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Examining the value of Joe Douglas’ recent trades for the New York Jets

Avery Williamson, Travis Kelce
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Joe Douglas has been finding ways to squeeze some value out of expendable pieces on the New York Jets roster.

With the recent trades of Jordan Willis (to San Francisco), Steve McLendon (to Tampa Bay), and Avery Williamson (to Pittsburgh), Joe Douglas recouped some value for a trio of players that most likely were not going to be a part of the organization in 2021.

Willis, a third-round pick of the Bengals in 2017, has been a fringe player in the NFL. At the time of the trade, he had played only 46 snaps over two games for the Jets this season, being listed as a gameday inactive in his most recent few games. Willis has just three sacks in 44 career games over four seasons. Even from a pressure-producing perspective, Willis’ career pressure rate of 7.6% is well below the 2020 EDGE average of 10.5%.

Douglas was somehow able to use Willis to turn a 2021 seventh-rounder into a 2022 sixth-rounder.

McLendon is still a solid player, but he is going to turn 35 years old in January and was set to become a free agent after the season anyway. His odds of returning next season were very low.

Douglas flipped McLendon to Tampa Bay to turn a 2023 seventh-rounder into a 2020 sixth-rounder.

Formerly a top-tier inside linebacker, Williamson has taken a huge step back following his return from an ACL injury, allowing the most yards (404) and catches (37) among linebackers this season. Hours before being sent to Pittsburgh, Williamson had a nightmarish game against the Chiefs in which he allowed 13-of-13 passing on throws in his direction for 190 yards, two touchdowns, and nine first downs. He is going to be a free agent following the season’s conclusion.

By shipping a player on an expiring contract who is producing at an atrocious level to the Steelers, Douglas turned a 2022 seventh-rounder into a 2022 fifth-rounder.

Using three players who were almost guaranteed to provide the Jets with absolutely no value in 2021 and beyond, Douglas converted three seventh-round picks into two sixth-round picks and a fifth-round pick.

Exactly how much positive value did Douglas net the Jets by making those three climbs up the draft board? Let’s dig into the data.

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