The New York Jets have a new general manager in Joe Douglas, and he played a big part in building the Philadelphia Eagles into a Super Bowl champion team.
If you look at the Eagles roster that won the Super Bowl two years ago, you’ll see the fingerprints of Joe Douglas all over the place.
As the team’s Vice President of Player Personnel, Douglas had a hand in building one of the league’s better rosters, complete with an impressive balance of young talent and veteran experience.
In 2016, Douglas was part of the front office that made a bold trade up the draft board to secure quarterback Carson Wentz. Sure, it was Nick Foles who eventually capped off the season with an incredible postseason run and Super Bowl MVP honors, but the Eagles aren’t in position to make that happen if Wentz doesn’t start them in the right direction.
There was also the signing of little-known guard Brandon Brooks that offseason, a player who became a two-time Pro Bowler for the Eagles.
In 2017, Douglas and his fellow decision-makers landed two of the most vital pieces to their eventual Super Bowl run (Foles, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery), as well as a starting corner in Patrick Robinson, and a valuable veteran presence in defensive end Chris Long. They also drafted key players in defensive end Derek Barnett, and cornerback Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas.
The Eagles have added more impact players since under Douglas’ watch, including another promising draft class in 2019.
But now, Douglas faces a new task: Building the Jets into that kind of contender, this time as the top dog in the front office.
Thankfully, for all of Mike Maccagnan’s faults, he didn’t exactly leave the cupboard bare for his replacement. Douglas has the benefit of a young franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold, defensive cornerstones in safety Jamal Adams, linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Quinnen Williams. He also has arguably the most dynamic running back in the entire NFL in Le’Veon Bell.
The Jets have a strong, young nucleus to build around on both sides of the ball. If Douglas and new head coach Adam Gase are able to coexist in a productive way, the new general manager’s experience building a winning roster should only add to New York’s chances of turning into a contender sooner rather than later.
It may be too early to start making parade plans for the Gang Green, but hiring Douglas could easily end up being one of the best decisions the team has made in recent memory.