Nakobe Dean, NY Jets, NFL Mock Draft
Nakobe Dean, NFL Draft, Georgia Football, New York Jets

Top five targets for New York Jets with the 38th overall pick

This morning I woke with a spring in my step; the coffee tasted a little better, the sun shone a little brighter, and push notifications filled my phone about how the New York Jets won round one.

Being crowned champions of the draft on day one doesn’t mean a lot in the long run, but the Jets are a better team today than they were yesterday. How much better is the real question that won’t be answered for a year or two.

With that being said, day one is in the books and it’s time to turn our attention to day two. The Jets may have traded away the 35th overall pick to go up and get Jermaine Johnson, but they still have the 38th (round 2) and 101st (round 3) overall picks to use tonight, two valuable picks that can improve the team in 2022 and beyond.

Here are five players the Jets could target at pick 38.

Nakobe Dean – Linebacker – Georgia

A Georgia linebacker was taken last night, but to my surprise, it was Quay Walker and not Nakobe Dean.

I have Dean as my 16th-best player in the draft, so if the Jets were able to snag him at No. 38 that may be the steal of the draft.

There are some questions around Dean’s size at 5-foot-11 and 229 pounds, but the tape doesn’t lie. Dean is ferocious, quick and a natural leader on the football field. His football IQ is among the best in the draft and his recognition skills will make him an impact player at the next level. Size is his only downfall and that’s almost certainly what kept him out of the first round.

Zach Tom – Offensive Tackle – Wake Forrest

This may be a bit rich for some people, but I firmly believe that Zach Tom will be one of the best offensive linemen to come from this draft.

Technically, Tom is one of the more pro-ready players in the draft, playing with outstanding technique and a firm understanding of leverage and hand placement. He’s not the most dominating presence but he’s athletically suited to the zone system the Jets run.

Tom could be in play at either 38 or 101 for the Jets tonight. I find it hard to imagine the Jets won’t take a lineman at some point and Tom offers positional versatility having played both tackle and center.

Jets X-Factor Membership

Jalen Pitre – Safety – Baylor

Jalen Pitre played the STAR position for Baylor which requires lightning-quick processing, a trait you can imagine Robert Saleh valuing highly. The Jets also got a good look at him in Mobile at the Senior Bowl where he was a standout performer.

Although Pitre can play all over the defense, I like him as a deeper safety where he can go and attack the football. He has that ball hawk nature that the Jets lack at the position at the moment. Pitre has had four interceptions and six pass breakups over the last two years, and also showcased his pass-rushing skills with 9 career sacks.

Pitre could be the perfect partner to the newly signed Jordan Whitehead.

Breece Hall – Running Back – Iowa State

This is a little bit of a curveball as I don’t expect the Jets to be in the market for a RB this early, but I needed to have one wild card on this list.

Hall tested off the charts in the pre-draft process scoring a 9.96 in terms of his Relative Athletic Score. He also tested as “elite” in both speed and explosion and I could see the Jets deciding to take the best player available and that player being Hall.

Hall clocked up 1,460 yards last year with 713 of those coming after contact, not to mention the 20 rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns.

You want to make your offense more dynamic? Add Hall to Carter for a dangerous 1-2 punch.

Travis Jones – Defensive Tackle – Connecticut

The Jets defensive line will be one of the strengths of the team in 2022 with the addition of Jermaine Johnson and the return of Carl Lawson, but the Jets could strengthen it further by adding Travis Jones, a player who was seen as a first-round candidate.

Jones has the size and power to offer gap control against the run and he’s improved his pass-rush every single year in college. Jones was the best defender on a below-average defense and it would be easy to imagine him being a better pro-player than college player if paired with someone like Quinnen Williams.

One thing Jones does very well is keep the second level clean, which will improve New York’s linebacker production.

Here are some of the other potential candidates that I like:

  • Jaquan Brisker – Illinois – Safety
  • Nick Cross – Maryland – Safety
  • Chad Muma – Wyoming – Linebacker
  • Phidarian Mathis – Alabama – Defensive Tackle
  • Kenneth Walker – Michigan State – Running Back
  • Christian Watson – North Dakota State – Wide Receiver
  • Damone Clark – LSU – Linebacker
  • Dylan Parham – Memphis – Guard
  • George Pickens – Georgia – Wide Receiver

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Staff writer for Jets X-Factor, NFL draft writer for SB Nation, Scribe & founder of the Daily Jets Newsletter, host of the UK Jets Podcast, husband and dad. Email: d.wyatt25[at]
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Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 year ago

I can’t beleive we are finished with round 1. The amount of talent still left imo has players that are round 1 picks.
Probably the wrong team because of Tom Bradys age, but of Tampa Bay gave up #s 33 60 I might consider giving up a first rounder next year.
Seattle at 40 and 41 might be more realistic. A 1st rounder for 40 and 41 the break even on the chart would be pick 17 next year. And who wouldn’t want to fleece Seattle again.
If somehow Dean falls to 38, the football gods have done a 180 and are on our side. Had a slight chance at 35 but for hin to drop to 6th tonight might be too much to ask for.
Let’s say we do trade next years 1 for picks 40/41 here is who I’d suggest.
38, 40, 41, 101, 111, 117, 146 but I’ll stick to tonight.

Obviously Dean if there but if not, rb Breece Hall, cb Andrew Booth, LB Christian Harris
round 3 Drake Jackson if he falls if not one of OT Daniel Faalele or IOL Zack Tom
Livin the dream.

1 year ago

Yup knocked it out the park, as I have been saying all along the tape and stats do not lie. Sauce and then Wilson and the Jermaine. Tonight I would love to either Dean or Hall in Breece to compliment Carter. We could cut the other RBs to make room for new talent, adding the honey badger would make the defense even more solid while still injecting youth!

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 year ago

I would hope that idiotic talk of Joe Douglas’ job being in jeopardy is silenced for good. We haven’t had a GM like him in memory.
I am beyond thrilled. Getting Jermaine was a pipe dream and once again Joe pulled off his magic.
I sure wish we gave up 38 over 35. It would give us a chance to rip off Seattle again with picks 41 and 42 needing a qb.
Back to If Dean is gone at 38 I wouldn’t mind trading down with Green Bay at 53 and 59 for 38 and 146.
At 53 LB Muma LB Christian Harris S Jalen Pitre or wr Skye Moore.
At 59 OT Dan Faalele, rb Isiah Spiller, edge Drake Jackson, OT Darien Kinnard.
Don’t know if I could trade down if Dean is still there but getting 2 for 1 as long as we aren’t dropping off too far in talent and aside from Dean I don’t think it will be.
Joe Douglass, if you keep this up, there may be a statue in your future.
The only good thing Adam Gase did was recommend JD!

1 year ago

I like Breece Hall at 38. Give Zach another weapon. I love Carter but he was injured. That can happen again. We need points on the board. If not Hall, then an O lineman.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
1 year ago
Reply to  BigJetsFan1

Plenty of great RBs in the 4th round. We need a LB, and maybe a safety.

1 year ago

Would trade up for Dean, 117 should do it. Could use a run on QB’s. Douglas could trade down from 38, lots of choices. What kind of offer would you take for Bryce Hall ? Middle and Late rounds , Douglas does his best work. Can’t wait.

1 year ago
Reply to  JetOrange

I think he did some great work moving around round 1. He brought in 3 guys who can potentially make game changing plays. They didn’t have 3 guys on the entire roster who could do that last year.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
1 year ago
Reply to  Jets71

They did, but he was hurt.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
1 year ago
Reply to  JetOrange

There are lots of LBs I like, so I would not trade up for Dean, who I think goes to the Giants at 36. Chad Muma, Troy Anderson, Channing Tindall, Christian Harris. They should all be there at 38. I would trade back a bit, recoup a pick or two, and still hope to get one of those guys.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 year ago
Reply to  JetOrange

if 117 gets tge 1st pick which is what I thinknit will take, we have to do it.

1 year ago

Yes, yes! These guys – I believe we’ve already won the draft. Today if we trade this 38th pick down twice, gain three or four more picks THIS year? Forget it. Fill EVERY hole, add depth, create competition with the depth holdovers. Total win.