Jermaine Johnson
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Many have linked Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux to the Jets. But general manager Joe Douglas may have his eyes on another pass rusher with the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

From The Athletic’s Connor Hughes:

Douglas said it best at the NFL’s annual meeting. The best way to negate the flock of talent migrating to the AFC? Knock the quarterback on his keister. Robert Saleh’s defenses are built from the front to back. He’s off to a good start with Lawson, Williams and Franklin-Myers, but this unit needs one more dominant force. There should be a couple to choose from at No. 4. One name to keep an eye on: Jermaine Johnson. Multiple sources told The Athletic that Douglas hasn’t hidden his affinity for the Florida State product. Those same sources believed the Jets would select Johnson over Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Johnson’s stock is rising. He may be a top-5 pick, as he could also be in play for the Giants as well.

While the Jets are in dire need of a talented defensive back to improve their disastrous secondary, Douglas prefers pass rushers. And you can’t have enough on any NFL roster.

Johnson’s measurables are great; his athleticism is, too. Moving John Franklin-Myers to the inside with Johnson and Carl Lawson on the edges could work wonders for the Jets. Especially in the AFC with Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.

The Jets defense must improve from its No. 32 ranking in both total defense and scoring. This unit needs to take pressure off quarterback Zach Wilson after not doing so last year. Johnson and Thibodeaux could both step up to the plate. It’s just a matter of picking the one that will elevate this struggling group the most.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.