NY Jets GM, Joe Douglas, Mike Maccagnan, 2022 NFL Draft
Joe Douglas, Mike Maccagnan, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas is holding true to his promises

“This organization is going to lift you, not the other way around.”

That’s what New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh told quarterback Zach Wilson in his first conversation with the BYU product after he officially became the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Since that day and even preceding it, Jets general manager Joe Douglas has done nothing but live up to that promise; which is what Douglas’ predecessor, Mike Maccagnan, could never do.

Maccagnan, who served as the Jets’ general manager from 2015 to 2019, spewed a similar string of cliches when discussing his plan to support former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

“We definitely are excited about the idea of putting players around Sam,” Maccagnan said at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, nearly one year after trading up to select Darnold with the third overall pick in 2018. “That’s going to be one of our focal points this offseason.”

Yeah, right.

Unlike Douglas, who is walking the talk, Maccagnan’s vow to support Darnold turned out to be nothing but an empty promise. Maccagnan did an embarrassingly poor job of building a supporting cast for Darnold, ultimately leading to the young passer’s demise in New York.

Douglas is not making the same mistake. He refuses to allow Wilson to fail because of the pieces around him (or lack thereof). If Wilson does not live up to expectations as a Jet, it won’t be because of the team’s inability to put him in a position to succeed.

We still need to see if Douglas’ picks actually pan out, but the pure amount of effort that he has put into supporting his quarterback is highly impressive, especially in comparison to Maccagnan’s follies.

When you compare Maccagnan and Douglas’ quarterback-supporting endeavors side by side, it is absolutely mind-blowing how much stronger of an effort Douglas has made. Seriously; it’s difficult to believe what you’re about to read is real.

Joe Douglas vs. Mike Maccagnan: A monumental difference in QB-supporting

Firstly, here’s a look at all of the non-quarterback offensive players selected by Maccagnan over his five drafts from 2015 to 2019. Listed beside each player is the value of the pick they were selected with (based on the Jimmy Johnson trade chart).

YearRndPickPlayerPosSchoolValue (Pts)
2015237Devin SmithWROhio St.530
2017379ArDarius StewartWRAlabama195
2019392Chuma EdogaTUSC132
20184107Chris HerndonTEMiami (FL)80
20194121Trevon WescoTEWest Virginia52
20174141Chad HansenWRCalifornia35.5
20175150Jordan LeggettTEClemson29.8
20155152Jarvis HarrisonGTexas A&M29
20165158Brandon ShellTSouth Carolina26.6
20176188Elijah McGuireRBLouisiana14.6
20186204Trenton CannonRBVirginia St.8.2
20167241Charone PeakeWRClemson1

Compare that monstrosity of a list to the work done by Douglas. Here are all of the non-QB offensive players selected by Douglas over his three drafts from 2020 to 2022.

YearRndPickPlayerPosSchoolValue (Pts)
2022110Garrett WilsonWROhio St.1300
2020111Mekhi BectonTLouisville1250
2021114Alijah Vera-TuckerOLUSC1100
2021234Elijah MooreWRMississippi560
2022236Breece HallRBIowa St.540
2020259Denzel MimsWRBaylor310
20223101Jeremy RuckertTEOhio St.96
20214107Michael CarterRBNorth Carolina80
20224111Max MitchellTLouisiana72
20204120La'Mical PerineRBFlorida54
20204129Cameron ClarkTCharlotte43

Let’s break down what we’re looking at here.

First of all, consider this: in five years as the Jets’ general manager, the earliest draft pick that Maccagnan spent on a non-QB offensive player was the 37th overall selection in the second round of the 2015 edition (Devin Smith).

In only three drafts, Douglas has already drafted five non-QB offensive players prior to the No. 37 slot (Garrett Wilson, Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore, Breece Hall).

Things start to get truly unfathomable when you throw pick values into the equation.

Maccagnan invested 1,133 points’ worth of selections into non-QB offensive players over five drafts.

Douglas has invested 5,405 points’ worth of selections into non-QB offensive players over three drafts.

Yes… those are the real figures. Douglas is doing that much better than Maccagnan at helping out his young quarterback.

Underdog Jets Podcast, Wayne Chrebet Meet & Greet

There are a lot of ways you can slice up those pies to exemplify how big the gap is.

Douglas’ total of 5,405 points is about equal to the value of four 9th-overall picks, while Maccagnan’s total of 1,133 points is about equal to the value of one 13th-overall pick. Douglas’ pie can also be sliced into six 18th-overall picks while Maccagnan’s can be divided into three 52nd-overall picks.

Let’s look at those numbers on a per-draft basis, tilting the scales even further in Douglas’ direction.

Maccagnan invested an average of 227 points per draft into non-QB offensive players.

Douglas is investing an average of 1,802 points per draft into non-QB offensive players.

In other words, Douglas is currently investing nearly eight times more capital per draft into QB-supporting prospects than Maccagnan did.

For perspective, Maccagnan’s average of 227 points is about equal in value to the 73rd pick in the draft. Douglas’ average of 1,802 points is about equal to the fourth pick in the draft.

Douglas invested more points into non-QB offensive players in each of his three drafts than Maccagnan invested in his entire five-year career (1,133):

  • 2020: 1,657 (Becton, Mims, Perine, Clark)
  • 2021: 1,740 (Vera-Tucker, Moore, Carter)
  • 2022: 2,008 (G. Wilson, Hall, Ruckert, Mitchell)

And it wasn’t even close – each of Douglas’ draft classes invested at least 500 more points (equal to the value of the 40th overall pick) into non-QB offensive players than Maccagnan’s whole tenure.

It’s ultimately about making the effort count, but Joe Douglas’ effort is undoubtedly tremendous

As we mentioned earlier, these prospects have to turn into legitimately good players for all of Douglas’ work to translate into a strong product on the football field. Putting in the effort is one thing. Getting results out of that effort is another.

The early results are promising, with players like Becton, Vera-Tucker, Moore, and Carter showing lots of potential, but there’s a long way to go. We haven’t even seen the 2022 class take the field in rookie minicamp yet.

Regardless of how it all plays out, Jets fans can at least sleep tight knowing that their favorite team finally has a general manager who is doing everything within his power to supplement the development of the franchise’s most important player.

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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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Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 year ago

JD has actually been unlucky in some ways. The pandemic, and the year with Gase was a killer. It ruined the QB and what looked like some other good players. When you see the overall failure rate of drafted players the GM takes a lot of the blame. But Im starting to think the bigger reason for the failure rate is due to bad coaching.

1 year ago

You could also say that JD invested more draft capital into non-QB offensive players with his first pick than MacCagnan did in five whole drafts.

1 year ago

Michael, another great article. Your strength is showing the numbers. For people that are numbers people like me, it really shows proof and logic. I have been saying for a while that you have to score points to win in this league. In order to score points, you have to draft offense. I like to win. It puts me in a great mood when the Jets win. This was a tremendous draft. I can’t wait to see GW, Hall and Ruckert develop. I am looking forward to the TV commentators say, “Coming up, the high scoring Jets offense vs_______” It time already.

John Spuhler
John Spuhler
1 year ago
Reply to  BigJetsFan1

Well said.

1 year ago

This draft class almost makes me not care about record next year. Clearly this tandem has a good plan and it’s about execution. What more could you ask for?

Ask me the second weekend in September after a loss to a division rival and I’m sure my opinion is will be different. But for now, let’s enjoy this.

1 year ago

Yes! I believe JD and Coach Saleh have a chance to be our best tandem since yes, I’ll say it, Weeb Eubank and Sonny Werblin put together the team that won it all in 68. Terrific job.

1 year ago

Just extend the season! Great work!!!