Does the New York Jets solid NFL free agency change their NFL Draft approach?
It may not be the high-profile, big spending free agency some had projected (or hoped) for the New York Jets. Nevertheless, it has certainly been a balanced and active period for the organization.
A glaring number of holes have been filled, especially some much-needed reinforcements along the offensive line. Five signings, four via free agency (and one player re-signing) dominated the first week of transactions for the Jets. General manager Joe Douglas, in his first full offseason with the Jets, understood the deficiencies along the offensive line.
He then addressed them aggressively and did so in a way that doesn’t tie-up the Jets salary cap situation.
Now, the unit is looking vastly different than it did after the Week 17 win at the Buffalo Bills to close out a 7-9 season.
There are still holes to fill on defense, with at least one more starting cornerback needed as well as an edge rusher. And all those signings along the offensive line still haven’t accounted for the glaring need at left tackle, a position the Jets could well address in next month’s NFL Draft.
No matter what happens with Robby Anderson, the Jets will need to add one more wide receiver to the mix. That could happen in the draft as well.
So there is optimism, perhaps, that the Jets balanced and pragmatic approach will yield dividends near-term as well as down the road.
The Jets accomplished some good, solid signings in free agency. They did so without tying up too much cap space in 2020, leaving room for a new deal for safety Jamal Adams. They also have plenty of flexibility moving forward.
Win-win for Douglas so far. He’s had a good start to free agency.
This sets the Jets up for the ability to bat a couple of different ways in the NFL Draft. In all likelihood, they will need to go offensive tackle in the first round. There are some good names out there in what is a deep draft class at the position.
In the second round, they could well find a complimentary pick for the offense in terms of adding explosiveness and a playmaker. Think wide receivers K.J. Hamler (Penn State) or Tee Higgins (Clemson) as prospects available in the second round for the Jets who could step in right away and contribute.