There is a newfound confidence in the Jets. Some of it warranted, some feels a bit too optimistic.
But ESPN doesn’t seem to have any of that faith. It believes the Jets could be the NFL’s worst team in 2022 and projects they will have the top pick in the 2023 draft according to its Football Power Index.
Jets’ chance at No. 1 pick: 13.6%
Jets’ chance at top 10: 68.4%
Why they are here: You can see the upside with the Jets. They have Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis and Elijah Moore at receiver. Ahmad Gardner and D.J. Reed are set to lock down the cornerback spots. Carl Lawson is back at edge rusher. And most importantly, they have a potential star in second-year quarterback Zach Wilson. But none of that — most importantly Wilson — is guaranteed to pay off. ESPN’s FPI is betting that most of it likely won’t.
The Jets do face Josh Allen and the Bills, Bill Belichick and the Patriots and Tyreek Hill and the Dolphins twice a year. And there are a slew of other star quarterbacks on the schedule. But finishing as the worst team in the league? When organizations like the Bears, Texans, and Giants exist? That’s a bit of a stretch.
Wilson would need to struggle at a ridiculous level week-in and week-out. That is tough to imagine given the Jets have viable options at receiver, a possible two-headed monster at running back, multiple proven tight ends and an offensive line with legitimate potential.
The defense would additionally need to perform as one of the league’s worst again, even after returning Lawson and adding rookie defensive end Jermaine Johnson, rookie corner Sauce Gardner, corner D.J. Reed, and safety Jordan Whitehead. During the second year in Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich’s scheme, no less.
ESPN also projects the Giants to own the No. 10 draft pick next year.
Chance at No. 1 pick: 2.8%
Chance at top 10: 37.7%
Why they are here: Daniel Jones has been disappointing for a sixth-overall pick, but he has upside under center. There’s potential in the offensive line and wide receiver groups, and with a new offensive-minded head coach, the Giants should improve from their 30th-ranked offensive efficiency last season. But still, ESPN’s FPI believes this is a team that will be below average (23rd on offense, 27th on defense) on both sides of the ball.
These are reasonable expectations, considering Jones’ inconsistencies, question marks at receiver, multiple players coming off injuries, young secondary, and rookie head coach running the show. If these lingering issues continue into the regular season, expect Big Blue to have a premium 2023 draft choice, possibly closer to the No. 1 spot.