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32 for 32: NFL Draft Predictions for the Jets

The New York Jets showed some promise heading into the 2019 season. But largely, they were a disappointment to fantasy owners. After the changes made in free agency and the NFL Draft, can they provide better production in 2020?  Let's find out in our latest edition of the NFL Draft 32 for 32 series.

The focus of this series is to dive into each NFL team's needs to project their draft picks in this year's draft, which will go on as planned in late April. I will predict the first three selections and give fantasy football owners perspective on how this affects fantasy value. Whether it be a positional player or players on the defensive side of the ball, all selections made can help in some way when it comes to fantasy scoring.

As we have seen in recent memory, some rookies can enter this league and make an immediate impact. Based on the appropriate landing spot, this year's crop of prospects has the potential to create some very fantasy-friendly situations. When you're done here, look back on our previous installments by checking the links at the bottom of this page.

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2019 Review

The 2019 season was one in which many were expecting to see signs of improvement from the Jets. But what happened was yet another year of mediocre performances. It all starts with the play from Sam Darnold. Now through two seasons, Darnold has shown to be just an average NFL QB (ranking no better than 15th in any key metric in 2019). He has stretches of play where you think he may be starting to put things together but then follows that up with below-average efforts. Darnold will yet again be an under the radar sleeper in 2020 drafts (after finishing 28th last year in fantasy scoring), but there has been little sustained evidence that shows he will finally push to become a low-end QB1 this season.

As for the players around Darnold, free-agent signee Le'Veon Bell came in with lofty expectations after a year away from the game, only to look like a player that was out of shape and unmotivated (finished as RB16 in 2019). Many will hope to see a return to form from Bell in 2020, but as has been the case with Adam Gase in season's past he typically has a hard time producing a high-scoring RB in fantasy. He will still be drafted as an RB1, but temper your expectations in this offense.

While looking at the pass-catchers, Jamison Crowder (free-agent add last year) surprisingly put together a high target season (122) en route to a WR26 season. He could still hold value as a WR3 this season as the Jets receiving corps will need an overhaul with the departure of oft-hyped Robby Anderson. Breshad Perriman will attempt to take his place, but can't be considered an upgrade.

Looking ahead towards the draft, the Jets will need to focus on the offensive side of the ball. As previously mentioned, the receiving group here leaves much to be desired. Outside of Crowder, the players on the depth chart hold little to no relevance for fantasy owners. Also, to try and open up the running game, look for the team to add some depth to this offensive line. This draft should be viewed as placing the right pieces around Sam Darnold to help his growth.


New York Jets - 2020 Outlook

Offense: 64.2 (29th)
Defense: 74.2 (14th)
Overall: 72.4 (26th)



First Selection (1.11)

CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma

Lamb may just be what the doctor ordered for Sam Darnold and this Jets offense. He is an explosive playmaker that can be dangerous on all three levels of the field. His speed and separation off the snap are unmatched in this class and will be able to dominate most cornerbacks lined up against him. His separation can create large throwing spaces for Darnold, who excels in the 0-9 yard range. He isn't the route runner that Jerry Jeudy is, but his ability to beat man-to-man coverage more than makes up for that.

Where his true danger comes into play will be his ball skills. Whether it be with contested catches or what he can do in open space, Lamb has all the makings of a prospect that can make an immediate impact. He will be a very early pick in all dynasty drafts this season, but he also holds value as a potential WR2 in seasonal leagues across all formats in 2020.


Second Selection (2.16)

Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State

Arnette is a cornerback prospect that provides flexibility for the Jets as he can play both inside or outside. He possesses NFL size and will be best suited at the next level as a zone coverage player. He also has above-average awareness for the position but his transitions can tend to get him behind in man coverage schemes.

Arnette is the type of corner that is not afraid to commit as a tackler in run support with his physicality either. With the Jets consistently struggling with coverage, Arnette can be a valuable piece to add depth to this team.


Third Selection (3.04)

Lloyd Cushenberry, C LSU

Coming in at a position that is not often highly valued, Cushenberry has starting-caliber written all over him. He has big hands, long arms, and excellent strength that matchups up well against most interior defensive linemen in the league. He has limitations with lateral quickness but he can rebound fairly quickly.

He will be best suited to stay in line and not pull out on outside run plays. He holds up very well against bull rushes and hard to beat in passing down sets. Cushneberry should settle in as a starter on this Jets offensive line and become a vital piece to establishing a better running attack with Le'Veon Bell.

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