The Jets have another opportunity to add a star player with their first pick in the NFL draft this spring.
With one week to go in the regular season, New York has the fourth and seventh overall selections in the 2022 NFL draft.
Without focusing too much on the Jets' second first-rounder—a pick acquired from the Seattle Seahawks and the Jamal Adams trade—ESPN's draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes New York will be choosing from three different players when they're on the clock at No. 4.
"'Who is the fourth-best player?'" Kiper said in an interview with ESPN's Rich Cimini on his 'Flight Deck' podcast. "Could be Kyle Hamilton, the do-it-all safety from Notre Dame who had the knee injury against USC and didn't play again. Could be Derek Stingley Jr., cornerback from LSU, who had the injury carry over, lingering early in the year."
It's the third name that Kiper mentioned that may very well be the best fit for New York and their rebuilding offense.
"Jameson Williams, wide receiver from Alabama, will certainly be in that mix as well."
The Jets have a foundation on offense with quarterback Zach Wilson, wideouts Elijah Moore and Corey Davis and running back Michael Carter. Adding another top-tier receiver to that core group of weapons would instantly take this offense to the next level.
So, why Williams? Well, even if he's viewed by some as a one-year wonder, after transferring from Ohio State to Alabama, Kiper believes this talented receiver is "well deserving of being the fourth overall pick in this draft."
"This guy takes the top off a defense like no other," Kiper explained. "Tremendously competitive player, great enthusiasm for the game, incredibly tough what he did on special teams."
Kiper went on to praise Williams' playmaking ability and his speed, among other elite attributes. The numbers speak for themselves as well. Through 14 games this year, Williams has 75 catches for 1,507 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.
Williams had seven different games this season with 100-plus receiving yards. He hauled in two-or-more touchdown passes in four different contests.
Whether Williams is the answer for New York in the first round or not, Kiper and Cimini made it clear that this year's draft is pivotal in the Jets' rebuild and their trajectory going forward as a franchise.
In a division with talented young quarterbacks and two established postseason contenders (Buffalo and New England), there's no time to waste when it comes to surrounding Wilson with the players necessary to develop this unit into a playoff-caliber offense.
"The Jets have shown that Zach can be a really good quarterback in this league if you surround him with talent," Kiper said. "This draft should be able to provide that."
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