The NY Jets could use their revamped draft capital to trade for these star players.
General manager Joe Douglas needed to be blown away to even consider trading away Adams and that’s exactly what happened when the Seattle Seahawks came calling.
Douglas managed to swindle away two first-round picks as well as an extra third-rounder in 2021 in return for the star safety. And now, the Jets find themselves with arguably the most draft capital of any NFL team over the next two years.
It’s an enviable position for Douglas to be in and the Jets now have plenty of options as to how to best utilize their newfound capital. Of course, the obvious use is to wait until the draft to hopefully land future building blocks of the roster.
But don’t expect Douglas to limit himself to that.
From using the extra capital to trade up come draft day or using those additional picks to acquire star players, Douglas has a variety of options at his disposal.
Today, we’re going to talk about the latter option.
Let’s take a look at three star players the Jets could trade for using their abundance of draft capital.
Next: 3. Allen Robinson
3. The NY Jets could trade for Allen Robinson
While the offensive line looks improved on paper, the same can’t necessarily be said for the wide receiver corps. Breshad Perriman is a step down from Robby Anderson no matter how you look at it and Denzel Mims is more of a project than an instant-impact contributor.
The Jets need wide receiver help and they could use their extra draft capital to give Darnold some help in the form of a star receiver who’s longing for adequate quarterback play.
Allen Robinson has been forced to deal with the likes of Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky over the entirety of his six-year career. Despite that, he’s consistently put up numbers worthy of a No. 1 receiver and remains one of the more unheralded players in the league.
And (somehow) at just 26-years-old, Robinson is still in the prime of his career.
The Chicago Bears’ wideout has been mentioned as a possible trade candidate this year given that he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season. Perhaps the Jets wouldn’t give up a first-round pick straight-up for a free-agent-to-be, but they certainly have plenty of draft capital to play with.
A second-round pick might not get it done, but maybe Douglas could surrender a first if the Bears were to send back a Day 2 selection as well.
It’s absolutely something to consider as Robinson would provide Darnold with his most accomplished pass-catcher to date.
Next: 2. Yannick Ngakoue
2. The NY Jets could trade for Yannick Ngakoue
The Jets just lost their best defensive player and arguably their most talented pass-rusher, but could they use some of their acquired draft capital to secure his pseudo-replacement?
It’s certainly something worth looking into.
Jacksonville Jaguars’ pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue has been embroiled in a contract dispute that would make Jamal Adams blush and the two sides don’t appear close to a resolution.
In fact, Ngakoue didn’t show up for training camp and hasn’t spoken to head coach Doug Marrone since the start of camp. The former Pro Bowler clearly wants out, and perhaps the Jets could benefit from his dissatisfaction in Jacksonville.
Ngakoue has managed eight or more sacks in all four of his NFL seasons to this point including a 12-sack campaign in 2017 that resulted in a Pro Bowl berth.
And given the barren wasteland that is the Jets’ edge rusher depth chart, making a move for him might seem like a no-brainer.
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Would the Jets be willing to give up a first-round pick for a player who’s looking for a long-term extension and is set to play 2020 on the franchise tag? Perhaps not. But much like Robinson, the Jets have the ammunition to make it work.
It’s unclear how intent the Jaguars are on trading their star pass-rusher. But it would certainly be best for them to acquire something in return as opposed to letting him sit out the entire year.
The Jets need pass-rush help and Ngakoue could be the answer they’ve been searching for.
Next: 1. JuJu Smith-Schuster
1. The NY Jets could trade for JuJu Smith-Schuster
If the Jets are going to improve Darnold’s supporting cast, why not get him someone who he already has experience playing with?
Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is set to be a free agent after the 2020 season and it remains unclear whether the team will offer him a long-term extension or not.
Smith-Schuster burst on to the scene with two incredible seasons in 2017 and 2018 totaling 2,343 yards over his first two years in the NFL. Unfortunately, his 2019 season left a lot to be desired.
Struggling through multiple injuries, the 23-year-old managed just 552 yards on 42 catches in what was a disappointing third professional season.
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Of course, he was stuck with the likes of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges throwing to him for the majority of the year. But this didn’t stop the critics from claiming that his prior success was primarily due to the presence of Antonio Brown.
Perhaps the Steelers feel the same way. But there’s no doubt that Smith-Schuster would immediately become the Jets’ best receiver and the USC connection between him and Darnold could prove invaluable.
Much like the other two players on this list, Smith-Schuster is a free agent after this year so a first-round pick might be a little steep. But Douglas and the Jets could make it work if they want to and the Steelers are open to it.
Darnold needs playmakers and perhaps a USC reunion could be his ticket to success.