For the New York Jets and Joe Douglas, a relatively boring 2020 NFL Draft is what fans really want to see.
Draft night disappointment is a long-running tradition for New York Jets fans, however, luck has changed in recent years. In order for general manager Joe Douglas to continue this trend, he needs to keep it simple.
Sam Darnold is the franchise quarterback the team has been missing for years and now the focus should be centered on him. Fans don’t need to see anything crazy on Thursday night when Douglas makes his first pick as GM.
Draft The Offensive Tackle
Judging by most mock drafts out right now, one of the top four offensive tackles are going to be on the board when the Jets are up. Tristan Wirfs is unlikely to fall, but Andrew Thomas, Mekhi Becton, and Jedrick Wills all have the potential to fall.
Even if the Jets are picking the runt of the litter, it’s a better option than choosing one of the top wide receivers. It might not be as flashy or sexy, but Darnold needs a clean pocket more than he needs a superstar wide receiver.
Don’t get me wrong, watching Darnold throw deep balls to Henry Ruggs III, CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy sounds like fun. But making sure he has enough time to throw the ball downfield is far more important right now.
Going further, the Jets have a handful of picks in the middle rounds and this wide receiver class is absolutely loaded. Picking up a guy like Michael Pittman Jr., Van Jefferson, or Michael Reagor in the middle rounds would still provide Darnold with more talent on the outside.
Douglas is a former offensive lineman at the University of Richmond. Hopefully, his background in the trenches will remind him that a strong offensive line is a necessity. So far, he’s showing that its high on his list of priorities.
Don’t Trade Jamal Adams
Jets fans don’t need excitement. Jamal Adams has a big contract coming to him in the future and there’s been trade speculation in the past. For Douglas, dealing Adams could be a way to draft the offensive tackle and one of the top three receivers.
Trading away Adams for a first-round pick would be an easy deal for Douglas to pull off and it would help solidify two positions of need. Arguing to keep Adams might seem contradictory to the idea that the Jets should be building around Darnold, but it’s not. Adams’ that his departure would completely expose the defense and this would put even more pressure on the young quarterback.
Unless Douglas is bringing back an absolute haul—multiple first-round picks—a deal for Adams isn’t worth it. He means far too much to the defense.
The Jets are weak at cornerback and edge rusher. Adams is certainly capable of dropping back to help the corners in coverage, but he’s also the best pass-rushing safety in the league. He makes up for a lot of the holes on the Gang Green defense.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is great at making something out of nothing, but taking away Adams would mean he’s bringing a knife to a gunfight.
If New York starts the season slow and there’s no legitimate progress on a contract extension, the Jets could start shopping Adams at the deadline, but it’s worth it to keep him for the start of the 2020 season. After all, the New England Patriots could be vulnerable without Tom Brady in the fold.
When a new GM takes over, there can be a tendency to move forward with a complete overhaul of the roster. While the Jets have plenty of holes to fill, blowing it up isn’t necessary.
Jets fans don’t need any groundbreaking trades or shocking picks when the 2020 NFL Draft finally arrives. It’s actually pretty simple. Draft an offensive tackle to protect Darnold, add a wide receiver or two in the middle rounds, and let Jamal Adams continue to quarterback the defense.
There’s no need for Joe Douglas to make a major splash this weekend. Just keep it simple.