Could the Jets make a splash before the 2022 NFL draft kicks off on Thursday?
Disgruntled 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel has made it clear that he wants to be traded. The Jets are in need of a star wide receiver and already made a run at Tyreek Hill earlier this offseason.
Douglas could offer the 49ers the same package he offered the Chiefs for Hill: both of New York’s 2022 second-round picks and its 2022 third-round pick. The 49ers are looking for a “king’s ransom” in exchange for Samuel, though, leaving Douglas to decide whether he sees value in sending a haul to San Francisco to land the star wideout.
In this mock draft, we have the Jets doing whatever it takes to land Samuel. That means sending the 10th overall pick to the 49ers, as well as the 35th pick and the 117th pick. Is it worth parting ways with two top 40 picks to bring Samuel to the Big Apple? Douglas might not think so, but if he is truly intent on getting Zach Wilson an experienced top receiver over a rookie at the position, he might have to overpay to get a deal done.
Let’s take a look at who we think the Jets will select with their remaining picks after making the splash for Samuel.
Gardner gives the Jets an instant upgrade at cornerback. He’s an ideal fit in Jeff Ulbrich’s defense with his length and strength in zone coverage. Some might argue that it’s not worth taking a cornerback in the top five given Robert Saleh’s history of finding unheralded players at the position late in the draft and turning them into quality players, but there is plenty of value in selecting Gardner — especially with Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux already off the board in this mock draft. Saleh knows what a big outside cornerback like the Cincinnati star can do for a defense.
Paschal’s 13 sacks in five years at Kentucky don’t exactly scream elite pass rusher, but he is coming off a career season in which he registered five sacks to go along with 52 tackles and 15 stops for a loss. Paschal is an ideal fit as a 4-3 defensive end at 6-foot-3 and 278 pounds. He’s not Thibodeaux, Travon Walker on Jermaine Johnson, but he still has the tools to develop into a productive edge rusher.
Joseph was an All-Big Ten performer in 2021 with 57 tackles and five interceptions. Jordan Whitehead is now entrenched as a starter at safety for the Jets, but there is still a spot to be won in a competition with Lamarcus Joyner, Elijah Riley and possibly Jason Pinnock. Even if Joseph were to begin his career as a backup, Joyner is an aging veteran and Riley is still relatively unproven. Joseph would boost New York’s safety depth and has the potential to start down the road.
Penn State routinely produces high-caliber linebackers and Smith is next in line to make an impact in the NFL. He posted 81 tackles and two sacks last season and also showed his ability to cover, deflecting five passes. Smith has the talent to serve as quality linebacker depth for the Jets as a rookie. He could step into an expanded role beginning in 2023.
Allgeier is tough to bring down when he has the ball in his hands, averaging 4.4 yards per carry during his collegiate career. He has plenty of experience working in an offense that runs a zone-blocking scheme to go along with solid size at 5-foot-11 and 224 pounds. Allgeier could add value to the Jets’ backfield playing behind Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman.