This might be the most hectic first-round mock draft you've seen yet this offseason.
Zack Patraw of Sports Illustrated's NFL Draft Bible has each of the first two selections of the 2022 NFL draft being traded. First, the Giants move up to snag quarterback Kenny Pickett. Then, Carolina acquires the second overall pick to draft left tackle Evan Neal.
So, what does that mean for a team like the Jets? A top-ranked prospect falls to their lap at No. 4 overall...
4. New York Jets: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
"Aidan Hutchinson is an experienced, productive and well-built defensive end. He primarily wins with his length and technique, managing distance well. Hutchinson also fights hands to keep his frame clear. What’s more, he employs early hands and strings a wide variety of moves together with an incredible work rate."
Hutchinson would instantly take New York's defensive line to the next level in 2022. It was a unit that was supposed to be a strength under Robert Saleh, but injuries and adjustments to a new scheme hindered a comprehensive breakout performance this past season.
Mix Hutchinson in with a healthy Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Quinnen Williams, Bryce Huff and more? The Jets would have one of the better defensive lines in the league, at least on paper.
You can certainly argue that the Jets would be better served addressing a different position with their first pick in the first round, but if Hutchinson slips this low, you simply can't pass on him.
After all, Pro Football Focus ranks Hutchinson as their No. 1 prospect from this year's draft class.
That brings us to New York's second first-rounder. In this mock draft, the Jets trade out of the 10th overall pick, acquiring the No. 24 selection and a second-rounder from the Cardinals.
Here's Patraw's prediction for who Arizona picks at 10 and then what the Jets do at No. 24:
10. TRADE - Arizona Cardinals (via SEA/NYJ): CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
ARI Give: 2022 1st, 2022 2nd
NYJ Give: 2022 1st
"Impressive length, strong hands and the ability to locate the football made Stingley a turnover machine in man coverage as a freshman. The outside corner is an excellent athlete with long speed to carry verticals or drags and crossing routes, great hip fluidity and recovery speed."
24. New York Jets (via ARI): FS Daxton Hill, Michigan
"Hill has the coverage ability of a cornerback with added instincts and lateral agility. He plays hard and through the whistle, often frustrating his opponents with his methods."
Stingley has been linked to the Jets in countless mock drafts this offseason, but here's a scenario where New York can add even more capital, giving them a third pick in the second round.
Hill is the second safety off the board in this mock, almost 20 picks after the Lions take Kyle Hamilton sixth (from that trade with the Panthers). If you're curious, PFF ranks Hill as the fourth-best safety from this class and their 38th-best prospect overall.
To sum this up, New York comes away from the first round with arguably the best edge rusher in this class, a top safety and a second-round pick. The Jets would then be on the clock with the No. 35, No. 38 and No. 55 picks in the second.
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