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Notebook | Jets Sitting at No. 10 in NFL Draft. Move Up? Move Down?

Two Weeks Out From 3 Days in Detroit and Little Is Certain


If general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets are committed to going all-in on drafting an offensive lineman or a receiver, could they contemplate moving up from their current slot, No. 10 in the NFL Draft (April 25-27 in Detroit)?

Or perhaps with two selections -- No. 10 and No. 72 -- among the top 100 picks, the Jets would rather trade down and obtain additional draft capital.

Some consider this to be a "wild card draft" for Douglas and his staff offering a wealth of possibilities, which will make the next two weeks interesting -- to say the least.

Trade Up
While the Green & White have moved aggressively in free agency and via trade to bolster protection for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, at least one analyst, Bill Barnwell of has peered into his crystal ball and foreseen an audacious move. His name is Joe Alt.

"If the Jets traded up for Alt, for example, they could install him at right tackle and have [Morgan] Moses in the swing tackle role, where he would be valuable depth for a team that started 13 different offensive linemen a year ago," Barnwell said. "A move for [LSU wide receiver Malik] Nabers or [Washington WR Rome] Odunze would give [Mike] Williams time to recover from his torn left ACL and build a dynamic one-two punch with Garrett Wilson, which would make life easier for the guy who ends up replacing [Aaron] Rodgers, too.

"The fact the Jets kept their 2025 second-rounder and instead traded a 2026 pick to the Eagles for edge rusher Haason Reddick makes me think they're considering using that 2025 selection to help move up this year."

Most analysts rate Notre Dame's Alt (6-7, 322) the top offensive tackle in a draft that also includes Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State), Troy Fautanu (Washington), Olu Fashanu (Penn State) and J.C. Latham (Alabama). With quarterbacks expected to go off the board quickly, it's possible the Jets could have their pick of the guys, assuming Alt gets plucked before the Jets pick.

At present, the Jets have only two picks in the top 100, having sent their second-rounder to the Packers in the deal that brought Rodgers to New York last April. Douglas, though, has consistently shown his skill in navigating the draft, making trades and landing young talent by trading up.

In 2021, the Jets traded the 23rd overall pick (obtained from Seattle) plus their two third-round choices to Minnesota for the Vikings' 14th pick, and selected Alijah Vera-Tucker, the versatile OL out of USC.

In 2022, after using first-round picks to land CB Sauce Gardner (No. 4) and WR Wilson (No. 10), Douglas traded back into the first round (sending three picks to Tennessee) to take edge Jermaine Johnson (No. 26). And he wasn't done. Seeing a potential game breaker still available early in the second round, Douglas pulled off a deal (swapping No. 38 for No. 36 with the Giants) and snapped up the first running back selected, Breece Hall.

See's Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Take a Step Back
Where Bill Barnwell sees a move up for the Jets, CBS analyst Leger Douzable and Brian Baldinger of NFL Network, speaking with Eric Allen of, believe it's more likely the Green & White will move down, landing an elite player later in the first round and obtaining additional picks.

Terms that came up in the discussion included: "it's fluid" and it's a "wild card draft." In total, the Jets have seven picks with five coming in Round 4-7.

"We know in the second round you can get a premium pick who makes an immediate impact," Douzable said.

Think, of course, Breece Hall.

"In the back of Joe D's mind with the pick at 10, you have to pick up the phone. How far you want to drop back for a blue chip." He added: "And you can pick up a second-rounder by trading back."

For Baldinger, the fun could begin even before the draft starts on the night of April 25. 

"I think it's going to be a draft that quarterbacks are going to drive it," he said. "Then it's a question of OK, there's a receiver cluster with [Marvin] Harrison, [Malik] Nabers, [Rome] Odunze. How does that filter down? If a team really covets a defensive player, there are a couple of edges. Where do they come into play? And we haven't even gotten to the tackles."

Baldinger believes as many as eight tackles could be selected in Round 1. But there are tiers and value finds to be found throughout the draft.

He added: "I'd be curious about sneaking into Joe's office. Rarely are there 32 [quality] first-round picks. The strength is in the second round where you can get a marquee player in Round 2. You have to see how it falls. Quarterbacks and receivers get pushed up, but OK, there might be one quarterback [Michael Penix, for example] who drops and there's Denver, the Raiders maybe Seattle and they say 'let's jump with the Jets.' At 10, maybe there's a guy that doesn't fit what they want this year. If you can get a second-round pick back and get first later ... It's a conversation you may not have until you're on the clock when things are starting to move and slide and the board says you can get our player at 14. Let's make that trade."

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