4 players the NY Jets should have drafted instead of Will McDonald
By Justin Fried
1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
This was the dream pick for the Jets at 15. Once it became clear that the top offensive tackles were no longer going to be available, many fans started to get excited about the possibility of drafting Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Of course, the Jets opted to go in a different direction, and Smith-Njigba would slide a few more picks until he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks at 20, jumpstarting a run of four wide receivers.
Smith-Njigba was my favorite wide receiver in this class and one of my preferred targets for the Jets. At 6-foot, 196 pounds, the 21-year-old wideout is a silky smooth athlete and outstanding route-runner with incredible hands.
He was credited with just six drops in his entire collegiate career, three of which came in one unfortunate game in 2021. That 2021 season was a historic one for Smith-Njigba, as he set a new single-season Big Ten record with a whopping 1,606 yards on 95 catches in 13 games.
There's a reason Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson called Smith-Njigba the best wide receiver in a receiver room that also featured Wilson, Chris Olave, and Jameson Williams. That's how good he can be.
As touched on earlier, the Jets' skill position group could very much use another difference-maker. Smith-Njigba absolutely could have been that guy.
This would have allowed the Jets to move on from Corey Davis, doubling their cap space in the process and completing what could have been one of the best skill position groups, on paper, in the NFL.
Instead, the Jets went with a sub-package edge rusher who likely won't play more than 30 percent of snaps this season. Given the incredibly short window with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, I would have liked to see the Jets target a player who could make a larger impact.
But as with all post-draft takes, no one really knows. Maybe this article will age horribly and McDonald will become a perennial All-Pro. For his sake, and for the Jets' sake, I absolutely hope that happens.