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Joe Douglas: Jets Are Prepared, Come What May, for Draft

Despite Epidemic Complications, GM Says, 'We Feel Good About Where We Are'


Talking about the NFL Draft has taken on multiple meanings this spring. The old perspective is for a team's general manager to discuss (or not discuss) the players eligible for the coming draft that he and his team may (or may not) be interested in selecting.

The other angle this year is how teams are conducting all draft-related meetings, interviews and preparations while grappling with the problems posed by the coronavirus epidemic. Jets GM Joe Douglas said it's not an easy balance but the Jets are getting their predraft work done.

"We're obviously doing all this remotely and we're doing this to the best of our ability," Douglas told reporters on a Wednesday conference call. "There's a certain amount of uncomfortability when you're moving from your office to your home office, with the distractions that can take place and just not having the convenience. So everyone's had to go through that."

The communication aspect, among front-office members and with players and agents, "has probably been the most difficult thing," Douglas said. But with the constantly advancing technology and with assists from Jets vice president of information technology Tom Murphy, senior director of network services Steve Piazza and their IT staff, things have been moving along as smoothly as possible under the circumstances.

"We feel good about where we are going through the details of draft meetings, going through the details of our interviews with players moving forward," he said. "We feel good about that."

As for the nuts and bolts of the players who interest the Jets most in the draft and in the ongoing free agency signing period, Douglas was not about to show his hand to anyone, even in this most unusual offseason.

For instance, regarding the still available big-ticket free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney and edge rushers who might be available in the draft, Joe D said, "We're going to do our due diligence on everybody that's out there, especially at the edge rusher position. I'm not going to get into the specifics or the details of the conversations we've had."

Douglas had similar responses about wide receiver and cornerback, two other positions linked to the Jets' offseason building efforts. His stance regarding getting the great volume of research and acquisition done effectively despite the complications of the epidemic should be encouraging to the current members of the Green & White family and all Jets Nation paying attention these days from their homes.

"We're going to look at multiple positions throughout the rest of free agency and the draft, and if there's an opportunity for us to upgrade, I think we have the flexibility to do it," Douglas said. "I think we're still too far away to know exactly where we're going to be for the draft. In a perfect world, we're back in our building. But we're all trying to take this day by day.

"What we're going to do is we're going to plan for a worst-case scenario and hope for the best. But we're going to be ready, I promise you that."

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