Trader Joe times two?
The entire NFL universe is convinced Giants general manager Joe Schoen wants to trade one of his top-10 picks in this year’s NFL draft in order to add another 2023 first-rounder for his inevitable quarterback search. And now a report indicates Joe Douglas and the Jets may be thinking along the same lines.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer has the Jets taking N.C. State tackle Ikem Ekwonu with the No. 4 pick and USC wide receiver Drake London at No. 10 in his mini-mock draft. But he expects Douglas will be working the phones on both slots.
“I think Douglas will try to make a trade with one of his two picks, to pick up capital and maybe position himself for 2023 as well,” Breer writes.
Schoen’s motivation to punt to 2023 is obvious: There is a strong chance he will be looking to land a franchise quarterback after moving on from Daniel Jones. That would not be Douglas’ motivation, given Zach Wilson is only entering his second season. And if the Jets are having a conversation about Wilson next draft season, Douglas is probably in trouble. But trading back for future draft capital that would allow Douglas to swing a big trade for a difference-making veteran next offseason — when the Jets should be a year closer and have shown promise in 2022 — would make sense.
Here’s what Breer had to say about the projected Ekwonu pick:
The logic on Ekwonu, tied to his positional flexibility, makes sense. There’s real concern on 2020 first-rounder Mekhi Becton, and whether he’ll be the long-term answer at left tackle. Taking Ekwonu would give the Jets an insurance policy in case Becton washes out. And if Becton can grow up a little and start to fulfill his immense potential? Well, then the Jets could kick Ekwonu into guard, a position many teams feel is his most natural NFL spot, and a place where some feel like he has all-pro potential.
If they stick here, I could see the Jets catching a falling Gardner or Thibodeaux, or maybe even Stingley. Absent that, I think this a spot where help could come for Zach Wilson, if all the receivers are sitting there for the Jets. In this scenario, they are, and this is the range where both USC’s Drake London and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson are pegged to be in play (and maybe Alabama’s Jameson Williams, too, based on teams’ comfort level with his ACL).
I’ll take the guy, then, who I believe best complements their current foundation of Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios at the position, and get Mike LaFleur his prototype “X.”