Despite being on the job for over 22 months, New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas has only one NFL Draft under his belt as the head honcho.
With such a small sample size it’s hard to feel confident putting any stock into any trends that you may have noticed last year. Although one nugget that really stands out is his propensity for trading.
As a matter of fact, during the 2020 NFL Draft, Douglas executed three separate trades on draft day (details via The Jets Zone):
- Jets received No. 59, No. 101 in exchange the Seattle Seahawks received No. 48 overall.
- Gang Green received No. 125, No. 129, and a 2021 sixth-round pick in exchange the New England Patriots received No. 101 overall.
- Finally, in his last deal, Douglas sent No. 211 overall to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for veteran cornerback Quincy Wilson.
Just call him ‘Trader Joe’
With 10 selections in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, it sure seems like general manager Joe Douglas is open to wheeling and dealing once again.
In his annual pre-draft presser with the media, Douglas said the “groundwork” for potentially moving up in this year’s draft is done well before actually getting on the clock. He’d go on to say once the clock has started and you’re in the middle of things it “really depends on who’s available at what pick” if a trade will ultimately be consummated.
Not only do the Jets have the second-most selections in this year’s draft, but they also have another 11 picks in the 2022 draft. That provides Joe Douglas with plenty of ammunition to do whatever he wants come draft day.
With that in mind, let’s dive into three potential trade-up scenarios for the New York Jets involving the 23rd overall pick (originally Seattle’s via the Jamal Adams trade).
The green and white have two first-round draft choices in this class: second and 23rd overall. It seems like the general consensus is the Jets will select Zach Wilson out of BYU with their first pick, but what should they do at 23?
When a team finishes the season 2-14, that means they have plenty of holes to fill, and this team is no different.
There’s a legitimate argument to be made that the Jets should simply stand pat at 23 or even reverse course and trade back to accumulate even more assets.
But to play devil’s advocate, there’s nothing wrong with getting quality over quantity. For this exercise, we’ll be using the 2021 NFL Draft Value Chart as a foundational piece for our potential trade-up conversations.
3. NYJ takes a one-way ticket to the windy city
It’s a known fact that math is the worst subject in school. But if we dabble in mathematics for just a moment, it tells us that someone is going to be available for the Jets with the 23rd overall pick.
Five quarterbacks are projected to go ahead of the Jets, a tight end (Kyle Pitts), three of the top wide receivers (Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle), throw in a batch of defensive players, we haven’t mentioned the offensive tackles or interior players yet, do you get my point?
Somebody inevitably has to drop and when that happens, general manager Joe Douglas won’t be afraid to jump up a few spots to go lock in his guy. We’ll start off with the most reasonable low-risk trade of the bunch.
The Chicago Bears hold the 20th overall pick (850 points). If the Jets wanted to hop up a few picks from 23 (760 points), they would only have to make up another 90 measly points.
There are two ways they can do this: throw in their fourth-rounder this year (80 points) and a future conditional late-round pick. Or sprinkle in their top of the sixth round pick (15.4 points) on top of their fourth to get the deal done.
Here are some potential players that could be available with the 20th overall pick:
- Christian Darrisaw, offensive tackle, Virginia Tech
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, linebacker, Notre Dame
- Caleb Farley, cornerback, Virginia Tech
- Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
2. Gang Green gets some help from the desert
This is the absolute sweet spot of the 2021 NFL Draft and a prime trade-up opportunity for the New York Jets.
One of the team’s biggest needs, if not the biggest, is along the interior offensive line.
When you really study who is picking directly ahead of the Jets you could make an argument that from 17 (Las Vegas Raiders) through 22nd overall (Tennessee Titans) that every single one of those teams could draft an offensive lineman.
That’s not good business if the green and white hope to land one of the top hog mollies of this class. So instead of waiting to see what falls in their lap, they decide to be aggressive and move up to go get their guy!
In this potential trade up the Jets would package 23 (760 points) and a 2021 third-round pick (66th overall; 260 points) in exchange for the 16th overall pick (1000 points) from the Arizona Cardinals.
It would be a slight overpay according to the draft chart, but sometimes you’ve got to bite the bullet to get what you want.
Here are some potential players that could be available with the 16th overall pick:
- Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
- Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
- Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
- Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Dave Gettleman NEVER trades in the NFL Draft
1. New York Jets trade up with their NY brethren the G-Men
Dave Gettleman has NEVER traded down in the first round during the NFL Draft in his eight years as a general manager. So if this were to happen it would be pretty historic.
This is realistically the highest the Jets can trade up without giving up the farm to go get an elite blue-chip prospect in this class.
According to the NFL Draft Value Chart, the Giants’ 11th overall pick is worth 1250 points. For the Jets to make up that difference they would have to combine their 23rd overall pick (760 points) and a second-round draft choice (490 points).
Here’s where things get spicy. The Jets have an additional second-round pick to work with thanks to the Sam Darnold trade earlier this offseason that netted them a 2022 second and fourth-round pick.
Instead of giving up the 34th overall pick in this class, the Jets could use that future second instead to help them get an elite talent.
Some potential players that could be available with the 11th overall pick:
- Jaycee Horn, cornerback, South Carolina
- Rashawn Slater, offensive tackle, Northwestern
- Patrick Surtain II, cornerback, Alabama
- Devonta Smith, wide receiver, Alabama