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Jets Mailbag | Non-QB Options at No. 2? How Many Starters Could Joe Douglas Add?

Joe Douglas Has Many Options at No. 2 in NFL Draft Including QB, OL

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) breaks away from Mississippi linebacker Jacquez Jones after a catch during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. No. 5 Florida won 51-35. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

Each week Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Rangy Lange will answer your questions about the Jets. If you would like to submit any questions, please click here. The views expressed are not representative of any Jets front office personnel.

If the Jets believe that Sam Darnold is talented and only needs better pieces around him, why are they entertaining offers? With the amount of draft capital they could easily fill holes on their team. The way I see it, hold onto Darnold and trade the No. 2 pick even if it's only to get another second- or third-round pick. If they stay in the top seven, they could draft [Florida TE] Kyle Pitts and fill the rest of the draft with RB1 (Najee Harris or Travis Etienne), WR2 or 3, LB, C, G, etc. They could easily draft five starters along with key free-agent signings. – Dan G / Long Island, NY

EA: GM Joe Douglas has to explore all his options and he's following through on that by saying he will field inquiries on Sam Darnold. He has called the quarterback "an unbelievable talent" who has a chance to hit his "outstanding potential" and new Head Coach Robert Saleh has also been complimentary when speaking about Darnold. But the Jets won two games last season, quarterback is the most important position in the game and they wouldn't be doing their due diligence if they didn't thoroughly examine everything on the table. And trading out of the No. 2 pick will certainly be one of those directions they could go, but your compensation scenario for only an extra second- or third-round pick would be an extremely low return for that swap. I also don't think Florida TE Kyle Pitts, a unique talent with a special skill set, gets past No. 5 overall. And no matter what the Jets do, I do think the hope is you can land four or five starters in the draft after a productive free-agency period.

I love [Oregon OL] Penei Sewell. Is it valid to say that the Jets shouldn't take him because he would have to move to RT? – Gary Berman/ Tamarac, FL

EG: This is similar to another question we received from Robert in Port St. Lucie, FL. He asked if having Mekhi Becton and Sewell could be similar to when the team drafted D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. That twosome anchored the offensive line for a decade. There's always a risk with draft picks, but if Sewell, who turns 21 in October, reaches his potential, the answer is yes, it could yield a similar result. If GM Joe Douglas, who continues to emphasize the need to be stout on both sides of the line of scrimmage, selected Sewell (6-6, 325), he'd be a plug-and-play starter and the OL would instantly improve.

To answer Gary's question, I do not think it's valid to say the Jets should shy away from selecting Sewell because he would likely play a different position than LT, which he played in college. In today's NFL, you need two good tackles because teams will rush from both sides. Most good offensive lines in the NFL have good tackles on each side. Examples include: Terron Armstead/Ryan Ramczyk in New Orleans, Trent Williams/Mike McGlinchey in San Francisco and Jedrick Wills/Jack Conklin in Cleveland. Douglas wants the Jets to be dominant up front and drafting Sewell would certainly be a step in that direction.

"We all know the draft is not a perfect science. At the end of the day if the Jets keep their picks, I think we need to get minimum three or four starters for this year. Do you think that is being unrealistic? Go Jets!" –Ira Lieberfarb/ Staten Island, NY

RL: I don't think that's unrealistic, Ira. After all, last year the Jets picked three players in the first three rounds who might've started all season or most of the season if not for injuries — T Mekhi Becton in Round 1, WR Denzel Mims in Round 2 and S Ashtyn Davis in Round 3. Add RB La'Mical Perine, who didn't start but was a fair contributor when healthy, CB Bryce Hall and P Braden Mann, and it's been a good draft so far. But then consider 2013, when the Jets took Dee Milliner, Sheldon Richardson, Geno Smith and Brian Winters in the first three rounds. All four started in Year 1, then all but Winters were gone after 2016. Starting is great but contributing and longevity count, too. I'd like to see at least six contributors out of this draft's (so far) nine Jets picks, and call me a cockeyed optimist, but I'd want all five of the picks in the first two nights of the draft to make positive impacts, as starters or not, in the first season of Robert Saleh football in 2021.

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