The Real Reason Why New York Jets Declined to Draft Tight End Brock Bowers

Why did the New York Jets opt to not draft tight end Brock Bowers despite the national media projection?
Dec 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA;  New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin (83) makes a
Dec 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin (83) makes a / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Who needs Brock Bowers when you have a battle-tested veteran tight end like Tyler Conklin?

Conklin's presence almost definitely factored into the New York Jets' draft strategy last month, ultimately convincing team brass to pass up the opportunity to select Bowers and take Penn State left tackle Olu Fashanu instead.

"I love our tight end room, actually," said Jets' general manager Joe Douglas in a media scrum at the league's spring meetings in late March.

Although another pass-catching weapon wouldn't have hurt the Aaron Rodgers-led offense, Conklin already satisfies the need for a capable TE1. Therefore, the Jets will arguably be better served by beefing up their offensive line depth in a season where Rodgers must remain healthy and protected.

Whether or not the Jets should've taken Fashanu at No. 11 overall is still debatable, but Conklin's track record is not.

The 28-year-old Conklin has ranked second to WR1 Garrett Wilson in receiving yards two straight seasons. His two-year catch rate nears 70 percent despite the instability of the Jets' quarterback situation.

With a combination of Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian throwing the passes, Conklin made 61 receptions for 621 yards on 87 targets in 2023. He has produced three consecutive seasons of at least 87 targets and 552 receiving yards stretching back to his final year with the Minnesota Vikings.

"Warriors like Conk and Ruck [Jeremy Ruckert], they're not going to go quietly into the night if we took a tight end. It's going to be tough for anyone we draft to come in and stake their claim for a starting spot," said Douglas prior to the 2024 NFL Draft.

It's becoming clear that Douglas likes his tight ends' room and the GM is satisfied with Conklin's ability to contribute heavily in the passing game.

Ralph Ventre


Ralph, a former college football conference administrator, brings 20 years of media experience to the New York Jets beat. Prior to concentrating on Gang Green, he covered the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision for NFL Draft Bible on FanNation. Ventre remains as an official voter for the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and the annual legacy awards. The Fordham University graduate is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. The veteran sports media professional resides in his native state of New Jersey.