With the Senior Bowl taking place this weekend in Mobile, Alabama, it is mock draft season.
I generally don’t put too much stock in specific predictions about which players the Jets will pick, especially this far out. I do think mocks can be useful in giving us a broad idea of how players are valued and where they are currently expected to go. Of course some players will see their stocks rise and fall as we get to the Combine and pro days.
Let’s take a look at the players some prognosticators are currently mocking to the Jets. There is a distinct positional theme.
Broderick Jones, OT
Jones is very athletic and powerful. He can create movement in the run game and his ability to recover in pass pro is impressive. The Jets need to keep throwing resources at the offensive line.
O’Cyrus Torrence, IOL
Finding some stability on the offensive line is one of general manager Joe Douglas’ priorities.
13. NEW YORK JETS: OT PARIS JOHNSON JR., OHIO STATE
I pondered an Aaron Rodgers trade here. I really did. But Rodgers’ contract is so complicated with what’s flexible and what’s not that, until there is more clarity about how the Jets and Packers could feasibly get a pre-June deal done, I didn’t even want to take a stab at it.
So, ultimately, we get back to basics, and that is a damn good offensive line prospect who could help the Jets out, regardless of whether Mekhi Becton pans out. Johnson recorded an 83.5 pass-blocking grade on 790 snaps at right guard in 2021 and then posted an 80.8 pass-blocking grade on 848 snaps at left tackle in 2022. He feels like a natural offensive tackle, but a drafting team will be able to get good production out of him anywhere.
13. New York Jets
Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski
A quarterback falling here would be nice, but that didn’t happen. Instead, the Jets can bolster their offensive line with Skoronski, who can start at either tackle spot and would give the Jets flexibility as far as their roster decisions go.
13) New York Jets: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
We’re going to avoid a quarterback here amid reports that the front office and ownership believe strongly enough in Zach Wilson that they would be willing to let go of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur for misdeveloping him. That means finding another area of improvement, and the Jets are a fairly well-stocked team. Here, they go back into the well of offensive line investments.
Paris Johnson is one of the longest tackles in the draft — perhaps only beaten out by his teammate Dawand Jones –, and he has the athletic capability and body awareness to know how to use it. He’s played on both sides of the line, which should be a boon for the Jets, who may still be interested in keeping Mekhi Becton long-term despite the injury concerns.
How they manage the left guard/right tackle situation otherwise between Max Mitchell, Laken Tomlinson, Johnson, and Connor McGovern is up to them after that — and a good problem to have.