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Building a New York Jets mock draft that is comically loaded with trades

It’s time to kick off the New York Jets‘ 2022 offseason with a bang.

Everyone in the football landscape has already created and shared five different mock drafts that will send their favorite team to the promised land. Surely, I will follow suit and release plenty of those cookie-cutter mocks for the Jets throughout this offseason.

But to get us started, I wanted to spice things up and take a completely ludicrous approach: what if the Jets used every one of their draft picks in a trade? Whether those picks be used to trade up, trade down, or acquire an active NFL player, I was curious to see what a trade-filled draft haul might look like.

To be clear, this is not a serious mock. I’m not predicting the Jets will do any of this nor am I suggesting they should do any of it. This is mainly for fun – but it’s also a way to explore some of the trade possibilities for each selection.

Before we begin, here is a look at the Jets’ stable of nine draft selections as of the conclusion of the regular season, according to Tankathon’s current projected order:

  • R1-4
  • R1-10 (via SEA)
  • R2-35
  • R2-39 (via CAR)
  • R3-69
  • R4-108 (via CAR)
  • R4-114 (via MIN)
  • R5-144
  • R5-161 (via PIT)

Let’s dive right into it.

Round 1, Pick 4

  • Trade motive: Falcons swap with Jets to secure OL help, Jets grab a top receiver for Zach Wilson

The Atlanta Falcons were graded as the league’s second-worst pass-blocking team of 2021 by Pro Football Focus. One of their weaker positions was right tackle, where Kaleb McGary tied for the second-most sacks allowed of any tackle in the league with nine. They will be aggressively searching for offensive line help this offseason.

In his hypothetical draft scenario, let’s say that edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aidan Hutchinson go first and second to the Jaguars and Lions, respectively. At number three, the Texans take a defensive back (safety Kyle Hamilton or cornerback Derek Stingley) to bolster a defense that had the NFL’s worst pass-coverage grade at PFF.

That leaves highly-regarded Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal (who some mocks have going to Jacksonville first overall) there for the taking at No. 4.

Looking to jump two other offensive line-needy teams in the Panthers (#6) and Giants (#5 and #7), the Falcons open talks with the Jets.

Atlanta is reportedly be looking to move star wide receiver Calvin Ridley, while the Jets could use a big-time weapon to supplement Zach Wilson’s development. So, the Jets use Atlanta’s desperation for offensive line help to work Ridley into the conversation, and the two sides come to terms on a blockbuster deal.

For the purpose of this exercise, let’s assume that Ridley’s trade value is similar to what now-Bills receiver Stefon Diggs netted for the Vikings – a first-round pick (22nd), fifth-round pick (155th), and sixth-round pick (205th) in the upcoming draft along with a fourth-round pick in the next year’s draft. Those three present-year picks equate to 817 points on the classic Jimmy Johnson trade value chart (the values on this chart will be the basis of any trades in this article).

Here’s how the deal shakes out:

  • Falcons receive: R1-4 (1,800 points), R2-38 via CAR (520 points), R4-114 via MIN (66 points), 2023 fourth-round pick – 2,386 total points plus future pick
  • Jets receive: R1-8 (1,400 points), WR Calvin Ridley (817 points), R3-74 (220 points) – 2,437 total points

The Jets move down four spots in the first round, swap a second-rounder for a third-rounder, and cough up two fourth-round picks to get Ridley. Atlanta uses Ridley to grab Neal in the first round, move up on the second day of the draft, and net two fourth-rounders.

In this hypothetical scenario, we are assuming that the Jets and Falcons discussed the terms of the deal ahead of the draft and had it ready to go in case the given scenario played out (Evan Neal falling to #4). The Jets also must have done their due diligence on Ridley off the field and been prepared to sign him to a contract extension.

It’s also possible that this trade could be pulled off before the draft with Atlanta having the mentality of securing the rights to one of the top two tackle prospects – Neal or North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu – if they do like both enough to select them top-four and if it becomes clear around the league that both will be available in that slot.

Hey, we’re just trying to have fun here. Save for the realism for another day.

With the eighth pick, New York takes Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis, who completes the team’s 4-3 defensive front alongside Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, and John Franklin-Myers.

Here’s where we stand (newly acquired picks in bold):

  • R1-8 (via ATL): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  • R1-10 (via SEA)
  • R2-35
  • R3-69
  • R3-74 (via ATL)
  • R4-108 (via CAR)
  • R5-144
  • R5-161 (via PIT)
  • Other assets gained: WR Calvin Ridley
  • Other assets lost: 2023 fourth-round pick

Round 1, Pick 10

  • Trade motive: Jets like multiple prospects in the area, so they pull off a small trade down with the Browns, who seek to take their WR of choice

The end of the top-10 is looking like it may be the spot where wide receivers start going off the board. No longer needing wide receiver help, New York takes advantage of the potential run on receivers and accepts a small tumble down the board so the Browns can take their pick of a few prospects who may be valued similarly.

Cleveland desperately needs help at wideout after a season in which the team did not have a single player reach 600 receiving yards. The Browns are situated at No. 13 in the first round, but the fellow receiver-needy Washington Football Team sits one spot behind the Jets at No. 10, so Cleveland looks to get ahead of Washington and ensure the selection of their favorite wide receiver.

New York drops down three spots and adds to its future ammunition:

  • Browns receive: R1-10 (1,300 points)
  • Jets receive: R1-13 (1,150 points), 2023 third-round pick

Moving down three spots, the Jets are still able to grab the man they wanted: a potentially elite center in Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum.

Here’s where we’re at:

  • R1-8 (via ATL): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  • R1-13 (via CLE): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  • R2-35
  • R3-69
  • R3-74 (via ATL)
  • R4-108 (via CAR)
  • R5-144
  • R5-161 (via PIT)
  • Other assets gained: WR Calvin Ridley, 2023 third-round pick via CLE
  • Other assets lost: 2023 fourth-round pick

Round 2, Pick 35 and Round 3, Pick 69

  • Trade motive: Jets get aggressive for secondary help, Cardinals boost draft chest

We’re not even halfway through the first round and the Jets have already secured big-time pieces at wide receiver, edge rusher, and center.

Those were huge holes for the Jets to fill, but we have yet to address arguably the team’s biggest weakness: the back-seven of the defense (every position besides the defensive line).

So, the Jets get aggressive and ensure they can snag a top-end prospect for the back end of the defense.

Scanning the consensus draft landscape at the moment, it appears there could be a second run on cornerbacks late in the first round after a few top prospects go near the top of the round. That’s where the Jets swoop in.

New York coughs up its third-rounder to Arizona in order to jump from the high second into the late first:

  • Cardinals receive: R2-35 (550 points), R3-69 (245 points) – 795 total points
  • Jets receive: R1-24 (740 points)

There, the Jets take Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary, whose combination of man and zone coverage skills make him a good fit for a Jets defense that plays plenty of both.

  • R1-8 (via ATL): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  • R1-13 (via CLE): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  • R1-24 (via ARI): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
  • R3-74 (via ATL)
  • R4-108 (via CAR)
  • R5-144
  • R5-161 (via PIT)
  • Other assets gained: WR Calvin Ridley, 2023 third-round pick via CLE
  • Other assets lost: 2023 fourth-round pick

New York Jets, Mock Draft Simulator, Offseason Tool, Jets X-Factor, Deebo Samuel

Round 3, Pick 74 (via Atlanta)

Using the pick acquired from Atlanta in the Ridley trade, the Jets get much-needed tight end help in Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert, whose size, blocking ability, and strong hands make him a good fit for the Jets’ 12 personnel-based offense.

  • R1-8 (via ATL): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  • R1-13 (via CLE): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  • R1-24 (via ARI): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
  • R3-74 (via ATL): Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
  • R4-108 (via CAR)
  • R5-144
  • R5-161 (via PIT)
  • Other assets gained: WR Calvin Ridley, 2023 third-round pick via CLE
  • Other assets lost: 2023 fourth-round pick

Round 4, Pick 108

  • Trade motive: Recoup a selection after losing two earlier

The Jets now have only seven picks after entering the draft with nine, so they move down here to get an extra pick back and increase their stock to eight. Mike LaFleur’s brother Matt comes calling in search of a trade-up early in the draft’s third day:

  • Packers receive: R4-108 (78 points)
  • Jets receive: R4-136 (39 points), R4-138 (38 points) – 77 total points

New York gets more defensive reinforcements with the two picks.

Clemson defensive tackle Tyler Davis is an athletic and aggressive gap-shooter who should fit well in the Jets’ attacking 4-3 front. The Jets quietly need more help at the position than many seem to realize as Foley Fatukasi is an impending free agent who did not look like a scheme fit while Sheldon Rankins had a very rough year. Outside of Quinnen Williams, who is a sure thing for the Jets at DT?

The Jets finally address the safety spot with Auburn’s Smoke Monday. Considering that they have dodged the position this deep into the draft, it is safe to assume that in this reality, they have already signed a big-time upgrade in free agency such as Marcus Williams or Jessie Bates.

  • R1-8 (via ATL): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  • R1-13 (via CLE): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  • R1-24 (via ARI): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
  • R3-74 (via ATL): Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
  • R4-136 (via GB): Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson
  • R4-138 (via GB): Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
  • R5-144
  • R5-161 (via PIT)
  • Other assets gained: WR Calvin Ridley, 2023 third-round pick via CLE
  • Other assets lost: 2023 fourth-round pick

Round 5, Pick 144 and Round 5, Pick 161

  • Trade motive: Jets punt on day three and get a future asset in return for a disappointing young player

As we enter the fifth round, the trade-happy Jets of this fantasy world begin to ponder what they could get for their two remaining picks.

As they do that, New York remembers that they have another trade asset to throw into the mix: Denzel Mims.

Mims has become a lost cause for the Jets. The former second-round pick finished his second year with eight catches on 23 targets for 133 yards and zero touchdowns, all while committing numerous penalties, struggling to grasp the playbook, failing to separate from defenders, and battling numerous injuries and ailments. He had the same number of penalties as first-down catches (5).

Anything the Jets can get for Mims at this point will probably provide more value than whatever Mims would give them on the field.

What is Mims worth, though? For the sake of this exercise, let’s just say he’s worth a mid-sixth-rounder – so, about 20 points.

The Jets’ fifth-round picks at No. 144 and No. 161 are worth 34 points and 25.4 points, respectively. So, altogether, the Jets have 79.4 points worth of value between Mims and the two fifth-round picks. That’s about equal to the 107th pick (80 points), a high fourth-rounder.

Jacksonville – badly needing wide receiver help – decides to take a shot on Mims. The Jaguars take on New York’s two fifth-rounders as well, and in exchange, they send over a couple of later picks this year and a higher one next year:

  • Jaguars receive: R5-144 (34 points), R5-161 (25.4 points), WR Denzel Mims (est. 20 points)
  • Jets receive: R6-180 (17.8 points), R7-219 (2 points), 2023 fourth-round pick

So, two of the Jets’ day-three picks in this year’s draft fall by a few dozen slots, but by paying that marginal price, they get to turn Mims – a sixth-round value in our estimation – into a fourth-round pick (possibly a high fourth-rounder considering it’s Jacksonville).

With the 180th selection, the Jets take North Carolina State running back Zonovan Knight, a patient runner who should fit the Jets’ zone scheme well and add another weapon to the team’s committee backfield. He also provides return ability with three kickoff return scores over the past two years and a kickoff return average of over 34 yards per return in 2021.

At No. 219, the Jets add competition at kicker for Eddy Pineiro in South Carolina’s Parker White, who went 17-for-19 (89.5%) on field goals and 30-for-30 on extra points in 2022.

Here is our final haul:

  • R1-8 (via ATL): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  • R1-13 (via CLE): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  • R1-24 (via ARI): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
  • R3-74 (via ATL): Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
  • R4-136 (via GB): Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson
  • R4-138 (via GB): Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
  • R6-180 (via JAX): Zonovan Knight, RB, North Carolina State
  • R7-219 (via JAX): Parker White, K, South Carolina
  • Other assets gained: WR Calvin Ridley, 2023 third-round pick via CLE, 2023 fourth-round pick via JAX
  • Other assets lost: WR Denzel Mims, 2023 fourth-round pick

Well, that sure was interesting. Again, as you rip me to shreds in the comments, keep in mind that this was for fun and is not a real suggestion or prediction.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, have at it! What do you think of this hypothetical trade-filled draft?

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania

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Keith Beckett
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Keith Beckett

If the Jets can get the best OT ( E. Neal ) and the best IOL ( T. Linderbaum ) they should not hesitate. The last time we had All-Pro talent at LT and OC the Jets damned near made it to the SB ( Twice ). With “The offensive Wall” being pretty much complete by rd1, the Jets can add a WR and TE in rd2. Alabama has an injured WR who could be there for the taking? If a CB or Edge falls however the flexibility is there. Rd3 starts the building of the defense as well as… Read more »

EagleFangFootball
Member
EagleFangFootball

Best odds of a pick being traded is the 10th pick unless Kyle Ham falls to 10

Jonathan Richter
Member
Jonathan Richter

Not bad at all. I love the top 4 picks plus Ridley.

Jetdog
Member
Jetdog

Maybe the Seahawks would go for the Calvin Ridley trade, but hopefully not the Jets. Ridley is out of the game for mental health reasons, not a good sign. How did it work out the last time the Jets spent big bucks for an established player who had quit for a year? That cost the Jet’s a ton of cash, but at least no draft picks. Do you really want the Jets to spend big bucks plus valuable draft picks for what might be a another head case?

Jets71
Member
Jets71

Great exercise, but my fear is nobody will want pick 4. What’s the real difference between the player someone can get at 4 vs. 8? Of course the Jets’ luck, they have multiple top 10 picks and not ONE QB worth taking high. I’m convinced if they are forced to pick at 4 they should take whoever they think is the best WR. I look at what Chase, Jefferson, Diggs, Adams, and the list goes on …do for their QB’s. I look at it this way (assuming they hit on the picks) imagine what this team would look like if… Read more »

Jets71
Member
Jets71

Based on the amount of clamoring “Suck for Sam” I don’t think they were fleeced. Also, there were other highly rated QB’s in that draft, ironically many of them didn’t work out. This is why I believe in winning every game. Who is your top WR right now? I have an aversion to Alabama players do to ESPNquierer overhype but Williams is a talent, and to be honest I wouldn’t mind having Davonte Smith. On the other hand, would we be happy with Ruggs, or Judey? Probably not. If Burks runs I think he’d be hard to pass up. I… Read more »

Jets71
Member
Jets71

I didn’t watch Burks as closely as you laid out, Williams going down last night puts a bit of a damper on things. In my mind WR is their top need. For the past 2 to 3 seasons the Jets’ QB’s have been throwing to trash (this year it was down the stretch). I’m tired of soft Jeff Smith who doesn’t fight for the ball, other guys off the practice squad or players making their lifetime cameo in the NFL, never to be seen again out there playing then blaming the QB for poor offense. No QB can be successful… Read more »

hh11212
Member
hh11212

I think we may see Pickett or Corral rise. Will be fun to watch the process.

Jets71
Member
Jets71

I think the Steelers will be very interested in Pickett, and our #10 pick could be in play for someone to move up and get him there. Maybe Pitt.

hh11212
Member
hh11212

I agree Saints, Steelers, maybe even the Redskins in a swap who are at 11, may want to trade up for QB.

hh11212
Member
hh11212

I think Pickett or Corral will likely wind up moving up. We may well have a someone trade up for 10 in a deal like the Giants got last year. So I would look for something like that as a possibilty.

hh11212
Member
hh11212

I liked this exercise. But Ridely would not cost us a second as well. We have to resign him and as you mentioned we have to consider him taking time off from football. So I would say a more reasonable take would be a 3rd and a 4th at best. Liked everything else, liked getting a CB early people are too high on Echols as a starter, I like him as a quality backup, not sure if would take McCreary that high. Would need to Sauce or Kair Elam I think those guys are better prospects.

hh11212
Member
hh11212

Elam before McCreary and Thanks for responding!!

hh11212
Member
hh11212

When you consider 1st rd you need to have elite traits, imo. Elam is a high end athlete with elite size with the right coaching I think he will be a #1 CB. McCreary has solid size and is a good athlete. I think he can be a #2 but you don’t draft #2 CB in the 1st rd.

Joseph Rivera
Member
Joseph Rivera

This actually went remarkably well if you ask me. The move back from 4 to 8 is the best part because we get a player many think we should draft anyway and a new receiver.