Florham Park, N.J. - The New York Jets season is (unofficially) over. They play the Buffalo Bills at home to close out the season. Neither AFC East rival are going to the playoffs nor in the playoff hunt. On top of that, the Bills fired Rex Ryan, former Jets coach before Todd Bowles. Bowles also made the decision to start Ryan Fitzpatrick over rookie Christian Hackenberg. What's the point of watching the game? The only good that could come out of this game is if the Jets lose - but that doesn't mean have another blowout like last week.
This season is at a complete loss. Too many high-profile players have fallen to the injured reserved (cc: Eric Decker, Nick Mangold, Breno Giacomini, etc). Most of the team underperformed throughout the season with the outliers being Quincy Enunwa, Bilal Powell, Robby Anderson, Leonard Williams, David Harris, and Darron Lee. After going 10-6 and missing the playoffs by one pass last season, the fans expected the Jets to dominate this season. The complete opposite happened and the Jets could hardly buy a win. No one wants to see their team lose. The only reason to lose on Sunday is to have a higher position in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
The top eight picks (projected, if the season ended today) for the NFL Draft goes in order: Browns, 49ers, Bears, Jaguars, Titans via the Rams, Jets, Chargers, and Bengals. The worst record is the Browns at 1-14 with the best record is the Bengals at 5-9-1. Unlike the NBA Draft, the NFL Draft has no lottery. Straight up, if you have the worst record then you are drafting first. If you win the Super Bowl, your pick is at 32. The tiebreaker if teams have the same record would be strength of schedule. With that being said, Week 17 will have a large say on where the Jets pick come April.
No matter what happens, the Jets will not have the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 8th pick in the draft. The Jets can't have a worst record than the Browns or the 49ers, since the most wins those two teams can get is two or three. The Jets also won't have a better record than the Bengals even if they win. That's all thanks to the Bengals Week Eight tie with the Redskins. If the Jets lose AND the Bears and Jaguars win, the Bears and Jaguars still own the tiebreaker for strength of schedule. So depending on who wins and who loses, the Jets can have as high as the 5th pick and as low as the 7th pick.
If the Jets lose to the Bills and the Rams beat the Cardinals, then the Jets will have the 5th pick and the Rams Titans will have the 6th pick and the Chargers the 7th. If the Chargers lose and the Jets lose, then the Jets will have the 7th pick and the Chargers will take over the 6th due to strength of schedule. If all teams win or all teams lose, then the draft order will remain the same.
This will be the second time in the past three years that the Jets will have at least a top-seven pick in the draft (6th in 2015). Since 2010, the Jets have had eight first-round picks. The team has used all eight on defensive players. Most mock drafts I've seen have the Jets drafting a player from the secondary. Most of the mocks have the Jets drafting Jamal Adams, safety from LSU, or Teez Tabor, cornerback from Florida. Some even have the Jets drafting Leonard Fournette, running back from LSU. Fournette is a bad pick solely because the Jets have Powell and Matt Forte locked down for a few more years.
The secondary should be the main concern for the Jets. One player that has been falling in mock drafts that the Jets should seriously consider is Jabrill Peppers, "safety" from Michigan. I put his position in quotations because he can basically play any position you tell him to play. Peppers can play safety, cornerback, linebacker, kick/punt returner, running back, and wide receiver. He played heavily on offense and defense in high school, but mainly focused on defense at Michigan. Peppers is a franchise-changing type player.
If the Jets want a top draft spot, maybe losing isn't such a bad idea.
In the above video, Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick talks about starting the Buffalo game and possibly his last game as a Jet.null