The Jets have a number of roster needs and only six draft picks. And they probably will be sending one of those selections — possibly a second-rounder — to Green Bay for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
But on the off chance the draft capital sent to Lambeau is in 2024 and beyond, let’s select for general manager Joe Douglas using Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator.
Round 1, Pick 13: OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee
The Jets desperately need a starting offensive tackle. Mekhi Becton has played one game in the last two years due to injury. Duane Brown is entering his age-38 season. 2022 fourth-rounder Max Mitchell might not be ready to assume a consistent starting role.
There are too many question marks at the position and the Jets will need to protect Rodgers if and when he’s in Florham Park.
Darnell Wright has versatility on the offensive line and played left tackle, right tackle, and right guard for Tennessee. After starting every game at right tackle for the Vols in 2022 and earning first-team All-SEC honors, Wright could slot in at right tackle for the Jets and eventually develop into the team’s long-term blindside blocker.
In a perfect world, Becton puts his injury woes in the past and proves to be a reliable tackle amidst Wright’s development.
Round 2, Pick 42: C John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
The Jets have an additional hole at center. Connor McGovern is unlikely to return and drafting someone would be a superior economic choice than signing a free agent.
Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz started all 25 games at center over the last two seasons. He earned All-Big Ten second- and first-team honors in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
He’d immediately slot in as the team’s starting center, with Wes Schweitzer or Trystan Colon serving as a reserve interior lineman. While Schweitzer and Colon are more backups than anything, Schmitz should be ready to assume a starting role after facing NFL-caliber talent in the Big Ten.
Round 2, Pick 43: DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson
Depth is a big issue at defensive tackle for the Jets. Quinnen Williams and Solomon Thomas will start but New York lost Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd in free agency.
Bryan Bresee sports tremendous size at 6-foot-5, 298 pounds and can bring pass-rushing skills to the table. He notched 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss in 10 games last season. During his 2020 freshman campaign, Bresee recorded four sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss in 11 games.
Bresee must remain healthy though — he only played in four games his sophomore season because of an ACL tear. Providing notable depth will be crucial in keeping Williams’ workload down.
Round 4, Pick 112: S Christopher Smith II, Georgia
Safety Jordan Whitehead is returning while offseason acquisition Chuck Cluck is penciled in as the other starter. But the Jets need better depth options in the secondary. Ashtyn Davis is a special teamer. Will Parks has started eight games combined over the last three seasons. Tony Adams is a former undrafted free agent and possible preseason cut.
That’s why we have the Jets taking Georgia’s Christopher Smith II, who could grow as a versatile weapon in head coach Robert Saleh’s defense.
Smith is a physical defensive back who tallied 61 total tackles last season, but he also has solid coverage instincts. He notched three interceptions and five pass deflections for the Bulldogs in 2022.
Round 5, Pick 143: LB Dorian Williams, Tulane
Saleh is set at linebacker with C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams, but it’s likely one of Hamsah Nasirildeen or Jamien Sherwood is a preseason cut. Neither has developed efficiently in Saleh’s defensive system since joining the team in 2021. Both were on the field for only 2% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. So it’s clear there’s a depth void.
Enter Dorian Williams, who was dominant against the run for Tulane last year. He notched a whopping 132 tackles in 14 games. He’s also productive in the backfield, having tallied five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in the same span.
Williams could slot in as one of the Jets’ top depth pieces and find a role on heavy run downs.
Round 6, Pick 207: CB Arquon Bush, Cincinnati
We address the secondary depth with the Jets’ final draft pick.
While New York has one of the NFL’s top cornerback duos in Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, Bryce Hall might be one of the only legitimate depth options. Justin Hardee is a special teamer while Michael Carter II and Brandin Echols work more in the slot.
A former college teammate of Gardner’s, Bush has experience working alongside the 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year. He recorded two interceptions and five pass deflections for Cincinnati last season.
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