We all know what the New York Jets are going to do with the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The big mystery is at 23.
They realistically have three options:
- Go trade up to go get a player that is surprisingly slipping down the board.
- Stand pat and take the best player available.
- Or trade back with another team. Pick up some valuable draft capital for this year and into the future.
If there was a gun to my head and I was asked which of these scenarios is most likely, trading down would likely be the answer.
Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas has said it countless times, he wants to build this roster through the NFL Draft. If Douglas stands pat he’ll have 21 picks at his disposal over the next two calendar years.
That’s plenty of picks to rebuild this team, but if we know anything about Douglas he has a propensity for trading. In last year’s NFL Draft, the Jets general manager executed three separate deals. Just call him ‘Trader Joe.’
Three surprise trade down scenarios the Jets should consider
3. New York Jets drop out of the first round completely
New York Jets trade No. 23 (first-round) in exchange for the Jacksonville Jaguars No. 33 (second-round) and No. 65 (third-round) overall.
According to the NFL Draft Value Chart, it would be a slight overpay by the Jags but that’s what happens during draft day trades. Not everything is always according to the book.
The Jets’ 23 pick is worth 760 points. While the combination of Jacksonville selections is worth 845 points.
Understandably this may be a bit of a bummer night one for Jets fans, but we’re focusing on the long play here. This would give the Jets ultimate flexibility in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Jets would fully control day two: (having the first two picks of the second round and the first two picks of the third round). This is where Joe Douglas could really make his legacy, building around Zach Wilson of BYU the way he never did for Sam Darnold.
2. Desperate times calls for desperate measures
New York Jets trade No. 23 (first-round) in exchange for the New Orleans Saints No. 28 (first-round) and No. 98 (third-round) overall.
This would be a small trade in the grand scheme of things, just dropping back a few spots, but would net the Jets another top-100 pick in this class.
There have been rumors for days that the Saints are looking to trade up. Initially, those reports suggested a tiny jump, but on draft day Jay Glazer of Fox Sports suggested they were looking to jump into “the top-10”.
If this trade between the Jets and Saints was consummated, Gang Green would have seven picks in the top 107 selections of this class. That’s a ton of capital to rebuild this franchise from the ground up with some quality players.
1. Joe Douglas reconnects with an old flame for a blockbuster deal
New York Jets trade No. 23 (first-round), No. 66 (third-round), No. 86 (third-round), and No. 107 (fourth-round) in exchange for the Baltimore Ravens No. 27 (first-round) and No. 31 (first-round) picks.
According to the NFL Draft Value Chart, this would essentially be an even swap. The Jets combined picks would be worth 1,260 points and the Ravens combined picks would be worth 1,280 points.
So why would each team do this?
The Ravens need a No. 1 wide receiver for Lamar Jackson. If they sit and wait with their pair of late-round firsts, they could miss out on all of the top options.
The Jets want quality over quantity in terms of their selections. With this blockbuster move, they would have three first-round picks in this year’s class and they’d still be able to maintain their valuable 34th overall selection (which holds first-round value).
If Douglas wanted to recoup some of what he lost, he could entertain a mini bidding war for that 34 pick on day two. This would be a massive win for the Jets.
Here are some players that could be available with their range of selections: Alex Leatherwood (Alabama), Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma), or even Travis Etienne (Clemson).