ESPN’s Todd McShay has released his first 2022 NFL mock draft.
The Jets own two first round picks, and McShay has them using both on players who could help improve the secondary.
4. New York Jets (3-10)
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU*
The Jets went offense with their first four picks in 2021, but it’s time to address defense. This season, they are allowing a league-high 8.3 yards per pass attempt, have just four interceptions and are one of three teams allowing 70% completions. Stingley’s production dipped a bit after a six-INT freshman year at LSU, and he has been out because of a left foot injury, but he can absolutely be the kind of shutdown corner New York clearly has to find.
9. New York Jets (via 5-8 SEA)
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame*
I’d love to get New York some help at edge rushing or offensive tackle, but the top players at those positions are off the board. No team has ever used multiple top-10 picks on defensive backs in the same year, per ESPN Stats & Information, but did I mention how much work the Jets’ pass defense needs? Stingley and Hamilton would immediately elevate this unit. Hamilton — who I liken to Denver’s Justin Simmons — has an incredible combination of 6-foot-4 size and speed, plays with great instincts and demonstrates the leadership qualities you want from a high draft pick. And he hauled in three interceptions in seven games before a knee injury derailed his season.
At this early stage it seems like a lot of the top talent is on the defensive side of the ball. That aligns with the biggest areas of need for the Jets, the owners of arguably the league’s worst defense. It is plausible the team could look to add an offensive lineman or playmaker, but this McShay mock seems realistic.
Adding Stingley and Hamilton to a secondary with Bryce Hall and Michael Carter II could turn the secondary from an overall liability into one of the league’s most talented young units.