jets 2023 nfl draft
Syndication: The Record

Have you seen the news? Aaron Rodgers is the Jets’ starting quarterback, and it happened before the 2023 NFL Draft even started. Many mock drafts have pinned New York to get help for the trenches by selecting an offensive lineman in the first round. But could they change course and add another weapon for Rodgers on offense?

It’s possible. Once the Rodgers trade becomes official (which could be later on Wednesday), the Jets’ first-round pick will switch from 13th to 15th overall. That’d make one think that their strategy for the first selection wouldn’t change drastically, but maybe it will. Re-signing Connor McGovern may play a role in that, as well.

Matt Miller of ESPN is reporting the Jets have “spent considerable time and resources doing work on” Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. If Garrett Wilson’s former college teammate is still available once it’s Gang Green’s pick, they could use it to bring him to New York.

Smith-Njigba only appeared in three games for the Buckeyes this past season, but his 2021 campaign was where most of his college production happened. Across 13 games played, he caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns.

Once the trade with Green Bay becomes final, the Jets will have five NFL Draft selections to make: 15th, 43rd, 112th, 143rd, and 170th. Our final Jets mock draft has Gang Green focusing on the offensive line and then the defensive line with their first two picks. Going offensive tackle in the first round has been the most common mock draft result across the industry. The same could be said for NBC Sports’ Peter King’s first-round mock earlier this week.

Speaking of King, his mock has Smith-Njigba going 17th to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also noted the Washington Commanders could take him at 16th overall. The wideout is a projected first-round pick, and it seems like there’s a chance he’ll still be available once the Jets are on the clock.

What New York does will obviously depend on how the first 14 picks go ahead of them. Miller noted the Packers could select him at no. 13, and the New England Patriots could do the same if he’s available at no. 14.

Buckle up, folks. The start of the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday should be very interesting and lots of fun.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.