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Peter Schrager of NFL Network: Jets Are Most Improved Team in the League

GM Joe Douglas Added a Number of Players to Accelerate Zach Wilson’s Growth in Year 2


After free agency and the draft, NFL Network's Peter Schrager believes the Jets are the most improved team in the league.

"They got four guys that they look at as first-round picks and they added them in one draft class," he said on "Good Morning Football." "Obviously Sauce Gardner, we've talked about him at length. Garrett Wilson, the Ohio State receiver, too, but I love the Jermaine Johnson selection, who they viewed as a top-eight player on their board. And they weren't done. I learned that after Jermaine Johnson was selected and everyone was doing cartwheels in the Jets' draft room, Joe Douglas got back on the phone and tried calling other teams to trade up and get Breece Hall at the end of the first round.

"So Joe Douglas essentially wanted four first-round picks that night. He didn't get Breece Hall. Then Day 2 starts, they reset their board and was the on the phone, found the Giants as a trade partner, traded up and got Breece Hall. The Jets got four first-round picks in this draft, four different guys who they view as top-32 players. I don't care who else they have on their roster, they have four different players who can improve those position groups. I think the Jets took major leaps and gains."

Douglas' offseason goal was to accelerate the growth of second-year QB Zach Wilson and he wasted little time. He added a pair of starting-caliber tight ends in free agency with C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, who combined for 110 receptions, 1,086 yards and 8 TDs in 2021. He also re-signed WR Braxton Berrios after a career-high 46 catches, 431 yards and 4 touchdowns (2 rushing, 2 receiving).

It wouldn't be a Douglas-like offseason without adding to the offensive line, so he signed Pro Bowl LG Laken Tomlinson, who started all 80 games for the 49ers over the last five seasons where he overlapped with Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

"There's a saying that you want guys who can help you plant the flag in terms of the messaging and all that stuff," Saleh said. "My relationship with Laken was just the level of respect for the way he played, his tenacity on gameday, that nastiness that he'd bring in between the whites when kickoff would start. The competitive nature that he brings, his mental toughness, his book smarts, all of it."

Douglas also signed a number of defensive playmakers in free agency like CB D.J. Reed and S Jordan Whitehead before drafting Gardner, Johnson and DL Micheal Clemons.

"I think it's tough to top what Joe Douglas has done with the Jets," former NFL WR Torrey Smith said on "Good Morning Football." "His first five draft picks are going to play right away and be impactful."

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