Joe Douglas had zero restrictions when it came to making trades during the 2020 NFL Draft and adding value to the Jets roster. In fact, the first-year GM gave up three picks to bring back six picks and players in exchange, marking one of the few times in Jets draft history that the team received more than three players in specific draft-day trades.
Although Douglas turned an original eight picks into 11 picks/players, it's sometimes difficult to measure the value of those moves until a few years in when production has been recorded. However, ESPN's Seth Walder and company used the Jimmy Johnson draft value chart and Pro Football Reference's Approximate Value list to rank the top five best in-draft trades of this year, with two of Douglas' big moves landing on the list.
The first trade that made the top five was with Seattle, when the Jets moved down from No. 48 to acquire Nos. 59 and101. This move was rated the fourth best trade in this year's draft — according to ESPN — because Douglas not only locked up a "free pick" but also managed to fill a big hole and snag a top WR in Baylor's Denzel Mims.
"When we were getting closer to 48, we had a strong group of players, not only wide receivers, but other positions [on their board]," Douglas said of the Jets' first trade. "Moving back to 59, you may lose a few but there were still going to be enough players that you're excited about. So, we felt that it wasn't too far to move back and wait a little bit and get it done with John [GM John Schneider] in Seattle."
It doesn't stop there, though. After receiving the 101st pick from the Seahawks, Douglas then leveraged that pick to strike a deal with their in-division rivals, the Patriots, sending that late third-round pick in exchange for Nos. 121 and 125 and a sixth-round pick in 2021. Coincidentally, that sixth-round pick came full circle as it was originally the one that the Jets sent to New England last September for WR Demaryius Thomas, which was the first time in nearly 20 years the Jets and Patriots had agreed on a deal.
This trade was rated the fifth-best in-draft trade for 2020 by ESPN.
"Giving that free value to a divisional rival seems like an odd choice, and including a future pick seems like an odd choice," said ESPN's Seth Walder. "In the end, the Patriots paid a pretty hefty price for the right to select tight end Dalton Keene."
At the end of the day, there will be many differing opinions on how Jets GM Joe Douglas handled his first draft. But after assessing the amount of picks he entered the 2020 NFL Draft with, and the amount of picks/players he came out with, Douglas is satisfied with his team's work.
"I view it as just trying to do what's best for the New York Jets," Douglas said. "And if it happens to be working with the Patriots on a trade or working with the Seahawks on a trade, I mean, if it's something that we feel strongly that can help us moving forward, we'll do it."