Nolan Smith, Georgia, NFL Draft, NY Jets, Mock
Nolan Smith, NFL Draft, New York Jets, Getty Images

New York Jets fans would likely throw a fit if Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft came true

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has put out his mock draft 3.0. His choice for the New York Jets is interesting, to say the least.

Firstly, it’s important to note that Jeremiah does indeed have the Jets keeping the 13th overall pick in this mock. Some mock drafters have been projecting the Jets to trade the pick to Green Bay for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but it appears Jeremiah sees New York keeping the pick.

At No. 13, Jeremiah has the Jets selecting Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith. The Jets pass on top offensive tackle prospects Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) and Broderick Jones (Georgia). Jeremiah as Johnson going to Green Bay at No. 15 and Jones going to Pittsburgh at No. 17.

Jeremiah explains, “The Jets will likely lose Bryce Huff after next season and Carl Lawson is a potential salary cap casualty. Smith is the most explosive edge rusher in the draft.”

This would be a tough pick for many Jets fans to comprehend.

Anyone who is following the daily conversations in Jets land knows that the offensive line is the number one priority for the vast majority of Jets fans at the moment. Considering New York passed on signing most of the top available linemen in free agency, most fans are eyeing the 13th overall pick as the spot where New York will nab a new starting tackle.

It’s questionable whether any of the top tackle prospects, including Johnson and Jones, will even make it to No. 13. If they did make it to that spot and Joe Douglas passed on them for an edge rusher, there would be a minor earthquake in the New York City area, caused by the simultaneous smashing of multiple televisions in the region.

Jeremiah’s explanation is puzzling. He assumes the Jets will “likely” lose Bryce Huff next season. Why is that so? If Huff has another fantastic season, why wouldn’t the Jets explore bringing him back? It seems presumptuous to peg the edge rusher position as a long-term need because of Huff’s impending free agency.

Additionally, the Jets just traded up to select an edge rusher in the first round of last year’s draft, Jermaine Johnson. They also drafted another edge rusher in the fourth round, Micheal Clemons. Both players showed promise in their rookie years.

Yes, we all know the old adage of “best player available”, but it simply wouldn’t seem like the best allocation of resources for New York to select an edge rusher over two premier offensive tackle prospects with the 13th overall pick.

The Jets are headed for a win-now season with Aaron Rodgers. They are haggling with the Green Bay Packers to keep that 13th overall pick, presumably so they can use it to add a piece that can immediately help Rodgers chase a Super Bowl in 2023. An offensive tackle would provide far more immediate help than a player at a defensive position where the Jets already have plenty of depth and young talent.

This is especially true when looking at the specific prospect in question. Smith is a projection-based prospect, not a “safe” prospect.

As Jeremiah says, Smith is undoubtedly an explosive rusher with plenty of upside (the man ran a 4.39 in the forty and had a 41.5-inch vertical), but he is yet to show he can translate his tools into production. Smith had only three sacks in eight games as a senior in 2022. His career-high for sacks was 4.5.

Smith isn’t the type of prospect who can be relied upon for instant impact, and that’s what the Jets will likely be looking for with this selection now that they have all but committed to a Super Bowl-chasing season with Rodgers.

What do you think? Would you be on board with the Jets passing on Paris Johnson Jr. and Broderick Jones to select Nolan Smith?

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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] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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8 months ago

I would not be on board with the Jets passing on one of the top OL prospects if one is available. But I can see that happening in one respect. Everybody assumes that Douglas is zeroed in on the OL because he was an OL player, but I’ve found across several sports that sometimes when former players go to management/coaching, they tend to struggle a little with players who play their former position. I don’t know if they are too particular, maybe they see flaws that others don’t see, maybe they are too uncompromising, but I have seen in several instances where GMs or managers have trouble filling and managing the very positions they used to play. One example that comes to mind is Elway with QBs in Denver.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
8 months ago

In this order if available. Skoronski, Paris, Broderick.
If still on the board one of these guys should be it.
If all gone….a trade down is possible.

8 months ago

This would be a fine pick without context, but a pretty terrible one with context. He is an explosive athlete that presents the physical skill set to be an elite player, but he also hasn’t showed that level of production in college.