Exploring the trade possibilities of New York Jets’ premium 2022 draft selections
Trades have become increasingly common in the NFL and this is especially true in the draft. Teams will frequently move up and down the draft board in an attempt to get the player they want or increase their total number of picks.
New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas has been very active in the trade department with three draft-day trades in each of the last two drafts. Overall, Douglas has traded 17 picks and seven players throughout his tenure as New York’s GM, and in return obtained 21 picks and four players.
The three most relevant trades involved sending away quarterback Sam Darnold, tight end Chris Herndon, and safety Jamal Adams along with a handful of day three picks. In return, Douglas got safety Bradley McDougald, the 23rd and 87th picks in the 2021 draft, and then the 10th, 38th, 109th, and 115th picks in the 2022 draft.
I expect the Jets to be similarly active in 2022, if not even more. This is especially true in the draft, where the Jets’ plethora of premium choices (four in the top-40) creates endless possibilities on the trade market.
Trading back is usually the best option
I will this say now, I’m a huge fan of trading back, especially in the top half of the first round. The potential to add a future first-round pick as well as additional picks isn’t something I can’t ignore.
The New York Giants showed this last year when they traded the 11th overall pick to the Chicago Bears in exchange for the 20th and 164th picks in 2021 as well as first and fourth-round picks in 2022 that ultimately landed in the 7th and 109th slots.
Teams do not know where their future picks will land. Sometimes teams luck into a top-five pick. But even if they fall later on, the Jets can still use that pick to move up and select a premium player.
4th Overall Pick
The fourth overall pick is the most valuable of the Jets’ assets with a value of 1800 on the Jimmy Johnson trade chart.
In 2021 there were two trades that the Jets can hope to emulate. The Miami Dolphins and the Philadelphia Eagles both slid back in the draft and added future first-round picks.
While fans may want some immediate compensation, consistently having multiple firsts gives the Jets flexibility. This would allow the Jets to move up in the draft or acquire elite players by trade or selection.
New York can attempt to emulate the Dolphins’ trade-down from last year. Moving back with the San Francisco 49ers, the Dolphins traded the 3rd overall pick in return for the 12th overall pick in 2021, first and third-round picks in 2022 (which landed at 29th and 101st), and a first-round pick in 2023.
The Jets could potentially fetch a future first-rounder as the Eagles did last year. After Miami moved down to the 12th slot, Philadelphia traded its 6th and 156th overall picks to the Dolphins for the 12th and 123rd overall picks in 2021 along with a 2022 first-round pick.
If the Jets fall in love with either of the top two defensive ends, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aiden Hutchinson, they will likely need to trade up to acquire them. Unfortunately, that will cost quite a bit of capital.
The most recent comparable trade was the Chicago Bears trading up with the 49ers back in 2017. The Bears gave up the 3rd, 67th, and 111th pick in 2017 along with the 70th pick in the 2018 draft in exchange for the 2nd overall pick.
If they become the next T.J. Watt or Myles Garrett, then this would be worth it. However, with a deep and talented class, the Jets are likely better off staying at four.
Tenth Overall Pick
The 10th overall pick is much more likely to be on the move as the top quarterback prospects are projected to go in this range. It’s also possible for the Jets to trade up if a player they like starts to slide.
The 10th overall pick has been traded three out of the last four years and that could continue this year. Historically, these trades will return a few day two picks or possibly a future first if they move far enough back.
One recent trade involving this pick would change the NFL. In 2017, the Buffalo Bills traded back from the 10th overall pick with the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for the 27th and 91st picks in 2017 and their first-round pick in 2018.
After additional trades, it finished as quarterback Patrick Mahomes for cornerback Tre’Davios White, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, and left tackle Dion Dawkins. After trading up twice and selecting Josh Allen the following year, the Bills are quite happy with their choice.
Speaking of the Bills trading up for Josh Allen…
In 2018, the Bills traded the 12th, 53rd, and 56th pick (1910 points) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the 7th and 255th picks (1501 points). With Buffalo’s package equaling 1,910 points and Tampa Bay’s equaling 1,501, many saw this as a drastic overpay by Buffalo.
Draft point value doesn’t matter in the end if they pick a great player. The Jets could package the 69th pick and move up a few spots if a top player slides.
35th and 38th Overall Pick
I believe there’s a very high chance that the Jets trade up with one of their second-round picks. Great players are going in the 20-40 round of mock drafts which I’m sure Douglas will covet.
This is one of the few areas I highly advocate trading up to add a prospect they covet, like they did last year for guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. Douglas has shown a good feel for moving up and down for players he likes.
Based on past trades the Jets should be able to package their 38th, 110th, and 116th picks to move up to the 31st or 30th overall pick. Using the 69th pick and/or a player, the Jets could get back into the middle of the first round. I would love to see Douglas move up and snag one of the top remaining players.
Top prospects like playmakers Treylon Burks, Jameson Williams, Garret Wilson, and Tre McBride; offensive linemen Trevor Penning, Zion Johnson, and Tyler Linderbaum; linebackers Devin Lloyd and Nakobe Dean; can be targeted by adding extra day three picks.
Douglas got a great haul in 2020 by moving down in the second round to add multiple fourth-round picks before selecting wide receiver Denzel Mims. Unfortunately, every player involved in that trade has been a bust, but the thought process was on the right track.
With such early picks in the second round, the Jets could move back into the late second round and add multiple third-round picks. Douglas has done some of his best work on the third day of the draft and would have the opportunity to add even more if he chooses to trade back.
The Jets still have the 69th, 109th, 115th, 145th, and 162nd picks in the draft once the second round concludes. Altogether, those picks approximately equal the value of the 47th overall pick.
These picks still have plenty of value. The Jets could simply stay put and select great players – they’ve hit the mark with running back Michael Carter and cornerback Bryce Hall – or they can be included in trades such as the ones I mentioned above.
The Jets could use some of these picks to move back up into the second round but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them move back. Douglas has loaded up in the past and will likely try to add future picks as well.
What will the Jets do?
A lot can change between now and the draft but I expect the Jets to be aggressive. Based on the current consensus in the mock draft community, there seems to be a good chance that several prospects who appear to be great fits for the Jets will be gone by the second round.
With the Combine taking place this week, rumors will likely start heating up. Free agency is also starting on March 14 so fans will finally get some clarity on what Douglas’ vision is and how the team must approach the draft.