Just to ruin your day, here is what could have been if the Jets drafted properly just the last 2 years. I say the last 2 years, because that’s truly when the re-build process began. In 2015, they went for it with a veteran team and came up short. In 2016, they banked on 2015’s relative success and completely flopped. 2017 was the veteran housecleaning and "fresh start". I’ll leave the 2017 FA signings and cuts the same because I generally agreed with most moves and thought it was important to cut dead weight.
2017 NFL Draft:
Round 1, Pick 6 – QB Pat Mahomes. Yeah this seems like it’s worked for the Chiefs. I thought this kid was next Favre coming out, but even I never expected him to be this good this fast.
Round 2, Pick 39 – RB Alvin Kamara. Good lord. Just these two alone would have changed everything for this team.
Round 3, Pick 79 – WR Kenny Golladay. Let’s keep the trade with Minnesota, for simplicity’s sake. If they didn’t, I’d probably go with Elflein here, but I like the idea of acquiring more picks and Golladay has the look of a WR1, or at the very least a good WR2.
Round 4, Pick 141 – TE George Kittle. You’ve now revamped your skill positions in 4 rounds of one draft.
Round 5, Pick 150 – CB/S Desmond King. A ballhawk that can play anywhere in the defensive secondary, that’d be better than a TE that doesn’t do anything .
Round 5, Pick 181 – S Xavier Woods. Woods is now starting for the Cowboys. 6th round starters are rare this early into their careers.
Round 6, Pick 188 – OT Sam Tevi. He’s a role player in LA right now, but he has the look of a guy who can turn into a starter.
Round 6, Pick 197 – LB Dylan Cole. Cole went undrafted, but he shouldn’t have. He’s a starter in Houston.
Round 6, Pick 204 – WR David Moore. Moore spent 2017 on the practice squad but has emerged this year as dependable WR for the Seahawks.
2018 Free Agency:
Re-sign J. Harrison, Claiborne, Ealy, and Bass
Tender Enunwa, Sterling, Miles, Cooper, and Middleton
Sign Andrew Norwell, Ryan Jensen, Tyrann Mathieu, and Allen Robinson
Trade for Marcus Peters (Same deal LA did, 2018 4th and 2019 2nd)
2018 NFL Draft:
Round 1, Pick 6 – G Quentin Nelson. With Nelson and Norwell at the Guards, life is looking pretty nice for Pat.
Round 2, Pick 37 – S Justin Reid. Jets get their Safety opposite Mathieu with a strong backup in Woods.
Round 2, Pick 49 – CB Donte Jackson. Jackson already had 4 INTs in his rookie year for the Panthers
Round 3, Pick 72 – OT Joseph Noteboom. Now you have depth on the OL for this year as well as a succession plan for Beachum.
Round 5, Pick 143 – LB Genard Avery. In real life, this pick was used to trade for Rashard Robinson. I’ll take Avery here instead, who has been nothing short of great for Cleveland.
Round 6, Pick 179 – CB Parry Nickerson. I actually loved this pick, I think Nickerson turns it on next year.
Round 6, Pick 180 – WR Braxton Berrios. He’s been on IR this year, but there’s our punt returner for the next half-decade.
Round 6, Pick 204 – RB Phillip Lindsay. Unbelievable that he went undrafted.
Your 2018 Opening Day Roster:
QB – Pat Mahomes
RB – Alvin Kamara, Phillip Lindsay
WR – Quincy Enunwa, Allen Robinson, Robby Anderson, Kenny Golladay, David Moore, Braxton Berrios
TE – George Kittle, Neal Sterling
LT – Kelvin Beachum, Joseph Noteboom
LG – Quentin Nelson
C – Ryan Jensen, Jonnathan Harrison
RG – Andrew Norwell, Sam Tevi
RT – Brandon Shell
EDGE – Genard Avery
DE – Leo Williams, Xavier Cooper
DL – Steve McLendon
DE – Henry Anderson, Kony Ealy
EDGE – Jordan Jenkins, David Bass
ILB – Darron Lee
ILB – Dylan Cole
CB – Mo Claiborne, Desmond King, Daryl Roberts
CB – Marcus Peters, Donte Jackson, Tyrann Mathieu, Parry Nickerson
FS – Tyrann Mathieu, Desmond King
SS – Justin Reid, Xavier Woods, Rontez Miles
P – Lachlan Edwards
K – Jason Myers
So, when anybody EVER tells you that it takes years to rebuild, and that it’s a long process- just know that this roster was possible in just 2 offseasons.