Joe Douglas: Jets Laying 'Groundwork' to Trade Up in First Round

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Addressing the media one more time before next week's NFL draft, Jets general manager Joe Douglas was asked on Thursday about the conversations that inevitably lead to draft-night trades.

Is there a chance New York could make a move with the No. 23 pick, moving up in the first round?

Douglas said that those conversations have already begun.

"We start making the calls—or receiving the calls—to other teams, start greasing the skids, maybe there's interest in moving up or moving back. So there's the groundwork that goes into these trades that happen before the draft," Douglas said. 

The Jets will have plenty of valuable assets available with the No. 23 overall pick, but with all the draft capital this team has, they're more than capable of presenting an appealing offer to another team eager to drop back in the first round.

Those deals are often finalized during the first round of the draft, Douglas explained.

"Once you're in the draft, you're all together, a lot of it depends on who's left on the board," he said. "Most of it's going to depend on who's left, and if you're comfortable giving up what it takes to move up, or are you comfortable moving back and feel like you can get the player that you're still excited about."

Assistant general manager Rex Hogan also stopped by in the Jets Zoom room on Thursday, agreeing that the surplus of picks at New York's disposal puts them in the driver's seat when it comes to making a trade.

"Not trying to tip our hands obviously, but we put ourselves in a position for flexibility with the number of picks that we have this year and next year as well," Hogan told reporters. "Depending on the options we have, when we're on the clock or moving forward throughout the draft, we've given ourselves that freedom to move."

Plenty of factors would play a role in the Jets trading up from the 23rd pick (or trading back for that matter as well). New York would benefit from adding a top cornerback or offensive lineman considering they chose not to address those positions in free agency. 

Then again, with all their internal evaluations over the last several months, there could be a player or two—regardless of their position—that the Jets have their eye on. For the right prospect, who knows what this team would be willing to give up to put themselves in the position to get their guy.

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