Home | Articles | Column | Should the NY Jets target a defensive tackle early in the NFL draft?

Should the NY Jets target a defensive tackle early in the NFL draft?

Jordan Davis, NFL Mock Draft, 2022, NY Jets, Georgia
Jordan Davis, NFL Draft, Georgia Football, New York Jets, Getty Images

Analyzing the New York Jets’ 2022 NFL draft plan at defensive tackle

The New York Jets have some good pieces along the interior of their defensive line as things currently stand.

A big fourth season is expected from Quinnen Williams. John Franklin-Myers could be utilized on the inside more frequently this season. Sheldon Rankins will be back and should help as a pass rusher. In free agency, Solomon Thomas was signed to provide pass-rushing depth. It will be interesting to see if Jonathan Marshall shows any progression in this second season.

What could give this group a boost is a run-stopping nose tackle. Despite not being the most ideal scheme fit, Folorunso Fatukasi was a tough loss in free agency. In their next nose tackle, getting a player with one-gapping ability to mesh in the scheme would be logical.

The defensive tackle prospects in the 2022 draft and where the Jets would likely target them will be discussed here.

The top prospect: Jordan Davis

Nose tackle Jordan Davis was a vital contributor to the 2021 National Championship won by Georgia. Throughout last season he put himself on the map in a big way when it came to his draft status.

Davis recorded two sacks and five tackles for loss last year. Per Pro Football Focus, he totaled nine hurries in 2021, by far a career-best. Jones has a huge frame (6-foot-6, 341 lbs) which he uses to his advantage in stopping the run. He put on a generational performance at the combine with a perfect Relative Athletic Score of 10.0. He had an elite 40-yard dash time of 4.78.

Ultimately, the chances of the Jets landing Davis seem slim. His value may not start until late in the top 10. When the Jets pick at 10, he would likely be a secondary option.

First and second-round prospects

The next few players who could be picked in the first or second round are:

  • Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)
  • Travis Jones (UConn)
  • Logan Hall (Houston)
  • Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma)
  • DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M)

Devonte Wyatt seems likely to be off the board by the time the Jets pick at 35. If he does slip to the Jets’ early second-round pick, he could be in contention. He recorded an impressive RAS of 9.59 highlighted by a 4.77 40-yard dash.

If he is available at 35 or 38, it will be interesting to see if the Jets draft Travis Jones. He has the size to be the prototypical nose tackle the Jets need (6-foot-4, 325 lbs, 34 1/4″ arms). His impressive athleticism (9.40 RAS), speed (4.92 40-yard), and quickness (7.33 3-cone) show he can fit the Jets’ penetrating front. Jones had 4.5 sacks in 2021.

Logan Hall is not the biggest defensive tackle (283 lbs). He possesses the athleticism to win as a pass-rusher on the interior (9.40 RAS, 1.67 10-yard split, 7.25 3-cone). Hall recorded six sacks last season.

Perrion Winfrey has arm length (35 1/4″), speed (4.89 40-yard), and pass-rushing ability as a defensive tackle (5.5 sacks in 2021), although he does not have the size (6-foot-3, 290 lbs) to fit the Jets’ nose tackle need. Winfrey may be available when the Jets make their two early second-round picks.

DeMarvin Leal will likely start being targeted after the Jets make their two early second-round selections. He is a young prospect at 21 years old. Leal had 8.5 sacks last season and has an elite 3-cone time of 7.2.

Play: 👉 the Jet X Offseason Simulator 

Mid-round prospects

A few of the prospects the Jets could target in rounds three and four are Phidarian Mathis (Alabama), Matthew Butler (Tennessee), Zachary Carter (Florida), and Thomas Booker (Stanford).

Out of this group, Mathis is the one most likely to be in contention when the Jets pick in the third round (69th overall). He has the height and arm length to be a successful nose tackle (6-foot-4, 34 5/8″ arms). Mathis does offer pass-rushing ability as he finished last season with nine sacks.

When the Jets pick in the fourth round (111 and 117), Butler, Carter, and Booker could be options if they are available and the Jets still have not addressed the position.

Butler had five sacks last year. He has good speed (1.69 10-yard split, 5-flat 40-yard dash). His 297-pound frame will probably not translate as a nose tackle.

At 282 pounds, Carter is also too small to fit the Jets’ need for a nose tackle. He has the speed and quickness to win on the interior (1.68 10-yard, 7.34 3-cone). Over the last three seasons, he attained pass-rushing success with 17.5 sacks.

Over his four college seasons, Booker was consistently productive with 20.5 sacks (at least three each season). He tested incredibly well athletically (9.88 RAS). Booker projects as a three-technique defensive tackle.

Late round prospects

If the Jets go elsewhere in the first four rounds and look to acquire a defensive tackle later on, a few players who could be potential options in round five would be Haskell Garrett (Ohio State), Otito Ogbonnia (UCLA), and John Ridgeway (Arkansas).

Final outlook for the Jets

With the Jets’ current group of defensive tackles consisting of gifted pass-rushers, if they add a prospect from this draft, it should be a run-stopping nose tackle.

The best fit for the Jets is Travis Jones at either the 35th or 38th pick if he is available. If Jones is not available or the Jets address other positions, Phidarian Mathis is a viable mid-round option.

Pairing a run-stopper like Jones with Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, Sheldon Rankins, and Solomon Thomas would give the Jets a defensive tackle group with great potential.

Want More Jet X?

Subscribe to become a Jet X Member to unlock every piece of Jets X-Factor content (film breakdowns, analytics, Sabo with the Jets, etc.), get audio versions of each article, receive the ability to comment within our community, and experience an ad-free platform experience.

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Android (Google Play) device.

Sign up for Jet X Daily, our daily newsletter that's delivered to your inbox every morning at 8:00 a.m. ET.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed and/or find us on Apple News to stay updated with the New York Jets.

Follow us on X (Formerly Twitter) @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Related Articles

About the Author

More From Author


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Who writes these headlines? Any team that “targets” DT in the 1st round is a clown show. Might as well target SS and OG too. Oh wait…this franchise does that too. Those are the positions you only look to take when the important pieces are all off the board. I’d love Davis at 10 but only IF all 4 edge and all 4 OTs are already off the board. If it came down to Davis vs Sauce or Jameson/Garrett/London at WR….then talk to me about DT. And I probably still might go WR over him, but it would be hard to pass him up as I love the player and love having elite size on the lines. And I’d still have a hard time passing him up….especially this draft with this WR class that doesn’t seem to have a #1 in the 1st round. Just a bunch of very good #2 types- but few exciting, traditional split-end WR 1 types imo. But a DT is a DT. They are always available and you can plug and patch through FA and late round picks.

Between Perry, Hall, Jones, Leal…there will be another fatass available in rd 2 or 3 or 4. Don’t chase DTs.

2 years ago

Why not develop Jonathan Marshall from last year? Showed good burst in the Giants preseason game

2 years ago

Love Travis Jones in the 2nd round.

2 years ago

Good article, I definitely do not see us taking a DT in 1st although after combine I thought maybe. But in the 2nd or 3rd if we keep our picks I can certainly see it.