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NY Jets coveted one player over Olu Fashanu at No. 10

Olu Fashanu, New York Jets
Olu Fashanu, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets followed their board in the NFL draft, and Fashanu was there

The New York Jets made one emphatic statement in the NFL draft: they didn’t want Brock Bowers. They had the chance to take the tight end at No. 10 but instead chose Penn State left tackle Olu Fashanu one pick later.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Fashanu was a slam-dunk pick for the Jets. He was their target according to their board. In fact, their No. 1 backup target was not Bowers but Washington tackle Troy Fautanu, whom many had mocked to them and who went to the Steelers at No. 20.

The only wrench in the Jets’ plans was the one player they wanted over Fashanu. Breer indicates that the predraft rumors were correct: Joe Douglas loved Rome Odunze. Had Odunze fallen to the Jets’ spot, Breer said it would’ve “complicated it.” Once the Bears took Odunze at No. 9, the Jets’ path forward became clear.

Another interesting nugget in the article was the Jets’ rationale behind their love for Malachi Corley. They reportedly had Corley ranked fourth among receivers behind only Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Odunze. Breer wrote, “Part of the reasoning was the history of the best of those receivers—Deebo Samuel in 2019, Brandon Aiyuk in ’20, Garrett Wilson in ’22, and Flowers last year (Kadarius Toney in ’21 was the exception, for other reasons)—in each class translating easily to the NFL game.”

Jets fans may have gotten the impression from Flight 24 that Douglas did not like Adonai Mitchell. Not so, according to Breer; they simply wanted the best YAC receiver they could find. Between Corley and Roman Wilson, they chose Corley because of his extra 30 pounds and added violence.

None of these tidbits are surprising, but they are interesting nonetheless. Douglas’ thought process in the draft was clearly about filling the Jets’ two primary needs, tackle and receiver. How Corley and Wilson play in Year 1 will go a long way toward the final draft grade for the Jets.

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