Jets draft DB in Kiper's first mock with top 3 QBs gone

Minkah Fitzpatrick might be more safety than corner, and thus might not be the best fit for the Jets. Scott Donaldson/Icon Sportswire

If Mel Kiper Jr. is right about the New York Jets in his initial mock draft for ESPN, the fan base will scream in anger.

With quarterbacks Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold off the board, Kiper has the Jets picking Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick with the sixth overall choice.

Seven picks later, Kiper mocks quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Washington Redskins. He apparently doesn't think the quarterback-needy Jets would pull the trigger on Mayfield at six, and I agree with him.

The fans would be upset because it would continue a mind-boggling streak of picking defensive players -- they haven't used a first-round pick on an offensive player since Mark Sanchez in 2009 -- and because Fitzpatrick would remind them of Dee Milliner.

Surely, you remember Milliner, another former Alabama cornerback. Milliner, drafted ninth overall in 2013, turned into one of the biggest busts in Jets history.

Fitzpatrick, a New Jersey native, is one of the premier defensive players in the draft, but he's a cornerback/safety tweener. He played mostly safety last season for the Crimson Tide, although he did have some coverage responsibilities in the slot.

Obviously, the Jets don't need another safety, not with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye already established. What they must determine in their evaluation process is whether Fitzpatrick can be a full-time corner. It's definitely a position of need, especially with Morris Claiborne a potential free agent.

If they picked Fitzpatrick and he became a shutdown corner, the Jets would have an elite secondary, assuming Adams and Maye reach their potential. That, no doubt, excites coach Todd Bowles.

On the downside, they'd still be looking for a quarterback unless they find him in free agency.