Chuma Edoga Jersey

FLORHAM PARK — The Jets may have found their starting offensive tackle of the future on Friday night, when they traded up one spot to draft Chuma Edoga with their second pick in the third round of the NFL Draft.

That’s the ceiling for Edoga, a 6-foot-3, 308-pound offensive lineman out of USC, who has the length and athleticism to become an NFL starter and a number of positions.

“We saw a lot of potential,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “We think he has some position flexibility, both on the left and the right side and to swing inside to guard.”

But it’s also fair to wonder if Edoga will ever reach that potential after a frustratingly inconsistent college career.

Here’s the dream scenario for the Jets: Edoga impresses in training camp and beats out Brandon Shell, who is in the final year of his contract, for the starting right tackle job — the same position he played in college. Edoga could also eventually become the replacement for starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum, whose contract also runs out after this year.

His presence could add comfort for quarterback Sam Darnold, who played behind Edoga in 2017 at USC. It would also give the Jets some versatile depth.

If everything goes right, Edoga has the potential to be a fixture on the Jets’ offensive line for years to come, either at guard or at tackle.

Even if Edoga doesn’t become a starter, his physical skills, size and versatility gives him a chance to be a key depth piece for the line. This pick makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways, if Edoga holds up his end of the bargain.

But that is a considerable “if.”

Most scouting reports tout Edoga for his physical skills, but there are questions about his focus and desire to become a better football player. He also missed several games in college because of a variety of injuries.

If Edoga loses focus or becomes disinterested, his stay in Florham Park could be short.

It’s a high risk, high reward pick. And it makes some sense for the Jets, who badly needed to address their offensive line depth.

What doesn’t make as much sense: the Jets trading their early seventh-round pick (No. 217 overall) to Minnesota for the right to move up just one spot.

But if Edoga reaches his potential, it will have been well worth it.The Jets have only two picks on Saturday in the final four rounds of the draft. They’re scheduled to pick early in the fourth round (105th overall) and late in the sixth round (196th overall).

Their biggest areas of need? They still don’t have a starting-level center, and are unlikely to find one now. Two potential options: Ohio State’s Michael Jordan and Georgia’s Lamont Gaillard. The Jets also need to add cornerback depth: Notre Dame’s Julian Love, Texas’ Chris Boyd and Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye are all options.

Blessuan Austin Jersey

The Jets’ final pick of the 2019 NFL Draft this afternoon is cornerback Blessuan Austin from Rutgers.

Austin (6’1″, 198) hails from Queens, NY. The true junior reinjured his knee in the Scarlet Knights’ 2018 season opener that short-circuited his final season.

He played in 24 games In his first three seasons on the banks of the Old Raritan, with his best season coming as a true sophomore in 2016 when he totaled 43 tackles, an interception and 14 pass defenses. For his RU career Austin racked up four INTs, 18 PDs, two sacks and five tackles for loss.

Austin is the fourth Rutgers player drafted all-time by the Jets and the first out of RU taken since flanker Jack Emmer was selected in 1967. C Alex Kroll is the best-known Rutgers player drafted by the franchise, taken 13th overall in the 1962 AFL Draft and playing 14 games for the Titans of New York that season.

The Jets’ last pick of this draft came in the trade package they and the Raiders put together six weeks ago in which G Kelechi Osemele came east to the Green & White.

One other name recognizable to Jets fans was taken with the 196th pick. That was when C Roger Duffy was plucked in the eighth round out of Penn State in the 1990 draft. Duffy went on to play in 123 games with 70 starts for the Jets.

With three trades this year, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has executed 15 in-draft trades in his five drafts as GM.

Barring any unexpected Round 7 developments, the Jets’ 2019 draft is now one for the books. Unlike in recent years, the Jets under new head coach Adam Gase will not hold a rookie minicamp. Instead, the six rookie draft choices plus undrafted free agents will participate in a rookie orientation from Thursday through Sunday, May 9-12.

Then the rookies will be integrated into Organized Team Activity practices in late May and the first half of June. And they will join the veterans for a full-squad minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center from June 4-6. Then all the players will get their last free time until the start of Gase’s first Jets training camp starting up in late July.

Blake Cashman Jersey

Blake Cashman has always had to earn everything that has come his way. A former preferred walk-on at Minnesota, Cashman worked his way up the depth chart for the Gophers and became a defensive regular last season. And on Saturday, he became a member of the New York Jets when he was selected in the fifth round, No 157 overall.

“It’s everything I’ve dreamed of and it’s something I’ve always had my eyes set on,” Cashman told Olivia Landis after his selection. “Ever since I walked on, I told myself two things and that was I was going to be a starter and team captain at Minnesota and then have an opportunity at the NFL.”

Cashman, whose father played football at St. Thomas University, was part of four state championship teams at Eden Prairie HS while playing cornerback and linebacker. He was a special teams regular as a freshman at Minnesota before racking up 7.5 sacks his sophomore campaign. He concluded that second collegiate season with a Holiday Bowl Defensive MVP award after tallying 12 stops and a sack in a 17-12 takedown of Washington State.

“I feel like I can be someone that impacts the team day one, whether it be on special teams or defense, or both. I really see myself as somebody in maybe nickel or dime packages, getting after the quarterback or having to dart guys in man coverage, whether that be the quick backs out of the backfield or more athletic tight ends,” he said. “I do feel like I have good athleticism and I have good speed, so just the way the game is going now, it’s kind of a lot of speed on the field. Offenses like to spread defenses out so I think they can plug me in many different areas to wreak havoc a little bit.”

Known as an all-effort performer, Cashman captured the Gary Tinsley Award after both his sophomore and junior campaigns. The honor goes to the Minnesota player who “best embodied the underdog spirit” of the late Gopher.

“I felt like I really dedicated myself to improving each year to set myself up for this opportunity right now,” he said. “It’s amazing, I’m speechless to finally see it all come together. With that being said, I know there’s still so much work to be done and so much more I have to develop as a player. I’m someone that loves to get to work and I cannot wait.”

Last season, the 6’2”, 235-pound Cashman started 11 games and paced Minnesota with 104 tackles in addition to 2.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss.

Then at the NFL Combine in February, Cashman bolstered his draft stock by posting a 4.50 40-yard dash and recording a broad jump of 124 inches. He should provide depth on the inside behind Mike ‘backer C.J. Mosley and also would figure to carve out a prominent roles on special teams under Brant Boyer.

“We spoke once through this,” Cashman said of Boyer. “I mainly spoke with the Jets scouts. They stayed in touch with me from the combine through the draft process and then until now. But I know he (Boyer) has a great plan for me and he’s told me that my film is great and he has a lot of fun things he can do with me just based off of my versatility as a player.”

Trevon Wesco Jersey

The Jets were in position early this afternoon, after restacking their value board for the start of Day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft, to either uncover their next top Round 4 diamond in the rough or to trade down from that prime real estate for more picks lower in today’s pecking order.

They chose the latter. Twice.

Ultimately, after trading down with New Orleans and then with Tennessee, the Jets made TE Trevon Wesco of West Virginia their fourth pick of this draft at 121st overall.

Wesco (6’3″, 267) was a redshirt senior who started out at junior college, then saw little action in three seasons with the Mountaineers until last year, when he made 10 starts and caught 26 passes for 366 yards (14.1 yards/catch) and a touchdown and was named All-Big 12 first team. For his WVU career he played in 36 games and had 28 catches for 373 yards and two TDs.

Wesco is the 10th player out of West Virginia drafted by the Jets all-time. The three most recent Mountaineers taken were QB Geno Smith (Round 2, 39th overall, 2013), TE Anthony Becht (Round 1, 27th overall, 2000) and RB Adrian Murrell (Round 5, 120th overall, 1993)

Since 1996, Round 4 has been the start of the final day of draft activity and such has been a round in which teams, after taking time to reorder their boards, find some strong talent. For the Jets, the round has produced such gems as RB/KR Leon “The Natural” Johnson in 1997, T Jason Fabini in ’98, WR Jerricho Cotchery in 2004, S Kerry Rhodes in ’05, WR/KR Brad Smith and RB/KR Leon Washington in ’06, RB/KR Joe McKnight in ’10, RB Bilal Powell in ’11 and TE Chris Herndon last year.

Here’s how the Jets shimmied downward in the first hour of Round 4: They sent their own pick near the top of the round, No. 105 overall, to New Orleans for the 14th choice of Round 4 (No. 116), held by the Saints after a trade from Miami, and the Saints’ fifth-rounder, No. 30 in that round (No. 168).

Then as the Green & White were going on the clock at 116, GM Mike Maccagnan executed another tradedown, this time with Tennessee, his second tradedown of the day and third trade in less than 24 hours. For going down seven slots, from 114 to the Titans’ 121, the Jets swapped that fifth-rounder from the Saints with the Titans and moved up 11 rungs, from 168 to 157.

The trade with New Orleans was Mike Maccagnan’s second of the draft, with the first a flipping of Round 3 picks with Minnesota and the Jets sending their seventh-rounder to the Vikings in exchange. It was also the Jets’ second trade with New Orleans in less than a year, after they sent QB Teddy Bridgewater to the Saints last August for the third-rounder that ultimately turned into Friday night’s selection of Southern Cal T Chuma Edoga.

At the moment the Jets’ 2019 draft will conclude today with a single pick in Rounds 4 (Wesco), 5 (from the Titans) and 6 (from Chicago through Oakland in the trade for Raiders G Kelechi Osemele). They will then have spent six selections in this draft.