, when rookie quarterback Geno Smith struggled through most of the season, and tight end Jeff Cumberland led the team with four touchdown receptions. That’s why it’s time to give Smith, or Michael Vick, or whoever, a receiver of Lee’s caliber. Most everything Lee does seems to be underrated, but with his route awareness and smooth, gliding speed, he brings Reggie Wayne to mind.

Feb. 26, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 18: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

We said: Is Lee still the No. 3 receiver in this class? It says here that he is, although the combine proved that he has plenty of competition. Given all those choices, the Jets should have no problem finding someone who can expand their options offensively. Now that he’s healthy again, it is not hard to see Lee making the leap into being a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver for a very, very long time.

Round 2, pick 49: Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State

We said: The Jets go reverse order — WR, then O-line — and nail down arguably the top guard in this class.

Feb. 19, 2014  – 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 18: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

We said: From the vantage point of pre-free agency, the Jets landing a pass-catcher of some sort appears to be one of the few locks of this year’s first round. Right up there with an offensive lineman for Miami. A weapon like North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron probably doesn’t get to the Jets, but if Lee lingers on the board until No. 18, New York will pounce. The Jets are devoid of the kind of explosive, yards-after-the-catch threat that Lee poses, and he has the speed and vertical game to make Geno Smith a better quarterback in Year 2. An added benefit of taking Lee, the draft’s third-rated receiver behind Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans of Texas A&M, is that he can also contribute on New York’s return teams.

Feb. 6, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 18: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

We said: The Jets could go a few different ways on offense here, and there are some who wouldn’t be surprised if they dipped back into the quarterback pool. But giving Geno Smith some reliable targets before moving on would seem to make sense.

Jan. 9, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 18: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

We said: The Jets would love to nab one of the top three receivers in this draft — on paper, Watkins, Evans or Lee. Short of that, they could turn their focus to one of the two new-breed tight ends: Ebron or Amaro. With Ebron off the board, the Jets here nab Texas Tech’s standout. Amaro bamboozled defenses as a matchup problem all season, and Geno Smith would learn quickly to love him as a target.

Dec. 5, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.1 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 9: Khalil Mack, OLB/DE, Buffalo

We said: Count the Bills as a possible landing spot here for someone like, oh, TE Eric Ebron —  a matchup nightmare for defenses and a safety net for a young QB like EJ Manuel. But in Mack the Bills would add an athletic edge player to complement rising star Kiko Alonso inside. Mack’s abilities would allow defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to be even more creative with his hybrid D.

Sept. 24, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Chris Burke) 

Round 1, pick 13: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

We said: Mario Williams remains an imposing pass-rusher at defensive end, but the Bills are still trying to find him a little help. Barr very well may come off the board in the top 10 — maybe even top five — come May. The early QB run pushes him down here, and the Bills reap the benefits by nabbing the still-developing former running back.

April 30, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 5: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

We said: The Jets again miss out on the top receiver, this imaginary draft matching 2013 reality. Watkins would be a terrific consolation prize. He split top duties with DeAndre Hopkins as a sophomore and still put up 57 catches for 708 yards. Given a full year to shine as the No. 1 target for Boyd, Watkins should soar.