The 2022 season was an improvement for the NY Jets, but having lost six games in a row to end the year, fans, players, and coaches alike are undoubtedly disappointed with how the season finished.
Having started the season 7-4, the Jets collapsed to finish 7-10 and miss out on the playoffs.
The big problem is the offense, which ranked 29th in terms of scoring in 2022, and issues with the quarterback position have continued.
With the 13th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Jets are in a decent position to make a significant upgrade to their roster. While the squad has continued to improve under Robert Saleh, there are plenty of holes still to fill.
Here are three options for the Jets to use their first-round selection on.
1. The NY Jets draft an offensive lineman
Injuries may have plagued the team, but the Jets' offensive line was far too inconsistent in 2022. It is vital they bring in several players to help fix the issue.
In fact, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laken Tomlinson are the only certain starters for the Jets up front next year, so there is a huge gap to fill with Mekhi Becton’s uncertain future and Duane Brown approaching the end of his career.
Fortunately, there is a host of first-round talent at the tackle position in the upcoming draft. At pick 13, the Jets should more than likely be in play to draft someone like Broderick Jones, Paris Johnson Jr, or unanimous All-American Peter Skoronski.
Skoronski’s name has been linked with the Jets in recent mock drafts, and the 6-foot-4, 315-pound tackle from Northwestern would be a perfect fit on either side of the offensive line.
Going after a free agent like Orlando Brown Jr. would be too costly, so if the Jets do upgrade their offensive line, it would be wise to do so in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.
2. The NY Jets use their first-round pick in a trade for a QB
With Zach Wilson’s career potentially over in New York and Mike White now viewed as an unviable option, the Jets are most certainly going to make a change at the position in the offseason. Could this be through the draft?
All fingers are pointing towards the Jets adding a veteran in free agency, but they could use the 13th overall selection to help their QB search. There are two options for this prospect — the first being trading for a proven quarterback already in the league.
Derek Carr has been linked and wouldn’t cost a first, but Lamar Jackson would. His name has been mentioned as a possible target, with his contract situation up in the air. The Ravens will almost certainly franchise tag him regardless of whether a deal is struck, meaning a trade comes into play.
In fact, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that NFL executives he has spoken to "strongly expect" the Ravens to tag and trade Jackson this offseason.
The Jets would have to spend big on Jackson, but he is a player who would completely revolutionize the team. Aaron Rodgers and/or Jared Goff could also be on the market.
The second is a trade-up in the draft to take a QB from college. This is unlikely given the need for a win-now addition, but it could work if the Jets take a veteran on a short-term in the spring. The Jets could willingly trade up into the top 10 and be in a position to draft a player like Anthony Richardson.
Admittedly, both options will cost an awful lot, far more than what general manager Joe Douglas would like to part with. Regardless of who it is, New York must go all out to find someone better than Wilson and White, taking the franchise to the next level.
With their defense now elite, and young, offensive weapons starting to blossom, the Jets have to make a big move like a QB trade to push them into consideration.
3. The NY Jets use their first-round pick on another offensive weapon
Outside of Garrett Wilson, the Jets' wide receiver room is mediocre at best. With Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, and Denzel Mims all featuring sporadically, the team needs another talented wideout to help take the pressure off Wilson’s shoulders.
The 2023 receiver class is fairly stacked, so using the 13th pick on this position could be a good option for the Jets. Jordan Addison could be the pick of the bunch for Gang Green — a prototypical slot player who has phenomenal speed to boot. He would complement Wilson’s explosiveness and help take the Jets' offense to the next level.
The Jets are unlikely to want to draft a premier tight end, with starters Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomoah both tied down for a couple more years, but Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer is an effective playmaker who would make an immediate impact on the field for a lot of teams. This move is unlikely, but Mayer would be a brilliant long-term solution at the position for the Jets.
Like at quarterback, there is also the possibility that the Jets use the 13th overall selection to trade for a playmaker. With DeAndre Hopkins mentioned as a player possibly on the move, the Jets could move themselves into contention for the star wideout with an offer using their first-rounder.