Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Randy Lange will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: What is the best outcome for the Jets in Round 1 of the NFL Draft?
EA: There is no consensus at the top of this draft, so the best-case scenario for the Jets is the top player on their board at No. 4. With multiple needs, the Jets can go in multiple directions and GM Joe Douglas will stick to his board with the BPA approach. He'll certainly get calls on both of his picks and trading back could be attractive in a draft loaded with depth where separation among players might not be clear. The Jets are one of eight teams that have multiple picks in Round 1. Douglas also has plenty of capital and remains ready to strike if attractive veteran players become available in trades. As we embark on the 2022 Draft, Douglas holds key cards in Vegas. Last year in the opening round, he was aggressive in moving up for Alijah Vera-Tucker after landing his QB in Zach Wilson. That entire '21 class was a huge step for the organization and the hope is the Jets can follow up with another foundational group and that starts Thursday night.
EG: The outcome at pick No. 4 is having their top prospect still available. There's no way to know who that is, but knowing that HCRobert Saleh GM and Joe Douglas want to build up front, my prediction is it would be a pass rusher. Who that is, though, is a mystery. I think the top edge rushers -- Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Jermaine Johnson -- would each fit what the Green & White want to do up front, but who will still be available? I think two of the four will be, but it's possible that it could be either one or three. With no real feel for what the teams in the top 10 will do, the potential for a draft with more twists and turns than usual is on the table in Vegas. With pick No. 10, there are a few options. One is pick of the litter at wide receiver. The Jets were in pursuit of Tyreek Hill and there's speculation they're in the market for 49ers WR Deebo Samuel. It shows they're looking to upgrade the position and if they had their pick at 10, they could take their top guy available. Another possibility is that someone at another position falls out of favor, which seems to happen every year, and Douglas could scoop him up. The last scenario is a trade back to obtain more draft picks. Whatever happens Thursday night, the Jets will be a better team than when Douglas & Co. woke up on Thursday with picks galore on Days 2 and 3, too.
RL: My feeling is the Jets should keep the fourth overall pick and spend it on the best available athlete, BAA being something that GM Joe Douglas believes in strongly. That pick is likely to address one of the team's several needs, at edge rusher, CB or WR. Then whatever happens to No. 10 happens. If Douglas, Robert Saleh & Co. hold onto that second pick, it would say to me that either the 4 or the 10 was spent on the college wideout they coveted most and that there was not going to be a blockbuster trade for the veteran WR that many outside the team were speculating about. If they trade the 10, it could be in that wideout megatrade, meaning the Jets would be sending out other picks as well to secure that uber pass-catcher that will make the team better. Or one last scenario would be trading down from 10 because the Jets see value in the mid-first round and would be getting two high picks for the price of one. I trust the Jets brain trust to do the most constructive thing with No. 10. But I want to see that No. 4 become a player who will help fulfill Douglas' predraft prediction from last week: "We feel we're a better team now than we were at the end of last season, and we're going to get better here in a few days."