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NY Jets’ ideal draft plan combines two common proposals

J.C. Latham
J.C. Latham

Should the New York Jets trade up or trade down in the draft?

Should the New York Jets trade up or trade down in the NFL Draft?

There will be a variety of answers to that question reflected in mock drafts everywhere. What if the best answer is — both?

Here’s a Jets draft proposal that I think is both realistic and responsive to the Jets’ needs.

Top two needs

Despite having signed Mike Williams and Tyron Smith and traded for Morgan Moses, the Jets’ top two needs in the draft are likely offensive tackle and wide receiver. They don’t have either tackle or a No. 2 receiver under contract for 2025. Although this is an all-in season, since Williams and Smith have injury concerns, there is reason to target a viable 2024 replacement in this season’s draft.

The Jets currently have the No. 10 and No. 72 overall picks. If they want to fill tackle and receiver, getting a quality tackle will be much easier at No. 10, while there will likely still be solid receiver options available at No. 72.

Trade down to trade up

Many Jets fans have talked about trading down to recoup a second-round pick. According to the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, which NFL teams still seem to roughly follow despite its lack of statistical validity, the Jets would need to trade down six slots to gain the value of the No. 64 pick, the last pick of the second round.

That’s quite a steep price to pay. It may put them in the range of picking a project rather than a Year 1 starter. Most outlets have Joe Alt, Olu Fashanu, Taliese Fuaga, and J.C. Latham listed as the top four tackles in the draft; all four of them could be off the board by No. 16, even though NFL Mock Draft Database still has Latham (No. 18) available in their consensus mock draft (while Fuaga has no consensus).

The most likely tackle pick at No. 16 would be Troy Fautanu. Many prognosticators like Fautanu, but Joe Blewett is not among them. Perhaps it would be a somewhat better pick at No. 16 considering the hope that he appears in as few games as possible while learning behind Smith. Still, there are risks involved in taking Fautanu.

If Fautanu is also off the board, then the Jets would be looking at Amarius Mims or Tyler Guyton, two major projects who should not play in Year 1. Since the Jets’ swing tackle is likely to play in 2024, that’s a risky prospect.

Therefore, I think it’s more likely that the Jets would look to move back a few spots, perhaps three or four. Of course, there’s no guarantee that a team would trade up with them if J.J. McCarthy is off the board, which seems likely. Still, going back to 13 or 14 still leaves at least one of the top tackles on the board. Considering the lack of general enthusiasm for Latham, Blewett’s preferred target, he may well be still available at that spot.

Moving down from 10 to 13 would net the equivalent of the No. 88 overall pick on the Johnson chart, a third-rounder; going from 10 to 14 would bring back No. 78. The Jets would likely be looking at receiving a third-rounder in return.

Now, with No. 72 and another third-rounder somewhere around No. 80, the Jets would have enough ammunition to trade up again.

Why move up from there?

While there will likely still be good receivers available in the third round, the second round features more players who could develop into No. 2 targets. Ladd McConkey, Roman Wilson, Xavier Legette, Ricky Pearsall, and Ja’Lynn Polk are among the likely second-rounders who could fit what the Jets are looking for.

To move up from No. 72 to No. 48, the middle of the second round, the Jets would need to add the equivalent of the 80th pick — which is exactly the pick they should receive from moving down a few spots in the first round.

Not the only logical move

There are certainly other directions the Jets could choose. They could try to move down enough to recoup a second-rounder. They could trade up for Malik Nabers or even Marvin Harrison Jr. They could stay put and take a tackle or Brock Bowers.

But this is an intriguing option because it combines the best possibilities for tackle and receiver.

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Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 month ago

There have been alot of patch jobs on this year’s team.
Mike Williams, Morgan Moses, Tyron Smith etc one possible move that requires a change of position would have been signing C Llyod Cushenberry.
It would have required moving Tippman to LG. Something I think is a non issue for him.
The Titans signed Cushenberry to a 4 year deal with ability to get out after 2 years.
Would have hit the cap $6m more in years 1 and 2 but could have been massaged.
I don’t want them to constantly need to fill holes on any position, the O-line especially.
Could have done similiar with Noah Williams at RT. I live brining Moses back but Williams could be here 4 or 2 years
I wonder if the Laken Tomlinson deal had Joe cautious?

Last thing! Would you trade for Tee Higgens after he got tagged if the return could be in 2025 draft picks…Maybe a 2nd and 5th..5th to make up for waiting a year because most articles have him going for a 2nd.

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 month ago

You nailed it, Rivka…trade up or trade down.
Harrison is worth trading up for. Probably Odunze and Nabers too but we rarely get drafts so deep in our need positions.
If trading down, I want a 2nd rounder and not wanting to go too far down I’d rather attach one of our 4ths or a 3rd with a 5th coming back to get at least the middle of round 2.
I want quality over quantity so rounds 1 and 2 are vital. After that it’d what Joe D and his staff get paid for..to find diamonds in the rough.
I’d go down to 12 with Denver. If they don’t jump Minnesota thier choice is most likely Nix in round 2.
So #10 and 3rd to Denver for #12 and 44 and Denver gets McCarthy.
At #12 T Fautanu #44 wr Xiavier Leggett… After that I’ll already be happy so go Joe go. Add another couple fa.

1 month ago

Rivka, I would encourage ypu to take a look at OT Mims. Although he doesn’t have a ton of starts he is not as raw imo as Broderick Jones last. I think he would be a very good prospect to take in a trade down. Take a quick look and let me know what you think

1 month ago

I like this and have been on the “both” train for a while. Trade back which could land them another 3rd round pick, I think the common train of thought is they will get a second but I’m not so sure. They would then have a number of 3rd’s so they could move back up to get a guy they like. I’m all in on Brian Thomas, in fact (I admit I’m not a pro scout) I like him best of ALL the WR’s. If they can move back up to get him, then add depth I like it.

I’m predicting a lot of fans will be “unhappy” with this draft because it won’t provide a lot of “splash” but this adding key depth guys who could step into starting roles next season is the goal of this draft.