The Jets got their quarterback this week. Now, we’ll see if they can find someone to protect him.
This year’s NFL draft feels like an afterthought for the Jets after the excitement of the Aaron Rodgers trade, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t critical that Joe Douglas land some talent to help Rodgers deliver the trophy. of the Super Bowl that he spoke about on Wednesday. .
The Jets dropped from the No. 13 overall pick to No. 15 in the trade with the Packers this week.
The belief remains that the Jets will target an offensive tackle to help solidify the blockers against Rodgers.
But moving to No. 15 could mean the top four tackles — Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, Georgia’s Broderick Jones and Tennessee’s Darnell Wright — are gone before the Jets make their pick.
“At the end of the day, we needed to have 13 players that we were really excited about and now we have to have 15 players that we’re really excited about and I’m comfortable with that,” Douglas said.
Assistant general manager Rex Hogan said the trade doesn’t change anything for the Jets.
“There is no real effect, our board remains the same,” Hogan said. “We’ll continue to follow the process, and with the way we’ve built the roster, it gives us some flexibility to go in whatever direction we want with the player that’s available.”
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The Jets don’t have as many needs as they have in the past, but the offensive line is clear.
Douglas promised to fix the offensive line when he was hired in 2019 and has already used two first-round picks on offensive linemen, but the unit still has holes.
“I think we have a really good culture on this team and there’s a standard in terms of effort, tension and violence that our line needs to play to and we’re going to take every opportunity we can to add those types of players when they’re available,” he said. Douglas. “I don’t think I’ll ever sit here and tell you that I’m satisfied with where we are on the offensive or defensive line. I don’t think I’ll ever tell you that because I feel like we can always improve a little bit, but it’s always going to be a strong focus for us.”
If the offensive linemen are gone, Douglas may look to re-trade to acquire more picks or take Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who has been linked to the Jets recently. He could also use some help at defensive tackle. Clemson’s Bryan Bresee and Pittsburgh’s Calijah Kancey could be targets.
A year ago, Douglas made the draft, taking out Willow Gardner and Garrett Wilson in the first round. They went on to win Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year, respectively.
We’ll see if Douglas has an encore and how he can help his new quarterback.