With the first pick of the Mike Maccagnan-Todd Bowles era, the Jets went with defense, selecting USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams with the No. 6 overall pick.
Widely regarded as one of the top prospects in the draft, Williams (6-4, 302) notched 74 tackles and six sacks for Southern Cal in 2014. He can play inside or outside, which will add to the Jets’ schematic flexibility under new head coach Bowles, the former Cardinals’ defensive coordinator.
Williams joins a Jets defensive line already regarded as one of the NFL’s best, with Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson standouts and Damon Harrison a big, productive presence in the middle.
According to an NFL Media report, Williams had a shoulder ailment regarded as problematic by some clubs, which might have caused him to last a little longer than expected.
The Jets have just five more picks — one in Rounds Two, Three and Four and two in Round Seven. This would seem to make the Jets a potential trade-down candidate later in the draft as Maccagnan, their new General Manger, tries to fix a club that went 4-12 a season ago.