NY Jets: ‘Trader Joe’ Douglas gets the job done on draft day
By Chris Stephano
NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas had an effective draft, using trades and high value picks to build a team that has the potential to contend immediately.
Facing his first draft as general manager of the NY Jets, it was no secret that Joe Douglas had his work cut out for him.
Coming off their fourth straight losing season, the Jets’ depth chart was riddled with issues. Douglas was able to use free agency to address some team needs, but the Jets had far too many roster holes to simply throw money at every one of them.
They desperately needed to have a great draft.
Post-draft grades assigned immediately after the draft are more or less pointless. After all, it takes years to determine what college players will succeed in the NFL.
All that said, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the Jets’ 2020 NFL draft class.
Perhaps the most encouraging element of Douglas’ first Jets draft was his willingness to use trades to maximize value. Throughout the draft, he made three trades.
Let’s break each one down, and see how they helped the Jets get the most bang for their buck in the draft.
- NY Jets received: No. 59 and No. 101 picks (406 points)
- Seattle Seahawks received: No. 48 pick (420 points)
The Jets moved down in the second round, trading with the Seahawks. Although they may have slightly lost this trade according to the NFL draft pick value chart, this deal ultimately worked out quite well for the Jets.
After taking offensive linemen Mekhi Becton with their first-round pick, the Jets desperately needed to add a wide receiver. Even after trading down, they were still able to get Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims in the second round.
And by making the trade, the Jets added a third-round pick (No. 101) that would prove to be extremely valuable later.
The #Jets turned the 48th overall pick into:
• Denzel Mims• 125th overall pick• 129th overall pick• A future 6th-round pick
Joe Douglas is a legend. ?
— The Jet Press (@TheJetPress) April 25, 2020
- NY Jets received: No. 125, No. 129 and 2021 6th round picks (90 points plus 6th-round pick next year)
- New England Patriots received: No. 101 pick (96 points)
The Jets next traded the No. 101 pick (that they received from the Seahawks) to the Patriots for two fourth-round picks in this draft and a sixth-round pick in next year’s draft.
The pick the Jets gave up was worth approximately the two fourth-round picks that the Patriots sent to the Jets; the addition of a sixth-round pick in 2021 makes this trade a clear win for New York.
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Douglas also deserves credit for being willing to make a deal with the division-rival Patriots. Many general managers would be extremely hesitant to trade within the division, but Douglas maintained his focus solely on doing whatever is necessary to make the Jets better.
- NY Jets received: CB Quincy Wilson
- Indianapolis Colts received: No. 211 pick
Finally, the Jets shipped their last pick in the draft to the Colts for cornerback Quincy Wilson.
The Jets need all the help in the secondary that they can get, making their decision to trade a late draft pick for a high potential player like Wilson (who was a 2017 second-round pick) a no-brainer.
Liking the looking of this. pic.twitter.com/T8DujoQOTd
— New York Jets (@nyjets) April 25, 2020
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- NY Jets: Patriots will not use the franchise tag on Joe Thuney
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The Jets entered the 2020 NFL Draft with a litany of needs (i.e. offensive line, wide receiver, secondary, edge rusher).
By trading down and acquiring as many draft picks and players as possible, Douglas was able to more or less address every team need.
Douglas used the draft to bring in a couple of offensive linemen (Becton, Cameron Clark), multiple defensive backs (Wilson, Ashtyn Davis, Bryce Hall), a new wide receiver (Mims) and a new pass rusher (Jabari Zuniga). He also added depth at quarterback and running back, and tacked on a new punter for good measure.
It is truly impressive how many roster issues that Douglas was able to address in the draft. Now Jets fans just have to wait and hope that the players selected pan out in the NFL.
If they do, the 2020 NFL Draft could be remembered as the beginning of a dramatic turnaround for a star-crossed Jets franchise.