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.