After the first two picks are made in Thursday night's NFL Draft, there's a good chance the Jets won't be on the clock with the No. 3 pick for long. There are still plenty of indications that they want to trade down in the hopes of adding to their paltry collection of six picks.
That's understandable given how deep in talent the first three-to-four rounds of this draft are believed to be. It makes even more sense considering they don't have a second-round pick and have to wait out 65 picks before they make their second selection in Round three. And maybe GM Mike Maccagnan really will get an offer he can't refuse from some quarterback-needy team.
But unless he's really overwhelmed and doesn't have to drop very far, he should stay right where he is and take Kentucky's Josh Allen at No. 3 -- because Allen is exactly the type of defensive player the Jets so desperately need.
It seems like such a no-brainer considering it's been years since the Jets had a really good edge rusher -- and they struck out in their attempts to land one on the free agent market. And Allen, who had 17 sacks for the Wildcats last season, is the most productive edge rusher in the entire draft.
And he should be sitting right there for the Jets, too. Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray is still the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick, and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa seems to be a virtual lock to go No. 2. And if the world is wrong about the Cardinals and Murray, then Bosa will go No. 1 and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will probably end up going next.
So the 6-5, 262-pound Allen, with his 4.6 speed and impressive array of pass-rushing moves, will almost certainly end up in the Jets' lap.
Now, if the Jets can somehow drop down in the draft and still get him? All the better. There has been a ton of chatter in the last few days that the Jets -- Maccagnan and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in particular -- are enamored with Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. It is an interesting and odd late leak because Oliver is a name that has rarely been linked to the Jets in the last few months.
But what if that's the Jets' way of trying to bait the Raiders to move up one spot? They have long been suspected of eyeing Williams, but maybe the Jets have found out that it's Oliver who the Raiders want at No. 4. If the Jets can drop a spot, pick up an extra pick or two, and still get Allen, that would be fantastic. The same would be true of a swap with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 5.
They can't drop too far, though, because it's really hard to imagine Allen getting past the Giants at No. 6 -- not after the Giants traded away Olivier Vernon from a pass rush that was an absolute disaster last year. Sure, getting a second-round pick back would be nice, and yes they could still get a good pass rusher later in the draft.
But most NFL scouts believe Allen is special -- a lock to be a future Pro Bowler.
When he matches a need so perfectly, and is universally considered one of the best players in the draft, why pass him up? Williams would be a fine pick too. Some scouts think he's the best defensive player in the draft. Bosa would be an obvious choice if he somehow slipped to No. 3. Oliver has too much baggage to be picked this high, when there are far safer picks who are at least just as good, if not better.
But Allen is the best fit and the best option. If he's there, the Jets shouldn't trade out of their spot. They should make Allen their pick at No. 3.