New York Jets must emphasize defense in 2019 NFL Draft

The New York Jets had one of the worst defensive units in the NFL in 2018. That’s why they must emphasize that side of the ball in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The numbers don’t lie. The New York Jets were one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL last year. Gang Green allowed 27.6 points per game, which ranked 29th in the league. Not only that, but New York also finished 25th in the NFL in yards per game allowed (380.4). Throw in the fact that the Jets were tied for 16th in sacks (39) and something has to be done. That is your cue, Mike Maccagnan.

The affable Jets general manager faces the most important draft in his tenure with New York that began in 2015. While his team needs a lot of help on both sides of the ball, Maccagnan must emphasize defense during the upcoming NFL Draft which commences on April 25 in Nashville, TN.

Maccagnan has six total selections, including the third overall. With that premium pick, Gang Green is assured of securing one of the top three defenders in the draft: Nick Bosa, Josh Allen or Quinnen Williams. You really can’t go wrong with any of those standouts, but I believe that Maccagnan should grab either Bosa or Allen.

The Jets have been longing for an elite pass rusher for over a decade now, a guy that can get to the quarterback without the aid of a blitz or some exotic scheme. Either of those two would fit the bill, and then some.

Keep an eye out for either of the following two prospects if they’re still available early in the third round (68th overall), when the Jets make their next selection after No. 3. There is a chance that they could be and Maccagnan should scoop either of them up to help improve their lackluster defense.

Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame: The Jets would love Julian on their roster, and for good reason. Although slightly undersized, the 5-11, 193-pounder was a Consensus All-American for the Fighting Irish in 2018. He finished the campaign with 63 tackles, one interception, 16 passes defensed and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Teams simply did not throw his way that often because he excels in coverage, but Love needs to gain some more muscle to aid in stopping the run. He has a live motor, though, and would be a superb value selection here.

Renell Wren, DL, Arizona State: The 6-5, 318-pounder projects as a defensive tackle in the pros and the Jets could certainly use help along the line. Wren performed well at the Senior Bowl and although his college stats don’t bowl you over, so to speak, he was an honorable mention PAC-12 player last year.

The St. Louis, MO native has excellent mobility and strength, pure raw power that will disrupt the opposing line’s effectiveness. He’s very stout against the run and should evolve into a stellar one or two gap performer. The Jets finished 26th in the league against the rush (126.3 yards per game) so Wren can only help. That’s an understatement.