The New York Jets and general manager Joe Douglas will once again take center stage next week at the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s a spot they are becoming quite familiar with.
Two years ago, the Jets had the No. 2 overall pick and selected Zach Wilson, ostensibly to end their decades-long search for a long-term solution at quarterback. Douglas also traded up in the first round, from No. 23 to No. 14 overall, to select guard Aljiah Vera-Tucker. Wilson, of course, flamed out after two seasons as New York’s starter but Vera-Tucker has future All-Pro written all over him.
After the mixed bag in 2021, the Jets knocked it out of the park at the 2022 draft. The Jets selected corner Sauce Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilson within the first 10 picks of Round 1. Then Douglas aggressively traded back into the first round to select edge rusher Jermaine Johnson and moved up in Round 2 to snag running back Breece Hall.
Gardner was an All-Pro and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Wilson set Jets records for most receptions and receiving yards by a rookie and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Johnson showed steady progress as part of New York’s heavy rotation on the defensive line. And Hall was a home-run threat every time he touched the ball before sustaining a season-ending knee injury.
Sauce Gardner is coming for the MVP next season pic.twitter.com/JXsknJBOtm
— PFF (@PFF) April 19, 2023
That’s quite the haul with four mainstays in the first 36 picks of the draft.
So, what does Douglas have up his sleeves this year?
Here are three bold predictions for the New York Jets at the 2023 NFL Draft.
Aaron Rodgers will be acquired by Jets on Day 2 of 2023 NFL Draft
There’s going to be plenty of angst and a ton of rumors — some substantiated, others not so much — about whether the Jets and Green Bay Packers will finalize a trade for Aaron Rodgers before or during this year’s draft.
Aaron Rodgers running the table is some of the best QB play we’ll ever see… pic.twitter.com/wE9WnGW8HA
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) April 19, 2023
It says here that a trade will not happen Thursday and the Jets will retain their first-round pick (No. 13 overall). That means the drama will reach new heights Friday since a second-round pick this year is essential to a Rodgers trade. New York has two second-round picks, No. 42 and 43 overall, following the offseason trade of wide receiver Elijah Moore to the Cleveland Browns.
With the Jets on the clock at No. 42, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce a trade. Or should it be called, THE trade. Finally, the Jets will acquire Rodgers to replace Wilson at quarterback. The remaining details of the trade are not important for this exercise. But what’s important is that the 2023 NFL Draft will be most remembered for Aaron Rodgers being traded by the Packers to the Jets.
The Jets will replicate 2006 draft with first two picks
In 2006, the Jets set up their offensive line for the next decade by selecting tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson (No. 4 overall) and center Nick Mangold (No. 29) with their first two draft picks. Mangold played 11 seasons with New York, Ferguson 10. They combined for 10 Pro Bowl appearances and two All-Pro selections (both by Mangold).
The Jets will follow a similar strategy this year. They will select a tackle in the first round with the No. 13 overall pick and a center in the second round (No. 43) after they deal the No. 42 overall selection to the Packers.
As per our Jets’ 2023 Mock NFL Draft, look for them to select a pair of offensive linemen from Ohio State, Mangold’s alma mater. The Jets will land tackle Paris Johnson Jr. in the first round and center Luke Wypler in Round 2.
Paris Johnson Jr. and Luke Wypler doing offensive line drills. pic.twitter.com/EawDL9toMF
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 22, 2023
It’s possible Broderick Jones of Georgia, for example, could be the tackle selected and Joe Tippmann of Wisconsin the center. But no matter the players, the positions will remain the same in Rounds 1 and 2 for New York.
Joe Douglas will make two more trades for Jets at 2023 draft
Douglas won’t be done wheeling and dealing at this year’s draft even after the Rodgers blockbuster. With only two selections in the first three rounds after the Rodgers trade, the Jets will move up into the third round to acquire another Day 2 pick, likely using it on an interior defensive lineman or linebacker.
Then Douglas will use the reverse strategy on Day 3. The Jets will trade back to acquire an extra late-round pick or two.
The post 3 bold Jets predictions in 2023 NFL Draft, including Aaron Rodgers trade appeared first on ClutchPoints.