4 non-OL prospects the NY Jets can target early in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Jake Weiss
Most people expect the NY Jets to draft an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. This would make sense due to the number of injury-prone and/or unproven tackles on their roster. A young star would help protect whoever is under center for the Jets (hopefully Aaron Rodgers) for the foreseeable future.
However, despite a recent report suggesting that offensive tackle is the "most likely" outcome, there is a chance the Jets are confident in the trio of Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton, and Max Mitchell to hold down the tackle spots this season.
Here are some other options the Jets may look at in the first round.
1. The NY Jets could draft Jalen Carter
Perhaps the most unlikely option, the Jets have a small chance to add a player who many consider to be the best non-QB in this year's draft. Due to recent off-field issues, there is some uncertainty with the Georgia defensive tackle's draft stock.
Recent reports have claimed that Carter has been dropping on some teams' draft boards because of his supposed involvement in the January 15th car crash that unfortunately ended in the death of one of his teammates.
If he falls enough and is sitting there at pick 13, it's hard not to imagine the damage a duo of Carter and All-Pro Quinnen Williams could do on gamedays.
Joe Douglas is always willing to add more to the defensive line, and the interior of the unit remains one of the team's bigger needs, even after the Quinton Jefferson signing. Don't be surprised if Douglas pulls the trigger if he is still sitting there.
2. The NY Jets could draft Calijah Kancey
An undersized yet crazy athletic defensive tackle from Pittsburgh sounds familiar. There is a reason Calijah Kancey has been receiving comparisons to Aaron Donald.
While Kancey is not on the same level as Carter, he could still be an option for the Jets for the same reasons listed above. The addition of Jefferson might make it less likely this happens, however.
3. The NY Jets could draft an edge rusher
Despite their efforts, the Jets still lack a truly game-changing edge presence. While there are hopes that Jermaine Johnson can still reach that potential and that Carl Lawson will bounce back from the injury that lingered all last season, they could look toward the beginning of the draft to solidify the position.
There are many high-caliber edge rushers that could be available to the Jets at pick 13. Their plan might be to just draft the best one available. Some options could be Tyree Wilson, Lukas Van Ness, Nolan Smith, and Myles Murphy.
Many recent mocks even have the Jets drafting Smith at 13. He has a very unique skill set for an edge rusher, but the Jets might be inclined to take a chance on him.
4. The NY Jets could draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Right now, the Jets' receiving corps of Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Corey Davis is not all that inspiring, especially with the expected departure of Davis. Outside of the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Jets lack a true game-changing talent.
While it is expected that they will sign Odell Beckham Jr. to round out their receiving room, if that deal falls through, they could look to reunite college teammates Wilson and Smith-Njigba in the NFL.
A large percentage of Smith-Njigba's performance comes out of the slot, and he should nicely fill the hole left by Elijah Moore after he was traded to the Cleveland Browns.