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Ex-Jets Scout Praises Joe Douglas For New York's 2022 NFL Draft Class

Former Jets scout Daniel Kelly says New York scored big in the draft this year, hitting on virtually all of their picks through the first few rounds.

As a former scout with the Jets, I want to congratulate New York for hitting the laces off the ball in this weekend’s NFL Draft.

General manager Joe Douglas followed the course of action I have been writing about for months: get more weapons offensively and get better at defending the pass.

I love the picks of cornerback Ahmad Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall in the first two rounds.

Gardner is a corner who is in the mold of Hall-of-Famer Champ Bailey. He is an elite shut-down lock-down corner who can carry tight man coverages all day long.

Wilson is exactly the kind of receiver team quarterback Zach Wilson needed. He is in the mold of Marvin Harrison and he is a threat every single time he catches the ball in the short, intermediate and deep routes levels. Wilson excels at catching short passes and picking up yardage after the catch. He also has a big catch radius (ability to catch passes thrown too high or too low).

Prior to the draft I said, the Jets had to walk away with receiver Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf or Wilson, and they got Wilson.

It gets even better.

The Jets landed Hall early in the second-round. New York finally has a true franchise back who can hit it up in there thirty times a game and then explode for the home run. Hall is an extremely patient runner who can find even the slightest of creases and when he does, look out. Hall had that coveted burst of acceleration into the second-level (where the linebackers reside) and then it is off to the races. Hall reminds me of running back Adrian Peterson.

Hall can catch too. I do not just mean little screen passes, I mean he is a downfield receiving threat.

Douglas did the best thing he could have done for Wilson. He gave him Wilson (WR1 on my board), who is a pass-catcher who plays to Wilson’s throwing strengths, and more importantly he can cover up his greatest weaknesses.

Additionally, Douglas gave Wilson a dynamic ball carrier (RB1 on my board) to take pressure off of him by being able to pound the ball on the ground, and he will be able to catch short passes and bail Wilson out of trouble.

Nothing cools off a pass rush more than an elite running back.

Honestly, I think Jets fans owe Douglas and his scouting staff a standing ovation at the first regular season game prior to kickoff.

While I have not had the opportunity to evaluate tight end Jeremy Ruckert, offensive tackle Max Mitchell or defensive end Michael Clemons yet (I will in the near future), all three fit positional needs the team had.

I had said prior to this draft, Douglas had to address the offensive tackle position, and he did.

Today’s NFL is all about being able to move the ball through the air offensively and stop the pass defensively. Headed into the draft, I believed that would spell getting edge rushers Aiden Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux, but getting a lock down corner in Gardner is just as effective.

The only pick Douglas made that was a head scratcher to me was edge rusher, Jermaine Johnson II at No. 26 overall. Douglas traded up to get Johnson, and I had a fifth-round grade on him documented pre-draft.

I had listed Johnson as one of my 16 consensus first-round picks to avoid earlier during draft week.

I had watched Johnson at FSU in 2021 vs. North Carolina, Miami and North Carolina State. Sure, Johnson is an opportunistic hustler, which matches his story. However, his movements looked rigid and he was totally not explosive. Johnson lacks the speed and pass rush moves it will take to bend the edge in the NFL.

With pass rushers Arnold Ebiketie, Nik Bonitto, Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders still on the board, this one made no sense to me.

However, I will give Douglas a mulligan on the Johnson pick.

New York Jets 2022 NFL Draft Grade: A- 


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