The Jets’ needs on offense — namely offensive line and wide receiver — have gotten most of the attention in the lead-up to the draft, but cornerback is just as big of a hole.
The Jets cut both of their Week 1 starting cornerbacks last month when they said goodbye to Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts. They signed Pierre Desir and brought back nickel corner Brian Poole and sometime 2019 starter Arthur Maulet, but the position still needs lots of help.
This position has been a problem for most of the last decade. The days of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are a long, long time ago. They have tried to solve it in the draft with Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle. They have tried in free agency, giving Johnson a monster contract two years ago. Nothing has worked.
This year’s cornerback class feels like Jeff Okudah and everyone else. Okudah, the Ohio State star, is projected to be taken in the top three. If he somehow fell to 11, the Jets should pounce on him.
After Okudah, C.J. Henderson of Florida is rated by most draftniks as the top cornerback in the draft. Taking him at 11 feels a little rich, though, and the Jets probably would opt for one of the tackles or the top wide receiver over him.
If GM Joe Douglas trades back, then you might see Henderson as an option.
Some of the options that could be there on Day 2 of the draft are Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and TCU’s Jeff Gladney.
The Jets need to come out of this draft with a cornerback. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams did his best to hide their deficiency at the position last year with his scheme, but there is no doubt the defense needs improvement at this position.