Coming off a disappointing four-win season under first-year head coach Robert Saleh, the New York Jets are slated to have two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
New York owns its own selection (fourth overall) and the Seattle Seahawks pick (10th) — the latter stemming from the blockbuster Jamal Adams trade.
Is there a chance that general manager Joe Douglas will end up wheeling and dealing instead of using these two highly-valuable picks?
Jets insider Ralph Vacchiano of SNY has some inside information on this, and it’s rather intersting.
“I’ve heard rumblings that the Jets prefer to trade this pick if they can. And while they could use it to bring back a player (like, maybe a No. 1 receiver), I think it’s more likely they trade down and see if they can pick up an extra No. 1 pick for next year,” Vacchiano reported. “If the quarterbacks start to fall – as many predict they will – teams will start to hyperventilate and will start offering a lot to move up (like the Bears did with the Giants last year), so Douglas could take advantage.”
The thinking here is that a quarterback-needy team might come calling should players at that position fall. It’s seen as a weak draft at that class. Flush with 2021 No. 2 pick Zach Wilson, the New York Jets are not in need at that position. Hence, why trading down and picking up more draft capital could make sense. Adding a true No. 1 receiver for Wilson could also be in the cards.
New York Jets trade options for 2022 NFL Draft
There are quarterback-needy teams selecting later in the first round of the draft. That includes the Minnesota Vikings (12th), New Orleans Saints (18th) and Pittsburgh Steelers (20th). All three could make sense in Jets trade-down scenarios.
It’s also possible New York attempts to expedite its rebuild by finding Wilson more weapons. At this stage in their offseason, there’s no indication one way or another who might be available at wide receiver.
Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons’ star Calvin Ridley are two star pass-catchers who might hit the trade block. To a lesser extent, pulling off a trade for Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers (if he’s franchised) would be in the cards.
Related: Ideal Calvin Ridley trade scenarios
New York Jets mock draft
Sportsnaut updates its weekly NFL Mock Draft. Here’s the direction we have the Jets going with their two first-round picks as of right now.
- Kyle Hamilton, safety, Notre Dame
Robert Saleh’s defense needs a leader in the secondary who can clean up mistakes and make plays. Enter Kyle Hamilton. The Notre Dame safety is one of the rare players at his position who will be drafted with a top-5 pick. Pair him with an edge rusher and passing against New York will actually become challenging.
- George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
George Karlaftis doesn’t have the stats of an elite pass rush, recording just 4.5 sacks in 2021. But at 6-foot-4, a player who earned a spot on Bruce Feldman’s 2021 college football freaks list and draws immense praise for his work ethic, Karlaftis can be a top-5 pick. He is the edge rusher Robert Saleh’s defense is missing.
This would be the antithesis of New York chasing after more weapons for Wilson. Then again, getting more building blocks for Saleh on defense could also be in the cards.