The top signs the New York Jets finally hired a stud general manager—Joe Douglas—are frequent and many over a full year.
Three draft-day trades and nine selections have New York Jets fans and media members alike falling over themselves. The work put in by Joe Douglas earned top-notch grades, even, in some cases, best-draft-in-the-league-type praise.
Mekhi Becton, a legitimate stud left tackle for Sam Darnold, the very first since 2006, kicked things off for Douglas and the organization. Denzel Mims falling to the team at No. 48, only to fall again, to No. 59, after Douglas traded down and acquired another asset, officially put the fanbase in a frenzy.
The rest, including excellent value in Bryce Hall in the fifth round, intoxicated everybody to a degree that had not been felt in well over a decade. As much as everybody wants the good times to continue to roll, a major, nagging question remains…
Why is it different this time around?
No draft grade can be taken seriously until at least two years from now. So much happens from the draft through an NFL player’s second season that any draft evaluation in real-time is just a notch above silly.
I mean, be honest with yourself for a moment; weren’t you the very same fan who praised a Mike Maccagnan draft or two?
Why is it different this time? Why is Joe Douglas the real deal?
While that answer cannot truly be answered with absolute certainty, there are signs aplenty over the last year that yes, indeed, the Jets finally got it right this time around.
He abides by fundamental team-building principles
It just does not get any simpler than this one. Not once over Maccagnan’s five drafts did the man actually proclaim the thing Douglas did on his first day of the job.
“It starts with the quarterback and both lines,” Douglas said during his introductory presser.
Football isn’t a complicated game. It’s a strategic game, almost militaristic in nature. Eleven vs. eleven is usually decided by the unit that works best as one unit. When digging further, a unit works best and at its highest capacity when the front line is winning the battle.