General manager Joe Douglas alluded to trading up weeks ago, saying the Jets already started laying the "groundwork" to move up in the first round.
Shortly after selecting quarterback Zach Wilson second overall, the Jets did just that, moving up from No. 23 to No. 14 with the Minnesota Vikings.
Then, in an effort to protect their rookie quarterback, New York picked USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker, a prospect viewed as the top-rated guard of this draft class.
In the trade, New York sent Minnesota two third-round picks (No. 66 and 86), along with the 23rd overall selection. In return, the Jets added No. 143 in the fourth round in addition to the 14th pick.
We've seen Vera-Tucker going to the Jets in countless mock drafts this offseason, a clear upgrade to a struggling offensive line. Now, even if it costs this organization two third-rounders, the Jets have two of the best young offensive linemen in the league.
Vera-Tucker will line up alongside left tackle Mekhi Becton, the behemoth New York selected in the first round one year ago.
Again, it's a sacrifice to give up two picks later on this draft, but Douglas and the Jets had the surplus of selections at their disposal to make this kind of move.
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