NY Jets: How Robby Anderson leaving impacts the 2020 NFL Draft strategy

NY Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

Losing Robby Anderson is obviously major a blow to the NY Jets offense. However, it also changes their outlook on the 2020 NFL Draft.

Last month, the Carolina Panthers inked wide receiver Robby Anderson to a two-year/$20 million dollar deal, thus ending his four-year tenure with the NY Jets.

Anderson was signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft and quickly inserted himself into the Jets offense.

Anderson isn’t on the level of Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, or Julio Jones, but he was an important piece in a lackluster Jets offense.

Since entering the league, Anderson has averaged 765 yards and five touchdowns per season in his four years with the Jets. Those aren’t elite numbers, but he was far and away the closest thing to a “weapon” the Jets offense has had in years.

So, how does Robby Anderson leaving the bright lights of MetLife for a two-year deal with the Panthers affect the Jets draft strategy? To put it mildly, it makes the decision Joe Douglas has to make in the first round that much harder.

Do you draft one of the top four offensive tackles and protect your quarterback’s blindside? Or do you take a wide receiver and give Darnold a weapon that he hasn’t had since he entered the league.

More from The Jet Press

If the Jets had retained Anderson, it would have made the decision to take an offensive tackle so much easier and in my eyes, that’s what the move should still be. The question is, do Joe Douglas and company feel the same way?

I’ve felt that going with one of the offensive tackles is the best move for this franchise for a while. Since Darnold entered the league, we’ve seen him get hit from behind time and time again, because his offensive lines have been human turnstiles.

It isn’t the flashiness of Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb, but it’s the smart pick at 11.

Despite how enamored I am by drafting a big lineman to protect my quarterback, I’ve been on and off the offensive line train since Anderson left.

And despite how smart I think it would be to take a tackle with the 11th pick, I’m not entirely sure that’s what Douglas is going to do. If he selected Jeudy or Lamb from his home office, could you blame him?

If you log on to Twitter you’ll see countless arguments of wide receiver versus offensive line for the Jets. I can’t say either would be a bad pick, I just know that if the Jets could have found a way to bring back Robby Anderson, you could take a tackle at 11 and never look back.

Next. NY Jets bolster the team’s biggest needs in 7-round 2020 NFL Mock Draft

With the draft just over 24 hours away, it won’t be that long of a wait to see how Joe Douglas decides to attack the first round of the draft.