Joe Douglas, NY Jets, Aaron Rodgers, GM, General Manager
Joe Douglas, New York Jets, Getty Images

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas shows off his foresight on draft day

One important part of an NFL general manager’s job is maintaining a feel for what other teams in the league are thinking. Whether it’s in a trade negotiation, pursuing players on the free agent market, or preparing for the NFL draft, a good GM always has a finger on the pulse of the league so he can put his team in the best position to make wise moves.

In a recent clip shared by the New York Jets’ Twitter account, Jets general manager Joe Douglas showed a glimpse of his ability to gauge other teams’ plans.

While the New England Patriots were on the clock with the 14th overall pick in the first round of the 2023 draft – one pick ahead of the Jets, who were in the 15th slot – Douglas accurately predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers would trade for the pick and select Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones. Sure enough, New England traded the pick to Pittsburgh, and the Steelers selected Jones.

Pulling out his crystal ball, Douglas said, “I bet somebody is going to trade up in front of us for Broderick Jones… Pittsburgh.”

The video clip doesn’t include any footage of Douglas explaining the exact reason(s) he thought the trade would happen. Perhaps he knew Jones’ stock around the league was high enough to the point where he’d be viewed as a fantastic value after falling to the 14th pick, thus making it likely that some team would be eager to trade up for him. Maybe he heard rumblings of New England wanting to trade out of the pick.

It’s also possible Douglas had a hunch that Bill Belichick and the Patriots would try to spite the Jets by preventing them from selecting a player who they believed the Jets would take. As soon as the trade went down, rumors began circulating that Belichick’s desire to deny the Jets from taking Jones was his primary motivation. Sure enough, a few weeks after the draft, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin strongly hinted that this rumor may have been true.

Either way, this was a cool behind-the-scenes clip for Jets fans to enjoy. If they want to see more clips just like it, they can check out the second episode of “Flight 23: Ascension”.

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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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6 months ago

And this is why I thought it was absolutely ridiculous for fans, and many writers (ahem, Rivka) to crucify Joe D for “not being prepared” for the chance that Bro Jones was off the board.
I loved this episode, lots of insight into the process, and more coverage of what McDonald might bring to the table.