The New York Jets own the 43rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft
The first round of the 2023 NFL draft is in the books and the New York Jets came away with pass rusher Will McDonald IV. The Jets stuck to their board and took a high-upside player, but as we enter the second day of the draft, New York still has several needs for the 2023 season. Here are the top remaining prospects that could fill those needs.
Offensive tackle Dawand Jones
Ohio State’s Dawand Jones is one of the biggest prospects in NFL history, standing one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than Mekhi Becton. He’s not close to Becton as an athlete, but he has sufficient explosiveness out of his stance to not be a liability. Jones’ freakish 7′-6″ wing span broke the NFL record and is one inch longer than Kevin Durant’s.
Despite his unusual size, Jones was one of the best pass protectors in college football this past season, allowing only five pressures and leading all tackles with a 1.3% pressure rate allowed. Health is a concern at 375 pounds but he didn’t miss a game in college. Unfortunately, Mekhi Becton also didn’t have a history of injuries coming out of college and has now missed the last two seasons, so it’s understandable why teams are concerned about Jones’ long-term durability.
Regardless, together Becton and Jones would form the most physically imposing offensive tackle duo in the league. Considering the Jets’ need for a tackle and the upside offered by Jones, he would be a slam-dunk pick at 43.
- Height: 6′-8 1/4″
- Weight: 374 LBs
- 40-Yard Dash: 5.35s
C Joe Tippman
Sticking with the offensive line, the Jets need help at center even after re-signing Connor McGovern. Joe Tippman from Wisconsin fits the bill and has been connected to the Jets for months.
Standing at 6”-6″ and 313 pounds with excellent athleticism, Tippman is a perfect fit in the Jets’ scheme. Tippman has been one of the top centers in college the last two seasons and is effective in both pass protection and run blocking. His technique improved over the last two seasons and he has a high football IQ.
Tackle is arguably a bigger need for the Jets than center, but adding a franchise center is never a bad decision.
- Height: 6′-6″
- Weight: 313 LBs
C John Michael Schmitz
Another center. John Michael Schmitz from Minnesota dominated the Senior Bowl and has been the consensus top center for most of the draft process. Standing at 6′-3′ and 301 pounds, he has sufficient size but his 32 5/8″ arms are on the short side.
Schmitz has been playing college football since 2018 and has only improved in the five years since. His technique and IQ are excellent and it allowed him to dominate the last two seasons. Schmitz is a high-floor/low-ceiling prospect that would provide immediate impact. However, considering he is already 24 years old and is on the smaller side, his upside isn’t as high as other prospects.
- Height: 6′-3 1/2″
- Weight: 301 LBs
- 40-Yard Dash: 5.35s
- Vertical Jump: 29 1/2″
- Broad Jump: 8′ 8″
- Bench Press: 26 Reps
S Brian Branch
Could the Jets go defense with their first two picks in the 2023 draft? If Alabama safety Brian Branch continues to slide it’s a possibility.
Branch is considered the consensus No. 1 safety in this draft class and offers the versatility that Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas covet. At 6′-0″ and 190 pounds, he’ll need to add some size for the NFL but it doesn’t show in his play style. Branch played a majority of his snaps in the slot but also lined up in the box and thrives coming downhill.
With no elite free safeties in this class, Branch’s versatility and IQ make him the best fit for the Jets. Adding him to the Jets’ secondary would help fill one of the Jets’ biggest remaining needs.
- Height: 6′-0″
- Weight: 190 LBs
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.58s
- Vertical Jump: 34 1/2″
- Broad Jump: 10′ 5″
- Bench Press: 14 Reps
TE Michael Mayer
Michael Mayer from Notre Dame is the top offensive playmaker still available and would become an immediate favorite of Aaron Rodgers. At 6′-4″ and 250 pounds, he boasts excellent size to contribute in the run game and as a receiver.
Mayer’s basketball background has helped him rack up touchdowns. He broke Notre Dame’s school record for receiving touchdowns by a tight end in 2021 (7) and again in 2022 (9). Mayer also broke the school records for single-season receptions (69) and receiving yards (809) by a tight end in 2021.
While the Jets already have a lot invested in their tight end room, they showed last night they’ll stick to their board.
- Height: 6′-4 1/2″
- Weight: 249 LBs
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.7s
- Vertical Jump: 32 1/2″
- Broad Jump: 9′ 10″
OT Matthew Bergeron
Matthew Bergeron of Syracuse is another potential tackle option for the Jets at 43. Bergeron is at his best in pass protection. He is explosive out of his stance and does an excellent job with stunts. Most importantly, even when he’s beaten he keeps fighting through the play.
While Bergeron is excellent in pass protection, he leaves a lot to be desired in the run game. He’ll need to add strength in the NFL and lacks the nastiness that teams love in their lineman.
Bergeron has played primarily at left tackle the last two seasons but started at right tackle his first two seasons. He’d have the opportunity to earn either spot in 2023.
- Height: 6′-5″
- Weight: 318 LBs
- Vertical Jump: 30 1/2″
- Broad Jump: 8′ 7″
- QB Will Levis
- TE Darnell Washington
- OT Cody Mauch
- IOL O’Cyrus Torrence
- IOL Steve Avila
- DT Keeanu Benton
- DT Adetomiwa Adebawore
I like Bergeron. I also like Mauch, a guy to watch is Blake Freeland
I can’t see the Jets going anywhere except tackle and Stephan, if Jones is THE guy they need Joe D may need to trade up.
Cody Mauch and G O’Cyrus Torrence are two I could be happy with.