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OL or weapon? Roundtable predictions for NY Jets’ R1 draft pick

Rome Odunze
Rome Odunze, Getty Images

Ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Jets X-Factor staff predicted who the New York Jets will select with their first-round pick

The 2024 NFL Draft is quickly approaching!

In just under a week’s time, the New York Jets will be on the clock,  finally ending the rampant speculation of who they will take with their first-round pick.

However, we are not there just yet. Here at Jetsx X-Factor, the staff gave their final predictions of who New York will take with its first-round pick.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the picks!

Rivka Boord

Selection: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU at #5 Overall

“If the Jets are really going all-in, then this would be the ultimate all-in move. They trade the No. 10 pick, a 2024 fourth-rounder, and a 2025 second-rounder to get the deal done.”

Brandyn Pokrass

Selection: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington, at #8 Overall

“I’m torn between two options here. While I feel like the team could stay at #10 and pick the best offensive player available, I also think the Jets could move out of #10. They have shown more aggression this offseason and could try to capitalize on their window fully.

My favorite option would be a slight move down the board, picking up a second or third-round pick to use on a weapon and still selecting Troy Fautanu or JC Latham. Ultimately, I think the Jets will see Rome Odunze fall to 8 and use the #10 and #111 overall picks to trade up for him. It would be well worth it for Odunze, who would give the Jets a scary combination of weapons to make noise with in 2024.”

Stefan Stelling

Selection: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State, at #10 Overall

“When it comes out that Douglas likes someone in the draft, they usually get them. We saw it with Zach Wilson in 2021, Jermaine Johnson in 2022, and Joe Tippmann in 2023. Whether it’s at 10 or in a trade-back, Taliese Fuaga will be a Jet.”

Ian Roddy

Selection: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington, at #10 Overall

“Fautanu’s tape has some hiccups here and there, but overall, he’s a high-floor prospect with five-position versatility. Starters on the O-line WILL miss time this season, and having a first-round talent ready to jump in for whoever that may be would be invaluable. Throw in the fact that he can compete at left guard right away? To me, this would be a home run pick.”

Michael Nania

Selection: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington at #8 Overall

“I think the Jets view the 10th pick as a no man’s land position. While I can see them staying put and taking Brock Bowers if a good trade opportunity doesn’t present itself, I don’t think Joe Douglas wants to take a tight end that high. Maybe I’ll turn out wrong, but he has shown a strong understanding of positional value in his tenure (focusing heavily on premium positions with his early draft picks), and for that reason, I would be a little surprised if he took a tight end with the 10th pick while short and long-term holes remain at OT and WR.

My hunch is that they will seek to either move up for a WR or move back to where they can still take one of their top-ranked OTs or Brian Thomas Jr. I lean toward the former as more likely. The Jets established an all-in mentality with their moves in March. Trading up for an elite WR prospect is the perfect way to build upon that.”

Joe Blewett

Selection: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia, at #10 Overall

“Because…. Madness.”

Andrew Fialkow

Selection: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington, at #10 Overall

“Would rather O-line, but not gonna be upset at all if this is the alternative.”

Thomas Christopher

Selection: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington, at #13 Overall

Final tally

  • Rome Odunze: 3
  • Troy Fautanu: 2
  • Taliese Fuaga: 1
  • Brock Bowers: 1
  • Malik Nabers: 1

To no one’s surprise, all of the predictions were on the offensive side of the ball. Whether along the offensive line, at wide receiver, or even tight end, the Jets must add talent and depth to their offense.

When it came to the position, the writers were split on the decision. Tight end Brock Bowers, a heavily selected option for the team in mock drafts, was only picked by Joe.

Offensive line was the selection three times, courtesy of Stefan, Thomas, and Ian. Wide receiver led the way with four selections.

One common theme was the prediction of a trade. Four of the eight writers have the Jets trading the 10th overall pick, with three of the four predicting a move up and Thomas predicting a move down.

Ultimately, any of these predictions would be a great outcome for the Jets.

Bowers is arguably one of the most talented overall players in the draft and would instantly provide the offense with a versatile weapon. Odunze and Nabers have superstar potential at the receiver position. Fautanu could be the next great versatile offensive lineman in New York, while Fuaga would provide rock-solid production for years to come.

Soon enough, we will know what the Jets decide to do in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. If they listen to one of the writers here at X-Factor, they will surely have a productive start to their draft class.

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1 month ago

One way to look at a Fautanu pick would be as a backup to/replacement for Vera-Tucker, a guy who can play anywhere along the OL. It may be a bummer to have to contemplate that Vera-Tucker might be chronically injury prone for the rest of his career, just like Tyron Smith, the OT they signed, but the Jets have to face that possibility. Fautanu is a way to have what they thought they would have with Vera-Tucker (providing he is not injury-prone himself!).