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What if the New York Jets only drafted offensive players?

Last week, I put together a 2022 New York Jets mock draft in which every pick was used on a defensive player. It was an interesting exercise to identify some potential defensive targets for the Jets at every stage of the draft.

How about we do the same thing for the offensive side of the football?

Let’s hop right into it – a complete offense-only Jets mock draft.

And let me be clear: I am not predicting nor suggesting such a class. Obviously, this will not happen and probably never will happen, nor should it. This is merely a fun, hypothetical exercise to identify some offensive targets for New York at each of their nine current pick slots.

Cool? Cool.

Nine offensive picks in a row, coming right up.

Round 1, Pick 4: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina St.

Ikem Ekwonu was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded Power-5 left tackle in 2021, earning a 91.6 overall grade.

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Ekwonu offers a tantalizing blend of athleticism and power. He would be a good fit in the Jets’ wide-zone offense. Ekwonu’s 95.9 zone-blocking grade at PFF was the best among all FBS tackles, regardless of snap count, conference, or which side they played on. That makes 626 qualifiers.

Ekwonu did a great job in pass protection as he allowed 13 pressures over 500 snaps in protection (2.6% pressure rate).

Drafting Ekwonu would give the Jets a wealth of options. One option would be to trade George Fant while his value is at its peak and slide Ekwonu in at right tackle (though RT would be new for Ekwonu as he only played one snap there in college).

However, my plan would be to start Ekwonu at right guard. While Ekwonu did not play right guard at NC State, he did start four games at left guard in 2020 and also played guard in high school. Ekwonu could replace Fant at tackle in 2023 once Fant’s contract expires. In the meantime, I think he would make an excellent guard.

Regardless of what the Jets choose to do, I think Ekwonu is the best offensive prospect that will be available to them at No. 4 when accounting for positional value.

Personally, I am more impressed with Ekwonu than Alabama’s Evan Neal. While Neal has all the potential in the world, I think he needs far more technical refinement than Ekwonu, who is similarly intriguing from a physical standpoint but has a more polished game at the moment.

Round 1, Pick 10: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

There are a handful of wide receivers I like in this spot, but the class is deep enough to where I think the Jets can still get a great prospect at the top of the second round.

That leaves us with the player who I think is the best offensive player in the class (without accounting for positional value): Tyler Linderbaum.

Linderbaum’s tape at Iowa is incredible. He is consistently excellent in nearly every possible facet of the position, and the numbers back up what you see from him on the field.

PFF scored Linderbaum with a 95.4 overall grade in 2021, the highest of any FBS offensive lineman regardless of position or playing time (1,641 qualifiers). No other center even reached a 90.0 overall grade.

The 6-foot-3, 291-pound Linderbaum is a swift mover who would join Ekwonu as another fantastic fit in the Jets’ wide-zone running scheme. Linderbaum’s 96.1 zone-blocking grade at PFF was the best of any FBS center.

Linderbaum also dominated in pass protection, allowing seven pressures over 451 pass-blocking snaps (1.6% pressure rate).

Fans will love this one: Linderbaum had zero penalties in 2021. Over his career, Linderbaum had two penalties across 2,317 offensive snaps.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas is a former offensive lineman who has preached since the day he walked through the doors in Florham Park that he wants to build the franchise through the trenches. He also promised Zach Wilson that the team would lift him rather than the other way around.

By rounding out his three-year offensive line overhaul with a double-up of Ekwonu and Linderbaum in the first round, Douglas would be putting his money where his mouth is.

Imagine an opening-week offensive line of Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Tyler Linderbaum, Ikem Ekwonu, and George Fant. Now that is how you support a second-year quarterback.

Again, we’re only being hypothetical here – drafting two offensive linemen in the top-10, including a center at No. 10, would be a shock – but it’s an entertaining idea to think about.

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Round 2, Pick 35: David Bell, WR, Purdue

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound David Bell would give the Jets a trusty playmaker on the outside who has good hands and can beat man coverage (two weaknesses for the Jets’ receivers in 2021).

Bell had a career drop rate of only 4.5% at Purdue. In 2021, he averaged 3.29 yards per route run when covered man-to-man, which ranked 10th-best out of 122 qualified Power-5 wide receivers.

Round 2, Pick 38: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado St.

Colorado State’s Trey McBride is a 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end who can give the Jets what they need from the position in their scheme. McBridge is a solid run blocker and outstanding pass blocker. He allowed only two pressures over 188 career snaps in pass protection (1.1% pressure rate).

As a receiver, McBride can be the safety blanket Wilson needs. McBride had a 3.2% drop rate in 2021 (91 catches, 3 drops) and also snagged 17 of his 32 “contested” targets (53.1%).

Round 3, Pick 69: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio St.

Long Island native Jeremy Ruckert projects as a perfect fit to play in-line tight end in the Jets’ scheme. He is known as a strong blocker and has the upside to become a solid receiver. Ruckert offers a 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame to go with his 3.6% career drop rate as a Buckeye.

Round 4, Pick 107: Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington

Any NFL team can use as much offensive line depth as it can get, and it also never hurts to build a pipeline of talent at the position; keeping developing players waiting in the wings.

Washington’s Jaxson Kirkland projects as a worthwhile developmental offensive lineman for the Jets. The 6-foot-7, 310-pounder is known as a good athlete (making him a good scheme fit) and played extensively at both left tackle and right guard in college.

Round 4, Pick 113: Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

Romeo Doubs of Nevada gives the Jets a potential deep threat. Doubs tied for third among all FBS wide receivers with eight deep touchdowns (20+ yards downfield) in 2021. In total, he caught 12 of his 25 deep targets (48.0%) for 444 yards and eight scores.

Round 5, Pick 144: Rachaad White, RB, Arizona St.

The Jets need a running back with proficient passing-game skills to replace Ty Johnson as the complement to Michael Carter. Johnson was relied upon to handle a bevy of targets and blocking reps despite struggling mightily with drops and blitz pickups.

Arizona State’s Rachaad White was a standout receiver out of the backfield in 2021. He ranked seventh among FBS running backs with 43 receptions and fourth with 456 receiving yards, doing it all on only 48 targets.

White had a drop rate of just 5.6% and was dynamic with the ball in his hands, ranking third at his position with 16 missed tackles forced after the catch. In addition, he only allowed two pressures over 63 career pass-blocking snaps (3.2% pressure rate).

Round 5, Pick 161: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Justyn Ross has significant questions to answer regarding his durability and gradual production decline at Clemson, but he offers a lot of upside.

Ross was the No. 1 recruit out of the state of Alabama in 2018 (via 247 Sports), and as a true freshman at Clemson, he caught 46 passes for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns.

The complete New York Jets all-offense mock draft

Here’s a look at our all-offense New York Jets draft haul:

  • R1, P4: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina St.
  • R1, P10: Tyler Linderbuam, C, Iowa
  • R2, P35: David Bell, WR, Purdue
  • R2, P38: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado St.
  • R3, P69: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio St.
  • R4, P107: Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington
  • R4, P113: Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada
  • R5, P144: Rachaad White, RB, Arizona St.
  • R5, P161: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

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

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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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Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
8 months ago

I liked the all-D picks better, but would love Icky, Lindy, Bell, McBride and Ruckert.

Jets71
Jets71
8 months ago

Some nice players here, I love McBride and Ruckert, add Wydermeyer to the list and they MUST get one of those 3. Regardless who they sign. Was there not a top WR available at 10? I am surprised you doubled down with the Center there instead of a top playmaker. I think they need to do better than Bell. Not knowing your choices at the pick, I’d say take a top dog WR at 10 then come back for a center instead of Bell at WR.

Freedom1789
Freedom1789
8 months ago

I like the all-off draft much better than the all-def. I’ve been consistently mocking Ekonu & Linderbaum (reminds me of Brick & Mangold). I’m good with Bell, but I’m typically mocking someone who “falls” farther (though often it is a D player). I like the idea of double dipping on TE’s, but usually one later in the draft (though I’m actually ok drafting both of your selections). Love to get RB White in Round 5 if he is there (and I’ve been able to get him there too). Kirkland hasn’t been noticed by me beforehand, but I do like the idea of getting a developmental G\T later in the draft. And a couple of dart throws at WR is fine with me (with the constraint of not drafting D). Thanks, really enjoying this series!

Jimjets
Jimjets
8 months ago

Wow! I tell you, if they can get an LB, S, CB1 and Edge in FA….this would be sick. With that line we could run or pass and Zach would have…time!

gerrittroisi
gerrittroisi
8 months ago

Love your offensive draft dream come true . Keep up the great reporting . GT

gerrittroisi
gerrittroisi
8 months ago
Reply to  gerrittroisi

Sign FA Haason Reddick a Jersey Boy & one of the top FA Wide Outs AND AWAY WE GO !!