The Jets, with the 18th choice of Round 4, the 120th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft that they received as a part of the trade with New England earlier in the round, have selected tackle Carter Warren from the University of Pittsburgh.
It's a dream come true for several reasons. First and foremost, Warren is "from the neighborhood" not far from the Jets' Florham Park, NJ, team facility. He grew up in Paterson and was an All-State first-team tackle at Passaic Tech.
"I'm very excited," Warren told Jets reporters early this afternoon. "It's huge, growing up watching the Jets. I'm about 20 minutes away from the facility, I played at MetLife Stadium growing up. So it's a pretty cool experience to get this opportunity."
Then there's his chance to finally get to use his physical skills as a pro after spending six seasons at Pitt. The 6-6, 331-pound left tackle redshirted in 2017 and worked scout teams without seeing game action that year and in '18.
"I worked my tail off to get where I am," he said. "My third year came around and I finally became a starter."
Warren is a big "intangibles" guy, with one of those traits being persevering through injury and rehab. He suffered a mensicus injury that ended his senior season with the Panthers after four games and also prevented him from playing in the East-West Shrine Game and participating at the NFL Combine and at his March 29 pro day.
But he put a lot of himself on video, which showed a lot of pass-blocking skills using his hands and long arms. And as far as those intangibles, he was also a team captain as a senior and a great locker room presence, he's also worked hard at his college education (bachelor's in administration of justice and already pursuing a second major in communication), and he comes from an athletic extended family (two cousins played college ball, one at Rutgers, the other at Virginia).
Then there's at least one more reason Warren is basking in his being drafted in the fourth round and that's because he'll get to protect the flank, perhaps even the blind side, of new QB Aaron Rodgers.
"It's going to be a cool experience. I know he's all about ball and business," Warren said of Rodgers. "I'm the same, and I'm ready to go to work. Whatever he needs from us, extra film work, on or off the field, I'm ready to do it, ready to get going."
Jets Draft History
Coincidentally, the 120th pick the Jets used to draft Warren was originally held by Pittsburgh and traded to New England before the Pats dealt that pick, plus No. 184 in Round 6, to the Jets for their own fourth-rounder, No. 112. It's only the third trade between the AFC East rivals since 1970, with all three coming since 2019. In September of '19 the Jets traded for WR Demaryius Thomas. During the 2020 draft, the Jets gave up their third-rounder to get two fourth-rounders and a sixth-rounder, which was used to take LB Hamsah Nasirildeen, still on the Jets roster.
Warren is the 12th Pittsburgh player drafted all-time by the Green & White, but only the last six were selected since the start of the AFL-NFL Common Draft in 1967. The biggest name among those Panthers was CB Darrelle Revis in 2007 (Round 1, 14th overall), who in February was a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. Other Jets Pitt picks: C Jim Sweeney in 1984 (Round 2, 37th overall), who recently died; LB Troy Benson in 1985 (Round 5, 120th), DT Mark Gunn in 1991 (Round 4, 94th), and most recently CB Jason Pinnock in 2021 (Round 5, 175th).