It’s finally here folks. Welcome to draft day! Make sure your respective butt indentations on your couch are ready for you this evening. I can’t tell you how happy I am that we can stop arguing over picks and just be happy with who we draft. After our final pick has been cast, there is still a lot of work to be done. The next stage of our off season starts with UDFA signings. Then after that, the vets who are still unsigned in free agency start to get calls. Our roster is far from a finished product. This will be my final swing at building the 2022-23 NY Jets.
Round 1 Pick 4
EDGE, Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
With our offensive line all settled, I want to stay in the trenches and take an EDGE. Johnson checks all the boxes for a top tier EDGE. At 6’5”/260, Jermaine is very athletic and strong at the point of attack. I can gush about JJ quite a bit, but I will take this time to give context to a lot of metrics that are being thrown out there to bring him down. The first is his age. He has just turned 23, and will be 23 for pretty much the entire 2022-23 season. By the time a 2nd 5 year contract is complete, he will only be 32. EDGE is a position that routinely plays well into their mid 30s. He can very much have a 10+ year career with multiple 10+ sack seasons. Next there is the speed at which he gets to the QB in obvious pass rushing situations. This is a very misleading stat since there are many pressures/QB hits that were very quick. This stat only factors in sacks. He is in the 97th percentile with 10 yard split. He has the short area burst. This stat also doesn’t factor in double teams or chips or any other tool offenses use to slow down the best pass rusher. Around 30% of JJ’s pass rushes were met with double teams or chips. The only other EDGE who had that much attention given to them was KT. The next knock on him was his pressure grade with takes into account 1 on 1 battles. This is misleading because of how JJ is used. There is no better EDGE at setting the EDGE than JJ. If his main role is to set the EDGE, then he isn’t selling out to get the QB. This will lower anyone’s pressure rate.
Round 1 Pick 10
WR, Chris Olave, Ohio State
With our biggest need on defense addressed, we should now look to giving Zach a new weapon to play with. Olave has quietly moved his way to my #1 WR. There really isn’t much he can’t do while also have top notch speed to blow the top off of a defense. Being a speed threat is one thing, but speed alone can be mitigated with help overtop. Speed and incredible route running is a dangerous combo. On top of all of that, he is as reliable as they come. Only George Pickens had a lower career drop%. Good luck stopping Moore and Olave on the perimeter. Even if you do move assets over to stop them, now the middle is ripe for the TEs and Carter.
Round 1 Pick 26 (TRADE)
S, Lewis Cine, Georgia
After signing Whitehead in free agency, we can now look to giving him a wingman. Cine is a do everything kind of safety. He is without a doubt one of the best athletes at the position. He’s not just a guy who just tests well. He plays every bit as athletic has his numbers say. Whitehead, Cine, Joyner and Davis would round out an improved safety group.
Round 2 Pick 38
IDL, Travis Jones, UConn
I went back and forth on which IDL I wanted most here. It was between Jones and Logan Hall of Houston. In the end Hall is such a tweener that he might have a hard time finding his place with us. Jones didn’t really blow me away with his 2021 tape, but he did show enough to get on my radar. He is very stout against the run while having some upside as a pass rusher. When he was asked to sell out to the QB, Jones showed that he can penetrate. I will go with the upside of Jones
Round 3 Pick 90
OL, Zach Tom, Wake Forest
Our starters along the OL are all set for week 1. Behind them though is truly not good enough. We need to do better than Edoga or Feeney. Zach Tom is an extremely versatile lineman who can play all 5 positions if asked to. His longterm outlook could be our starting center or right tackle. For this year, he can be depth for the whole line. He checks all the boxes athletically. He has joined the ranks of many successful OL who have posted the numbers he has in the short shuttle and 3 cone drills. They have been incredible indicators of future success. Tom was also one of the only tackles to really hold down Jermaine Johnson all game.
Round 4 Pick 111
RB, Jerome Ford, Cincinatti
We have a lot of emerging talent in the running back room, but there is still one giant void. We still don’t have a short yardage king. Our backs are make their money on speed and allusiveness. Ford makes his money on power. If you come after him with some weak arm tackle, he will make quick work of it. Ford also has pretty good speed to go with his power. At the next level he can be used more as a receiver. Him and Carter can make a dynamic duo.
Round 5 Pick 146
LB, Mike Rose, Iowa State
We need more bodies in the middle of our defense. Q and CJ are the only 2 starter quality players we have. Sherwood showed some promise, but he is going to miss some significant time at the start of the season. This is a little late to be looking for a starter, but the perfect time to draft someone who we can develop. Rose isn’t the most athletic back, but where he thrives is in coverage. He glides into zone with great eyes and instincts. He has a nose for being in the right place at the right time. It’s the rest of his game that he needs to develop. I have faith in our defensive coaches to maximize his talent.
Round 5 Pick 163
TE/FB, Chigoziem Okonkwo, Maryland
Okonkwo is that do everything TE that I think MLF dreams of. Having a Kyle Juszczyk type weapon is something we haven’t had since Tony Richardson. It would be a sin to leave this draft without dipping into this deep and talented group of TEs.
TE, Austin Allen, Nebraska
TE, Chase Allen, Iowa State
WR, Tanner Conner, Idaho State
WR, Justin Hall, Ball State
RB, Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State
RB, Master Teague, Ohio State
OL, Tyler Vrabel, Boston College
OL, James Empey, BYU
OL, Paul Grattan, UCLA
DL, Zach VanValkenburg, Iowa
DL, Julius Turner, Rutgers
DL, Demetrius Taylor, Appalachian State
LB, Nate Landman, Colorado
LB, Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers
DB, Damarcus Fields, Texas Tech
DB, Raleigh Texada, Baylor
DB, Brad Hawkins, Michigan
DB, Jaylan Foster, South Carolina
Possible Free Agents
LB, K.J. Wright
T, Dennis Kelly
Possible Camp Cuts
IDL, Sheldon Rankins