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NorthJersey.com

Todd McShay has a better read on Joe Douglas than most.

The ESPN analyst was college teammates with the Jets general manager at Richmond. And while McShay says he has not — and would never — ask Douglas direct questions about his plans for this week’s 2022 NFL draft, he does have some ideas.

Would Douglas take an offensive lineman at No. 4? What if the top three tackles — Mississippi State’s Charles Cross, N.C. State’s Ikem Ekwonu and Alabama’s Evan Neal — are all still on the board?

“I think he’s going to trust his board, honestly, that’s how he was raised in this profession,” McShay told The Post’s Steve Serby. “I’d take [Cincinnati cornerback] Sauce Gardner or (Ohio State wideout) Garrett Wilson.”

McShay’s most interesting insights came when discussing Douglas’ well-documented push to add a top receiver for quarterback Zach Wilson. The expectation is the Jets will aim to snag a pass catcher at No. 10 barring a blockbuster trade for the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel (or a similar move). McShay thinks Wilson is the best wideout, but he expects him to go no later than the Falcons at No. 8.


That’s when things get interesting. Does Douglas target USC’s Drake London at No. 10 or roll the dice on Alabama’s Jameson Williams, who had a late-season ACL tear?

“I would probably go with Drake London,” McShay said. “You’re getting the whole season out of him. And he’s such a big target for a young quarterback in Zach Wilson. His catch radius and contested catches, it just gives a young quarterback an opportunity to put the ball out and allow a guy to go make a play. But if you’re asking me who’s going be the best receiver in this class three years from now, it’s Jameson Williams.”

What is Douglas likely thinking?

“The two things that scare most general managers, including Joe Douglas … What leads to busts most in the NFL when it comes to draft picks? It’s character and durability,” McShay said. “My guess is he would lean Drake London. I don’t know their grades. If they have such a higher grade on Jameson Williams, then you take him. … To add risk to that equation would probably be going against what Joe believes.

“I can promise you this: I have not specifically asked him who he likes, Jameson Williams or Drake London, and I would never, but based on what I know when we’ve had philosophical conversations, durability and character are two things that he has worked hard to try to minimize the potential for busts or for players not working out.”

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.