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What Are Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh Saying About the 2023 Jets Draft Class?

Green & White Added 7 Players -- 4 on Offense, 3 on Defense


The Jets selected seven players in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Below are observations of each draft choice from GM Joe Douglas and/or head coach Robert Saleh.

Round 1, Pick 15: Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald IV (6-3, 239)
McDonald's 34 sacks for the Cyclones rank No. 1 in school history and are tied for the most in the Big 12, one more than Von Miller's 33 career QB takedowns. He finished with 123 tackles, 42 tackles for loss, 34 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and 8 pass defenses in 54 games (23 starts).

JD: "Feel like he was one of, if not the most dynamic pass rushers in this draft. Great combination of skill, production and athleticism. I think it was on full display at the Senior Bowl and all throughout his career games."

RS: "He's just got a unique ability to catch the corner and he's got elite length to get the ball out, so he's going to be special."

Round 2, Pick 43: Wisconsin C Joe Tippman (6-6, 313)
Tippman was a two-year starter for the Badgers and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2021 and '22. He played in 24 games and allowed one sack on 590 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

JD: "Excellence size, excellent feet, can bend, great on the move. I feel like he's a natural fit for our offensive style and a guy — even though he's only played center — with his size, his athleticism, he can provide a lot of versatility to our interior which has been a hallmark of our interior."

Round 4, Pick 120: Pittsburgh T Carter Warren (6-5, 311)
Warren, a Paterson, NJ native, went to Passaic Tech high school. He started 39 games at LT for the Panthers over the last four seasons, earning second-team All-ACC honors in 2021. He missed the final nine games this past season because of a knee injury.

JD: "You see everything that really good offensive tackles are made of in the National Football League -- the size, length, pass pro ability, the balance. I feel good about hopefully getting a steal here in Day 3 on a guy with a lot of upside."

Round 5, Pick No. 143: Pittsburgh RB Israel Abanikanda (5-10, 216)
Abanikanda was extremely productive for the Panthers, leading the ACC in rushing with 1,431 yards this past season. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native led the FBS in scoring (11.6 pts/g) and total touchdowns (21) while finishing No. 2 in all-purpose yards (164.1 yds/g).

JD: "Izzy is a home-run threat in size, speed and production."

Round 6, Pick 184: Western Michigan LB Zaire Barnes (6-1, 233)
Barnes had a career year as a senior in 2022 and was named first-team All-MAC. He led the Broncos with 93 tackles and 9 pass defenses. He appeared in 49 games (28 starts) and totaled 205 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 10 pass defenses and 1 interception.

RS: "He's got a really good combination of length, speed, size. He's incredibly smart, very instinctive. He played a style of defense that's a little bit different than ours. They asked him to blitz a lot, they play good defense over there. We just felt like with his makeup and his versatility and speed, that he would translate really well into our system."

Round 6, No. 204: LSU DB Jarrick Bernard-Converse (6-1, 197)
Bernard-Converse began his collegiate career at Oklahoma State as a safety before transitioning to cornerback before the 2020 season. He earned first-team All-Big 12 honors for the Cowboys in '20 while leading the team with 10 PDs. He transferred to LSU for the 2022 season.

RS: "We know he can play multiple schemes. He's very smart, extremely instinctive. He can play corner, he can play nickel, he can play safety."

Round 7, Pick 220: Old Dominion TE Zack Kuntz (6-7, 255)
Kuntz played the last two seasons at Old Dominion, earning first-team All-CUSA honors in 2021 and leading the team with 692 receiving yards. He missed the final seven games this past season because of a knee injury. Kuntz first started his college career at Penn State (2018-2020).

JD: "Another size and speed freak. … The size, the length, the speed, the jumps. He's another guy who may have been drafted sooner if it weren't for the injury this year."

See images of all seven members in the 2023 draft class.

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