Recapping the Jets 2022 NFL Draft
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com
The New York Jets have finished the 2022 NFL draft with nothing but smiles from not only the front office but to the fan base as well. As they welcomed a new group of guys who will be the foundation for this team as they look to become contenders for the AFC. The Jets really nailed this draft, and as a fan base it really makes you feel good because this was something that they needed to get it right. With seven picks, the Jets were able to beef up their roster by precisely moving up on day 1 followed by another trading up in the second round, finally standing pat on day 3. Let’s break down the Jets selections in the 2022 draft.
The Jets stayed put with the No. 4 pick and took Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner from the university at Cincinnati, arguably the best cornerback in this draft. I’m a firm believer that when it comes to the NFL draft, you can’t be going into it with the mindset that you need to fill the weakness on your roster but to build on the strength of your roster. Hence why we hear the term “best player available,” now had the Jets stuck with what they had before the draft at the cornerback position you can almost live with it. But with the addition of sauce, not only do you have a legit No. 1 corner; but you add depth. Which also means that the starters last year will be back ups who already have experience.
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The 10th pick is where it got interesting because that was when we believed that the Jets were going to make a big trade with the 49ers to get Deebo Samuel. Despite rumors that the Jets offered them the 10th pick for Deebo, the 49ers declined the offer. Thus the Jets ended up keeping the 10th pick and took a receiver from the Ohio State Garrett Wilson. Even though it wasn’t Deebo, in a way this was better in sense. Wilson fits in the scheme, has a tremendous speed that can take the top off the opposing defense, but is younger and will be cheaper. But most importantly they brought in another weapon for Zach Wilson.
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The Jets capped off the night by trading back in the first round to take defensive end Jermaine Johnson from the University of Florida State. The Jets and Jermaine Johnson were connected in the top 10 but ended up getting him at 26. Personally I felt that keeping picks 35 and 69 were much more valuable due to how deep this draft was, but a player like his caliber most likely was not going to make it past the first round. Johnson’s speed and first step quickness will be great in Saleh’s defense, plus it makes everyone else better on that defensive line. For example, it allows JFM to move into the inside where he was the most dominant.
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Night 2 capped off with a big surprise for the Jets and their fans as they traded up and took running back Breece Hall from the University of Iowa State. This pick was the most exciting in my opinion, this was the position that on paper the Jets didn’t really need. Especially when they already have a stud in Michael Carter, but with Hall you get a true three down running back and a nice complimentary piece to Carter. His reliable hands also makes him a dangerous pass catcher as well.
Finishing up night 2 the Jets took one of my favorite players in the draft and hometown boy Jeremy Ruckert tight end from the Ohio State university. Grew up a Jets fan from Long Island, Ruckert gets a chance to live out his dream of playing in the NFL and with his favorite team. I had Ruckert ranked 2nd behind Trey McBride, a reliable possession receiver who only dropped one pass at Ohio State. What people don’t realize is how good of a run blocker he is as well, something that this team needs more of. Even though he wasn’t used much at Ohio State, he definitely will get his share of looks with the Jets. He is a bit on the raw side but backing up CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin will give him time to develop.
The Jets capped off the draft by taking both offensive tackle Max Mitchell from Louisiana and defensive end Michael Clemons from Texas A&M. Mitchell is quick and shoots in pass pro, but has shorter arms for a tackle, I expect the Jets try to move him to guard at some point. As for Michael Clemons, he can be a hidden gem for gang green. During his time at A&M, he averaged 4.6 pressures per game during the 21 season which was ranked second in FBS behind Alabama’s Will Anderson. His issue is that he’s on the older side with some history with injuries and has off the field issues. If the Jets can help him get through that, then the Jets have found another depth on that defensive line.
It’s hard to not look at this draft and not give the Jets and A for their draft grade. All across the board, they added pieces to the team that will not only build on their strength but focus on their weakness as well. But most importantly they got Zach Wilson more weapons for him to succeed, this team without a question has improved substantially. Now the biggest question is can they translate this on the field and win games?