INDIANAPOLIS -- The Jets have a lot of work to do between now and the NFL Draft.
There's the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis, where the never-ending scouting work continues for general manager Joe Douglas. And then there's player cuts and free agency next month, which will have the roster looking a whole lot different than it does right now.
It's still too early to know what this is all going to look like. Remember, this is Joe Douglas' first full offseason as GM. And, of course, the needs they meet in free agency will alter their thinking in the draft.
But everyone loves a good prediction, so here's our first projection of every Jets pick in April's draft.
Round 1: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
With two of the top three offensive tackles already gone, this was a no-brainer selection for the Jets who are in desperate need of a potentially elite tackle to protect Sam Darnold and spark the run game. Wills is regarded by many as the best offensive lineman in this draft and has the size (6-5, 320 pounds), strength and technique to be a day-one starter.
He played right tackle in college and while he has the skill to make the transition to left tackle — where the Jets need a long-term blind-side protector for Darnold — it’s a bit of an unknown.
Either way, there’s every reason to believe Wills would be a fixture on the Jets’ o-line for years to come.
Round 2: WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
We still don’t know what the Jets will do in free agency, but they’re likely going to need to add a dynamic weapon to their receiving corps. And Reagor fits the bill in every way. His explosive speed makes him a dangerous vertical threat and gives him room to operate on shorter routes in the middle of the field.
He’s projected to go as high as the late-first round, but in this receiver-rich draft he falls to the Jets at No. 48, filling a big need at a thin position.
Round 3: CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State
The Jets got through most of 2019 without a proven outside cornerback on the field. Arnette would fix that. He’s been projected to go anywhere from the first round to early in the third round, where the Jets land him with the 68th overall selection — the pick they got from the Giants in the Leonard Williams trade.
At 6-0, 195 pounds he has the physicality to challenge strong NFL receivers and would have a good chance to win a starting job as a rookie.
Round 3: C Nick Harris, Washington
Everyone knows that the Jets must overhaul their offensive line, and Douglas continues to do just that with his second pick of the third round. Harris (6-1, 293 pounds) started for three years on Washington’s offensive line, proving his ability as a run- and pass-blocker. He showed his versatility by playing guard, but he’s best at center, where he’ll have the chance to win the starting job and potentially fill the role for years to come.
Round 4: DE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State
The sun still rises in the east and the Jets are still searching for an effective edge rusher. And perhaps Willekes can be that guy with the 110th overall pick. He’s got a relentless motor and the speed and strength to get to the quarterback (22 sacks in his final three college seasons). He probably doesn’t have the tools to be a star, but he shows the signs that he should be able to consistently contribute as an edge rusher, which would be an improvement for the Jets.
Round 5: RB Lamical Perine, Florida
Even if the Jets keep Le’Veon Bell, they might need to add running back depth with Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell facing uncertain futures. Perine doesn’t shy away from contact and grinds out yards, a style that would seem to fit well in the Jets’ offense, which is more focused on consistent run gains than big chunks.
Round 6: CB Nevelle Clarke, UCF
The Jets’ cornerback situation was dire last season and in Clarke, they have the potential to pick up some much-needed depth at the bottom of the draft. Clarke proved his worth as a starter at UCF, breaking up 11 passes with two interceptions in 11 games. It’s unclear how effective he’ll be in the NFL, but working with Gregg Williams won’t hurt.
Round 6: WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State
At 6-4, 209 pounds Hodgins has the frame to be a big-time target at the NFL level. He is still very much a work in progress, needing to learn how to make the most out of his size and play more aggressively. It’s worth a late-round pick for the Jets, who need more potentially dynamic receivers in the pipeline.