The Darron Lee And Jordan Jenkins Influence

April 22nd, 2024

Todd Bowles

So once upon a time, defensive wizard Todd Bowles was a head coach and he drafted an inside linebacker and an edge rusher with premium picks in the same draft.

The year was 2016, Bowles’ second draft while captaining the Jets’ ship.

No, Bowles was not the general manager. But after his one winning season leading the Jets (10-6 in 2015), Joe assumes Bowles wielded considerable clout in that ’16 draft.

In 2016, the Jets drafted inside linebacker Darron Lee out of Ohio State at No. 20 overall, followed by Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg (Round 2) and Georgia edge rusher Jordan Jenkins at No. 83 overall.

Lee is out of football after being a bust with the Jets. He was hammered by Jets fans for being soft against the run and he wasn’t a blitzer, either. He had only four sacks in 36 starts for Bowles’ Jets.

Hackenberg never took a snap.

Jenkins, however, had a strong career for a late-third-round pick.

Jenkins was no YaYa Diaby, the Bucs’ rookie edge rush sensation as a third-round pick last year. Jenkins started in his first two seasons but was slow to come along. By Year 3 with Bowles, he scored career highs in sacks (7), forced fumbles (2) and QB hits (15). He had an eight-sack season for the Jets after Bowles was fired and his six-year NFL career ended in Houston.

So as the draft approaches, Joe wonders how those 2016 picks ring in Bowles’ head. He obviously knows damn well that edge rush help isn’t always found in Round 1, and Bowles might be in no hurry to find the next Lavonte David or Devin White in this week’s draft.

Whether or not Jason Licht or Bowles admit it, they have biases when it comes to evaluating players and assessing need — and many of those biases come from their history.

Now Joe is not implying here that Bowles somehow has a heavier hand in this week’s draft because the Bucs had a strong 2023 season. But Bowles still has influence.

And every good GM knows drafting players your coach wants means there’s a better shot those players get on the field quickly and help the team.

12 Responses to “The Darron Lee And Jordan Jenkins Influence”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    I would guess Bowles and Licht are on the same page with the names they both would like to pick especially early in the draft.

  2. BuxfaninTX Says:

    Licht biases:

    – Washington DLs
    – Auburn CBs
    – LSU players
    – Small school OLs
    – Kickers
    – Small punt returners
    – Mid major D1 players

    Did I miss anything ?

  3. Kalind Says:

    Baxfanin…you missed overdrafted and generally p!as poor RBs in rd 2&3

  4. kgh4life Says:

    @Buxfanin and @Kalind:

    No GM bats a 1000. Even Belicheck, one of the best coaches in the NFL isn’t considered a great drafter of talent. Licht has his flaws, but with all things considered, he’s one of the better NFL Gm’s.

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    2016 was a bad draft for most teams. Bucs especially….

    One of the least talented draft years overall that I’ve ever seen. Especially looking at it after the fact.

  6. JimBobBuc Says:

    Licht and maybe Bowles said they want to get bigger on OL. Not sure if they mean it as the two OLs in free agency aren’t particularly huge. Maybe in the draft…..

  7. geno711 Says:

    It feels like Oregon’s Brandon Dorlus might fit Bowles scheme as one of our 3rd rounders. A DT/DE combo guy. I think he loves those guys.

    Originally played high school basketball in Broward County before switching to football, some thought he would accept an offer from Florida.

    A three-year starter at Oregon, Dorlus played up and down the line of scrimmage, playing on the edge, over the tackle and on the interior. Over the last three years, he earned All-Pac-12 honors each season and posted nearly identical pressure numbers (46 in 2023, 46 in 2022 and 42 in 2021).

    He is healthy. Played 51 straight games. Earned his degree at college too.

    He was credited with a ridiculously high 8 passes defended last season. I am guessing those were bat downs at the line of scrimmage as opposed to dropping into coverage.

    He hit 20.7 mph on a mid-game GPS last season so he can motor with all that gear on.

  8. Lt. Dan Says:

    ” defensive wizard Todd Bowles “. I believe I have taken you to task on this type of Moniker before Joe. He can’t figure out what he has in Logan Hall? The title of Coach Bowles will do thank you.

  9. Will Says:

    How about drafting Oline players from small schools and then moving them to another spot on the line. Draft a player and let them play the position they’re use to.

  10. rrsrqnc Says:

    Buxfanix TX ain’t wrong, Licht has a type

  11. Costa Rica John Says:

    BuxFaninTX you forgot team captains. Licht really likes leaders on the team.

  12. OR Buc Says:

    I get all the logic about lesser need positions being addressed early. The problem to me is that we don’t have an edge rush and banking on a player outside of premium picks (1st & 2nd) is too risky. This is how you pigeon hole yourself in draft when you don’t effectively address DE in FA.