Mel, Mel, Mel, Mel, Mel.
A tight end? Really?
In his updated mock draft, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicts the New York Jets will pick Alabama's O.J. Howard at No. 6 overall. He's a very good tight end, but it's highly unusual to take one that high. For historical context, consider:
The last tight end to go as high as No. 6 was Vernon Davis in 2006. (A side note: Then-coach Eric Mangini once told me they strongly considered Davis with the fourth pick, opting instead for left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson).
It would be quite a rags-to-riches story if the Jets were to select Howard. They ignored the tight-end position the last two years, fielding a patchwork group that produced only 26 catches in 2015 and 2016 -- 71 fewer than the next-closest team.
Howard would be a tremendous upgrade, and we can't forget that new offensive coordinator John Morton -- unlike his predecessor -- is planning to integrate the tight end into his West Coast-style passing offense.
But the Jets are a team with many needs, and tight end would be a luxury pick at No. 6. They need a cornerback. A safety. An edge rusher. And, of course, a quarterback.
The tight end can wait.