3 mistakes the NY Jets must avoid in the 2024 NFL Draft

The Jets can't make these mistakes
Brian Thomas Jr.
Brian Thomas Jr. / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

The NY Jets have maneuvered their way into an envious position entering the 2024 NFL Draft. The team addressed key needs in free agency affording them maximum flexibility in this year's draft.

The Jets can further address their skill position group, continue to bolster their offensive line, or even go with a best-player-available approach. That leaves the team with a number of different appealing routes to take.

However, not every option for the Jets is an attractive one. There are a handful of traps the Jets must avoid falling into if they are to have a successful 2024 draft.

Let's take a look at three mistakes the Jets must avoid in this year's draft.

1. The NY Jets must avoid drafting a defensive player in the first two rounds

Someone needs to lock Robert Saleh in a room by himself until the first two rounds of the draft are over. Then, and only then, can Saleh and the Jets consider drafting a defensive player.

The Jets' defense remains arguably the most talented and complete unit in the NFL. With All-Pros in all three phases of the defense — not to mention a very weak defensive draft class — there's no argument to be made that the Jets should draft a defensive player early.

The team has an obvious need for offensive line depth. They don't have a locked-in WR3 and their WR2 is coming off a torn ACL. It would be impossible to justify adding a defensive player high in the draft.

Saleh and the Jets already made that mistake with Will McDonald a year ago, and they're still paying for it. They can't afford to make that mistake again.

2. The NY Jets must avoid drafting Brian Thomas Jr. at No. 10

Brian Thomas is a very good wide receiver prospect in an absolutely loaded draft class, and he figures to be one of the top targets for the Jets in the first round. But he's not worth the 10th overall pick, at least given the circumstances.

Thomas is an electric big-play threat with good size and 4.33 speed. He has the potential to be a dangerous offensive weapon at the NFL level, but he's still a bit of a work in progress.

Thomas is an unpolished route-runner who benefited from an all-star cast at LSU and is still filling out his frame. Those are enough red flags to give me pause about drafting him in the top 10.

It's a different conversation if the Jets move down a few slots and target him in the middle-to-later portion of the first round. Top-10 is too rich for me, though. He's a very clear tear below the top three wide receivers in this class.

3. The NY Jets must avoid ignoring their offensive line

The Jets seem to be leaning toward drafting a pass catcher in the first round. Whether it's a wide receiver or Brock Bowers, that appears to be the preferred direction for Gang Green at this moment.

That's perfectly fine and reasonable, but it doesn't mean that the Jets can afford to ignore their offensive line. Despite the additions of Tyron Smith, Morgan Moses, and John Simpson, there are still genuine questions about the health of this Jets' unit.

The lack of quality depth, specifically at offensive tackle, is notable as the Jets enter the draft. Even if they pass on an offensive lineman in the first round, the Jets must find a way to address their offensive line depth at some point, preferably earlier rather than later.

If the Jets go wide receiver in the first round, it would make sense for them to target an offensive lineman on Day 2. The Jets shouldn't believe their offensive line is "set" — there's still work to be done.