Jets have multiple options with draft picks after Zach Wilson


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The focus in preparing for the NFL Draft for the Jets naturally centered on what they will do with the No.2 pick overall.

Now that it has become clear, following Sam Darnold’s trade, that they will be taking BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with their first pick, it’s time to take a closer look at the Jets’ next two picks. in the draft, which begins April 29.

These two picks come at a fascinating time in the draft and will give general manager Joe Douglas plenty of options. The Jets hold the No. 23 overall pick, their second first round, which they received from Seattle in Jamal Adams trading. They have another choice 11 locations later at # 34, the second pick in the second round.

As critical as Wilson’s development will be to the future of the Jets, how these two picks turn out will be almost as important. The Jets will expect to draft two immediate and longtime starters.

Douglas did a great job of acquiring draft picks. Now he has to hit them.

Northwest cornerback Greg Newsome may be available for the Jets at the end of the first round of the NFL Draft.
Northwest cornerback Greg Newsome may be available for the Jets at the end of the first round of the NFL Draft.

“We have a lot of strengths right now, but we have to make the most of this opportunity,” Douglas said this week.

The Jets’ roster is one of the worst in the NFL, and it was featured in their 2-14 record in 2020. The silver lining for Douglas about having such a bad team is that the GM has so many options. with these choices.

I think these are what I think the Jets’ biggest needs beyond quarterback will be to get into this draft, sorted in order: cornerback, guard, linebacker, running back, edge rusher, tight end and wide receiver. With such a long list, there are a lot of different directions Douglas can go in.

Cornerback tops the list because their starters right now are Bless Austin, Bryce Hall and Javelin Guidry at the slot machine position. The Jets need to inject more talent into this position. The top corners will likely be off the board by 11pm. But with all the quarterbacks and skillful players expected to leave early, players like South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn and Northwestern’s Greg Newsome could be there. Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley has health issues that could push him down, and Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. could be in for the second round.

The Jets also need to improve the inside of their offensive line, and USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker is the top goaltender in the draft. The Jets could hope he drops to 23 or use some of that draft capital (21 picks over the next two years) to climb a few spots if they really like him. Two guarding Alabama players – Landon Dickerson and Alex Leatherwood – are contenders for 34th place.

Other players to watch at these locations are: edge rushers Azeez Ojulari (Georgia), Kwity Paye (Michigan) and Jaelan Phillips (Miami); running backs Najee Harris (Alabama), Travis Etienne (Clemson) and Javonte Williams (North Carolina); linebackers Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame), Zaven Collins (Tulsa) and Jamin Davis (Kentucky); and receivers Kadarius Toney (Florida), Rashod Bateman (Minnesota) and Elijah Moore (Mississippi).

Douglas also has the flexibility at these two locations to trade. Last year there were three trades between the 23-26 picks on draft night. The Patriots actually handed out the 23 pick last year to the Chargers for a second and third round. Douglas could acquire more picks, and with as many needs as the Jets, he might still feel good to fill a hole lower in the draft.

The top of the second round is also an area that usually shows some movement. Teams spend all day Friday thinking about what players missed in the first round, and a team could be motivated to move forward. The Jets might be able to gain more picks again.

Although Jets fans ultimately remember this draft for Wilson’s result, Douglas could move his team forward if he can maximize the No.23 and 34 picks as rookie players, either by drafting them there or by using these choices to load even more. capital project.

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