Two trades make for an intriguing New York Jets mock draft
The 2022 NFL season has officially begun. Before the confetti even fell at SoFi Stadium, 30 teams were already looking to free agency and the NFL draft. A lot will change in the next month as the NFL Scouting Combine starts March 1 and free agency unofficially starts March 14.
However, I can’t resist making a complete New York Jets mock draft before then. Let’s get to it.
Round 1, Pick 4: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Defensive End, Oregon
Kayvon Thibodeaux’s stock has been sliding in recent weeks but it’s not because of his play on the field. General manager Joe Douglas’ has shown a preference for elite athletes and Thibodeaux fits the bill possessing the length and explosiveness to dominate in the NFL.
Similar to Mekhi Becton, Thibodeaux is a tremendous athlete but is still a relatively raw product. Thibodeaux is still developing his hand usage and variety that would make him a truly unstoppable force. His athletic profile and career production give him a high floor but his upside will be on full display at the combine.
The Jets pass rush struggled this year as defensive end Carl Lawson missed the season with an Achilles injury and his replacement, Bryce Huff, also missed several games. This pick would allow John Franklin-Myers to move back to the interior, where he dominates.
Jets trade back with the Philadelphia Eagles
The Jets trade the 10th and 146th overall picks to Philadelphia in exchange for the 16th and 51st picks. I based this trade (and our later trade in the draft) off similar trades in the past as well as the draft value chart.
Round 1, Pick 16: Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC
There are a lot of talented wide receivers in the draft but one name has been connected to the Jets more than any other: Drake London.
London was the most dominant receiver in college football leading the nation in contested catches (19) despite only playing eight games. At 6-foot-5 he is one of the tallest receivers in the class and he uses that frame to his advantage.
Between his size, strong hands, and body control, London would be an excellent target for Zach Wilson. London would go a long way to helping the Jets drop issues and deep passing as well.
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 4, 2022
While he’s known for his contested catches, London also offers solid route running and the versatility to align in the slot. He’s not as quick as smaller receivers but he’s more than adequate and excels at using his physicality to create separation.
London is also a good fit for the Jets offensive scheme as Michael Nania notes in this article. At USC, London was frequently used in the screen game and did a good job creating after the catch. On the year he was tied for sixth among all wide receivers in the nation in missed tackles forced (22) and 15th in yards off screen passes (185) despite playing only eight games.
Round 2, Pick 35: Trey McBride, Tight End, Colorado St.
The wins keep coming as the Jets draft fan-favorite Trey McBride, although at the rate his stock is rising, they may need to trade up for him.
Every team knew McBride was getting the ball, yet no team could stop him. In his senior year, McBride led all tight ends in the country in receptions (90) and receiving yards (1,121).
McBride isn’t a burner but has enough speed and quickness to create separation. He’s played in-line where he is a solid and willing blocker but also aligned in the slot.
A strong draft comparison for McBride is George Kittle, who represents the perfect tight end for the Shanahan/Mike LaFleur offense. The Jets fill their biggest needs with one of the best tight end prospects in the draft.
Jets trade back with the New Orleans Saints
The Jets trade back again this time with the Saints. The Jets receive the 49th and 100th picks in the draft in exchange for the 38th overall pick.
Round 2, Pick 49: Jaquon Brisker, Safety, Penn St.
Jaquon Brisker is a physical safety that excelled in coverage for the Nittany Lions. He took a leap in coverage this year and made big plays in the biggest moments. His versatility would be an asset with over 300 career snaps aligned deep, in the box, and in the slot. Most importantly, he excelled everywhere he was aligned.
Safety is one of the Jets’ biggest needs this offseason and Brisker would go a long way to filling that need. He’s another physical specimen, something Douglas has made a habit of targeting.
Round 2, Pick 51: Chad Muma, Linebacker, Wyoming
Chad Muma is another fan favorite that plays with a fire that Robert Saleh will love. He impressed at the Senior Bowl which pushed him up to the third round. Linebacker is a big need for the Jets and Muma has the ability to start Week 1.
The linebacker boasts good size and athleticism but what sets him apart is his instincts. There are few players in the draft with better awareness than him as he does a great job flowing to the run and clogging passing lanes.
Round 3, Pick 69: Skyy Moore, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
Skyy Moore is a player that I expect to shoot up draft boards in the coming weeks. The Jets have an underrated need at slot receiver with Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, and Keelan Cole set to leave in free agency. Skyy is similar to the Moore already on the Jets roster as his slide is based on projection instead of production.
Moore played primarily on the outside but his use in the slot increased over his three years at Western Michigan. He possesses elite route running which he displayed at the Senior Bowl.
This is a good example of why I think Skyy Moore's skill set translates to the NFL.
Moore a smaller WR can run physical routes through contact, tracks the ball and makes tough catches in contested situations
This is typically the area smaller guys struggle with but Moore excels pic.twitter.com/f81RcwL9wb
— Ryder McConville (@RyderM25) January 26, 2022
This gives the Jets a young and talented WR core with three players that can align anywhere in Drake London, Elijah Moore, and Skyy Moore. The Jets will likely make an additional signing to pair with Corey Davis, ideally Allen Robinson.
Round 3, Pick 100: Tyler Allgeier, Running Back, BYU
Tyler Allgeier is another player I expect to see move up the draft. He’s one of the best power-backs in the draft and would be a perfect complement to Michael Carter. The former high school linebacker maintained his physicality punishing opposing players.
Allgeier could move up in the draft if he runs a sub-4.4 time in the 40-yard dash which he has been rumored to be capable of doing. Regardless he brings good speed and vision to his bruising run style. And while he doesn’t run a diverse route tree, he’s has improved his receptions total each year.
Round 4, Pick 110: Cole Strange, Guard, Chattanooga
Cole Strange has started 44 games over four years in college and in that time he has allowed a mere 13 pressures and only one sack. He’s no slouch in the run either earning a career-high 86.4 run-blocking grade in 2021 per PFF.
Strange has displayed good athleticism and size measuring at 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds. He also has played a few games at center and left tackle throughout his career. David Wyatt-Hupton goes into full detail here on what makes Strange such an interesting prospect.
Round 4, Pick 116: Jake Ferguson, Tight End, Wisconsin
Jake Ferguson is considered one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft with some upside as a receiver. Wisconsin is a run-first offense which limits his opportunities as a receiver but he did well when given the opportunity.
Ferguson tallied at least 30 catches and 300 yards in each of his four years with a career-high of 46 receptions and 450 yards as a senior. Most importantly he only had one drop (2.1%) in 2021 while hauling in a respectable five of nine contested targets (55.6%).
I’m hoping the Jets add two tight ends in free agency but regardless, Ferguson would compete for the No. 3 tight end spot. He’s a high-character player that improved every year. The Jets could also try him at fullback which is an underrated need as I noted here.
Round 5, Pick 162: Cade York, Kicker, LSU
The Jets should draft a kicker with their last pick. The Cincinnati Bengals made this decision last year selecting Evan McPhearson 149th overall. He proceeded to have an excellent rookie year. Most impressively he went a perfect 14 for 14 in the playoffs including two game-winners.
Cade York appears to be the top name in the kicking class, but I’ll trust the Jets to figure out who they think is the best option.
The Jets could not rely on their kicker throughout the year, most notably in a close game against the Philadelphia Eagles. While competing for the playoffs in 2022, the Jets can’t be in a situation where they abandon extra points due to their kicker’s incompetence.
The Jets put together a great haul, coming away with desperately needed help on defense and upgrades to their offensive skill positions.
New York’s wide receiver room would consist of Elijah Moore, Drake London, Corey Davis, and Skyy Moore. At tight end, the Jets add Trey McBride and Jake Ferguson to a group that ideally includes a top free-agent signing (hopefully, Dalton Schultz). On defense, the Jets draft three impact players Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jaquon Brisker, and Chad Muma.
- Round 1, Pick 4: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
- Round 1, Pick 16: Drake London, WR, USC
- Round 2, Pick 35: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado St.
- Round 2, Pick 49: Jaquon Brisker, S, Penn St.
- Round 2, Pick 51: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
- Round 3, Pick 69: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
- Round 3, Pick 100: Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU
- Round 4, Pick 110: Cole Strange, OG, Chattanooga
- Round 4, Pick 116: Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
- Round 5, Pick 162: Cade York, K, LSU