The Jets went on a spending spree in free agency this past week, reeling in several impact players on both sides of the ball. One position that wasn't addressed on the open market, however, was the offensive line.
New York did sign Dan Feeney, the former Los Angeles Chargers lineman who can play guard and center, but he doesn't necessarily project to be a starter in green and white (even if he started all 16 games for the Chargers in each of the last three seasons).
Jets general manager Joe Douglas has said it before. This organization wants to build through the offensive and defensive line, developing young players brought in through the NFL draft.
What better way to add depth up front than using the No. 23 pick to target a top prospect who plays those interior positions?
In The Athletic's Beat Writer Mock Draft this week, Connor Hughes took BYU quarterback Zach Wilson second overall. What he did with New York's second first-rounder goes in line with Douglas' logic.
23. New York Jets: Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
The Jets bowed out of the Joe Thuney sweepstakes once they realized the Chiefs were in it. The amount of money it would cost to convince someone to play with a quarterback-to-be-named-later instead of Pat Mahomes? That’s just not in Douglas’ wheelhouse. The problem: After Thuney there … weren’t really any great guard options. The Jets desperately need an improvement over Greg Van Roten and Alex Lewis, and Davis is that player. He’s arguably the best pure guard in the draft. He’ll be a Week 1 starter for New York, and hopefully for the next 10 years.
Mekhi Becton protecting the blind side and Wyatt Davis on the interior, both poised to stick around at this level for the next decade and beyond. How does that sound, Jets fans?
Should the Jets decide not to take Wilson, and stick with Sam Darnold under center, there are other first-round options on the offensive line that would be available as well.
New York could snag Oregon tackle Penei Sewell with the second pick if they believe he and Becton can sort out who plays left tackle and who moves across to the right side.
Otherwise, if New York trades back a few picks to another team hungry for a quarterback, the Jets could take Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater or the versatile lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker from USC. That would come down to who is the best available when they're on the clock, and which players stand out in their ongoing evaluations of this year's draft class.
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