Mathematically, the New York Jets could still potentially make the playoffs. But anyone with common sense knows that this team is tanking, especially given Monday’s trade of Leonard Williams.
As if the Jets 1-6 record wasn’t enough of an indicator, the team waived the white flag over the remainder of the 2019 by shipping Williams to the Giants for multiple midround draft picks. Now the Jets will make their moves based on the 2020 NFL offseason, where the team must upgrade in free agency and via the NFL Draft.
It is likely the right move. This roster is primed for yet another rebuild and given that general manager Joe Douglas took over md-summer after the NFL Draft and much of free agency was concluded, he will want to put his stamp on the roster. Acquiring draft picks and jettisoning Williams, in the final year of his rookie contract, is the first step in this necessary strategy.
The draft is going to be a tricky part of the equation for the Jets, who currently sit fifth in the standings for next year’s NFL Draft.
“If the Jets would like to see Sam Darnold take the next step, they need to start providing him with some viable weapons,” said Ric Seritella, founder of the NFL Draft Bible.
“A bona-fide playmaker such as wide out Jerry Jeudy of Alabama would provide Darnold with a legit number one target and help him to stop seeing ‘ghosts’ next October.
“Even better than adding ammo for your franchise quarterback, is being able to solidify his protection. The last Jets turnaround- a la Bill Parcells - was built from the inside out, so Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas, considered the top offensive line prospect, would be a cornerstone worth building around.”
In addition to being the creator of the NFL Draft Bible, Seritella is also the advance scout for the NFLPA Bowl.
Recent history for the Jets has not been kind with regards to their first round picks.
None of the team’s first round picks from 2008-15 are on the roster and few are still in the NFL. This makes not only building depth an issue, but also adding top-tier talent, the proverbial difference makers that can turn razor-thin margins in the NFL from losses into wins.
The list of busts does not include the recently traded Williams, who was a 2015 first round pick and has been quite solid throughout his NLF career. But the Jets need help in the draft and need talent on both sides of the ball.
The need for an edge rusher, offensive linemen to protect Darnold and playmakers to move the chains all make this upcoming draft a crucial one for the Jets.
“The recent trade of Leonard Williams to the Giants creates a need for help up front along the defensive line. Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown has been a game wrecker and would fit in well with the defensive scheme implemented by coordinator Greg Williams, who likes to create mismatches,” Seritella said.
“While New York currently rank as the top-ranked passing defense in the NFL, injecting a true lockdown corner such as Jeff Okudah from Ohio State would strengthen the overall unit and be an upgrade over any cornerback currently on the roster.
“A dark-horse candidate would be for the organization to go back to the bayou and select safety Grant Delpit of LSU, once dubbed ‘Baby Mal.’ Much like Jabril Peppers, whom Williams had in Cleveland, Delpit can line up at multiple positions and create a one-two combo with Jamal Adams, forming an all-LSU safety duo.”