Day three saw the Jets draft four players - Miami tight end Christopher Herndon, Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson, UConn defensive lineman Foley Fatukasi and Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.
You may recognize the names of Nickerson and Fatukasi, because they are two players we’ve mentioned several times as potential good value, so we were excited to see them selected with back to back picks in the sixth round.
Nickerson has a lot of potential as a slot specialist, even though he played outside at Tulane. He is small, but an excellent athlete and a natural playmaker.
Fatukasi initially impressed with his consistent run defense but - although he’s not much of a pass rusher - he also racked up some decent sack numbers over the past few years. While bulking him up for a nose tackle role would seem to make sense, Todd Bowles has already said he’ll start off in the mix at defensive end.
With the Jets having already drafted Nathan Shepherd, you wonder if this could create something of a logjam on the defensive line, especially in light of yesterday’s other big move to trade for Henry Anderson.
Anderson is a starter level player, but has had issues with durability. It’s worth a seventh-round flier because if he’s healthy, Anderson should be an immediate upgrade who might not have reached his full potential yet.
Most of the players who figured to be in the defensive line rotation this year are out of contract at the end of the year with just Leonard Williams on a fifth year option and Mike Pennel on a modest three year deal. You can therefore expect the likes of Shepherd and Fatukasi to be a big part of their plans for 2019 and beyond.
The Jets added the two skill position players with their other two picks. Cannon is a small school prospect it should be fun to break down and looks like he could compete for a return role.
Herndon was adequate value at that point of the draft. He is a better blocker than Jordan Leggett but perhaps not quite as much of a receiving threat, although he has developed nicely in that area. The battle between the two of them should be interesting, although Herndon’s knee issues will prevent him from being able to make an early impression in rookie camp.
The round eight haul was interesting, headlined by Oklahoma fullback Dimitri Flowers who has a realistic shot at earning a role. We’ll focus more on the (reported) undrafted free agents tomorrow.