Will McDonald
Syndication: The Des Moines Register

The Jets had seven opportunities to improve the roster after last week’s Aaron Rodgers trade and a few trade-backs during the event itself. And while they didn’t land a first-round tackle, this was still a successful draft for Joe Douglas and company.

Some thoughts on the Jets’ picks:

Day 1


  • Round 1, Pick 15: Will McDonald, DE, Iowa State


The Jets had their eyes on offensive tackles. But it was going to be a bit harder to land one after moving back from No. 13 to 15 in order to trade for Rodgers.

That fear of missing out on a tackle grew when Darnell Wright went higher than expected (No. 10 to Chicago). It was fully realized when the Steelers swapped picks with the Pats, traded up to No. 14, and took Georgia’s Broderick Jones, the final first-round-caliber tackle.

The Jets thus pivoted to one of the top edge rushers on the board and added Will McDonald to round out a deadly pass rush. It wasn’t a major roster need, but Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh have made it their mission to build a defensive line saturated with talent.

Opposing quarterbacks will not have fun facing the likes of McDonald, Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Quinnen Williams, and Jermaine Johnson. And with the depth, the Jets could keep these guys fresh for optimal production.

Day 2


  • Round 2, Pick 43: Joe Tippmann, C, Wisconsin


There wasn’t great value on offensive tackles in the second round. In fact, there was only one tackle taken in the round (the Bucs drafted North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch).

But there was still an obvious need on the offensive line. The Jets needed a long-term center even after bringing back Connor McGovern, so this was another great pick.

Tippmann was the top center on the board at No. 43 and could be an immediate starter. And even if he’s not, the Jets still have McGovern to start while Tippmann develops.

If tackles Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton could erase the perceived issues on the exterior, an interior of Laken Tomlinson, Tippmann, and Alijah Vera-Tucker could be one of the NFL’s strongest.

Day 3


  • Round 4, Pick 120: Carter Warren, OT, Pitt
  • Round 5, Pick 143: Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pitt
  • Round 6, Pick 184: Zaire Barnes, LB, Western Michigan
  • Round 6, Pick 204: Jarrick Bernard-Converse, CB, LSU
  • Round 7, Pick 220: Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion


Depth, depth, and more depth.

A reserve offensive tackle was needed after missing out on a starter in the first round. And there’s not much reliable linebacking depth behind starters C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams.

The selection of a running back in the fifth round might give some insight into Michael Carter’s future. The third-year back declined in year two after a promising rookie campaign. This draft pick, plus the return of starter Breece Hall from injury, could edge Carter off the depth chart.

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