It was locked up last week but it's official now: The Jets have the No. 2 overall selection in the late April NFL Draft.
With that choice, general manager Joe Douglas and his personnel department will be able to pluck one of the top two players available on their board out of the draft pool and add him to their roster and their offseason and preseason activities as they put their 2020 season behind them and move toward the 2021 regular season. Or of course the Jets could use the pick to trade down and secure more draft capital.
The Jets secured No. 2 with Jacksonville taking the top spot when the Jets improved to 2-13 by beating the Browns 23-16 while the Jaguars fell to 1-14 with their 41-17 loss to the Bears. Even had the Jets and Jags both finished at 2-14, the Jags still would have gotten the first pick based on a lower opponents' strength of schedule. But the Jaguars lost to the Colts 28-14 Sunday to wind up 1-15 while the Jets came in at 2-14 off their loss at New England, making the strength of schedule question moot.
The Jets are holding the second position in a draft for the third time in their history. The first time was the best. In the 1965 American Football League Draft, after Houston selected WR Larry Elkins first overall, the Jets traded for that No. 2 pick from the Oilers (who had acquired it from Denver) and went with an Alabama QB by name of Joe Namath. The rest, as they say, was history.
The Jets in this draft also have another first-round pick and an additional third-rounder as the front end of the payment from Seattle in the July trade of S Jamal Adams. The extra Round 1 slot should be around No. 27 overall, although the positions of the playoff teams holding Picks 19-32 will change based on their postseason performances.
And the five selections in the first three rounds form the top of a Jets 2021 draft bounty that at the moment sits at nine selections, all in the first six rounds. The exact draft order for the Jets and the league will be announced in February.
The upcoming draft will be held April 29-May 1 in Cleveland.
Here is the NFL's first-round draft order. Only the first 18 selections, for non-playoff teams, are set (2020 record and strength of schedule in parentheses):
NON-PLAYOFF TEAMS (POSITIONS SET)
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15, .549)
2. JETS (2-14, .594)
3. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans, 4-12, .541)
4. Atlanta Falcons (4-12, .551)
5. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1, .529)
6. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1, .537)
7. Detroit Lions (5-11, .508)
8. Carolina Panthers (5-11, .531)
9. Denver Broncos (5-11, .566)
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-10, .471)
11. New York Giants (6-10, .502)
12. San Francisco 49ers (6-10, .549)
13. Los Angeles Chargers (7-9, .482)
14. Minnesota Vikings (7-9, .504)
15. New England Patriots (7-9, .527)
16. Arizona Cardinals (8-8, .475)
17. Las Vegas Raiders (8-8, .539)
18. Miami Dolphins (10-6, .467)
PLAYOFF TEAMS BASED ON SEEDS (POSITIONS NOT SET)
19. Chicago Bears (8-8, .488)
20. Indianapolis Colts (11-5, .443)
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams, 10-6, .494)
22. Cleveland Browns (11-5, .451)
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5, .488)
24. Baltimore Ravens (11-5, .494)
25. Washington Football Team (7-9, .459)
26. Tennessee Titans (11-5, .475)
27. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks, 12-4, .447)
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4, .475)
29. New Orleans Saints (12-4, .459)
30. Buffalo Bills (13-3, .512)
31. Green Bay Packers (13-3, .428)
32. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2, .465)