The New York Jets aren’t exactly the NFL’s most intriguing team these days.
After the team released veteran stalwarts Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Marshall among others, the perception is the Jets have entered full rebuilding mode.
This isn’t a bad long-term strategy, but as Woody Johnson is fully aware of, he still has to sell out an 82,000 seat stadium and avoid regular season games being confused for preseason contests.
It’s for these reasons that the Jets are poised to make a splash in the upcoming NFL draft. LSU running back Leonard Fournette may end up with Gang Green as a result.
On the surface, the most pressing Jets need isn’t at running back. As a matter of fact, of all the positions that need to be addressed (quarterback, tight end, offensive tackle, cornerback, safety, linebacker, etc.), running back is far down on that list. Matt Forte still has two years left on his deal and Bilal Powell is certainly capable of being a feature back.
The Jets would seemingly be much better off drafting an offensive tackle to fill the void left by the release of Breno Giacomini, or a defensive back to replace Darrelle Revis in the secondary.
The only problem with that is fans don’t pay to come to games to see offensive linemen block or a defensive back cover an opposing wide receiver. They come to see offensive stars put on a show, which is why it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Fournette taken with the sixth pick.
He was arguably college football’s most recognizable star the past two seasons, and as the Jets move on from the likes of Revis, Fitzpatrick and Marshall, starting in a new direction with Fournette leading the way would certainly satisfy Woody Johnson’s need for a marketable star.
Another player the team could consider is Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who would certainly bring his fair share of star power with him after he put on an epic show against Alabama to win the national title.
Whether it’s Fournette or Watson, you can be sure the Jets are determined to make some serious noise in the NFL draft or else fans may react by putting their season tickets on hold.