Florham Park, NJ—The 2022 NFL Draft begins Thursday night, and with the Jets scheduled to make four of the first 38 picks, we won’t have to wait long to see what new toys the Gang Green are going to bring into Florham Park.
The Jets’ offense was ranked 28th last year, they averaged 18.2, with an average of 306.35 per game, and at times looked discombobulated. GM Joe Douglas has been grinding hard this offseason in signing players to reasonable and responsible contracts, trying desperately to change the culture in Florham Park. Gang Green has to improve in four areas (Edge Rusher, Linebacker, Safety, and Wide Receiver).
The Jets need more offensive weapons for Zach Wilson to throw to. Having two picks in the first round (4th & 10th), they should pick up a receiver immediately. Wide Receivers Romeo Doubs from Nevada and 6’5 USC Drake London are very high on the Jets’ draft boards, but they likely will draft an edge rusher and corner with their first two selections.
The Jets’ running game wasn’t great in 2021. New York ranked 30th in yards per attempt and 31st in yards per game on the ground, but they’ve improved dramatically in their last six games last season, especially when it came to moving the chains.
Left tackle Mekhi Becton, the 11th pick in 2020 was very limited last season because of a knee injury. Barring any setbacks, he is the long-term solution for the Gang Green offensive line. George Fant held up Wilson’s blindside while Becton was out and has one year left on his contract. The Jets probably will shore up the other side in the draft by selecting Boston College O/T Zion Johnson in the second round.
The Jets recorded 33 sacks last season; the Gang Green was decimated by injuries last year, losing edge rusher Carl Lawson and starting safeties Marcus Maye and Lamarcus Joyner to season-ending injuries. They plugged in several rookies and other young players to learn key roles on the job. Some of their struggles were understandable.
The Jets allowed 1,890 yards in the four games last November, the most allowed over four consecutive games in franchise history.
They inked Lawson with a hefty contract in free agency earlier this year, signing him to a three-year, $45 million deal. The team are hoping Lawson will turn into an elite pass rusher within Robert Saleh/Jeff Ulbrich’s defensive schemes. The Jets might select edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux from Oregon with their round one number four pick.
The Jets are hoping they get a steal by drafting LB Troy Anderson out of Montana State in the fourth round. NY targeted converted safeties in the middle rounds last year and could do the same exact thing this coming draft.
Jets draft picks 2022:
- Round 1, Pick No. 4: —
- Round 1, Pick No. 10: —
- Round 2, Pick No. 35: —
- Round 2, Pick No. 38: —
- Round 3, Pick No. 69: —
- Round 4, Pick No. 111: —
- Round 5, Pick No. 146: —
- Round 5, Pick No. 163: —
New York drafted three defensive backs last year in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough for an area in dire need. Jason Pinnock never cracked the defensive rotation, fellow fifth rounder Michael Carter II was their primary nickel and sixth rounder Brandin Echols saw a lot of time at outside CB but both had problems holding up in coverage.
The Jets went from having a solid safety tandem with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye to having to piece together their secondary. They need a ball hawk on the back end. They are hoping by drafting CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner from Cincinnati and S/CB Jalen Pitre from Baylor will help resolve all their issues in the secondary. Georgia’s hard hitting safety Lewis Cine could also be the long term solution for the Gang Green.