Although it feels like the NY Jets have been rebuilding for years, the fan base is suddenly starting to feel a bit more optimistic about this squad. The 2022 NFL Draft will certainly be key in turning that feeling into success on the field.
After the success of the 2021 draft class, which included players such as Zach Wilson, Elijah Moore, and Alijah Vera-Tucker, there’s no reason to not expect the same talent haul in 2022 from Joe Douglas.
The Jets are capable of going in several different directions in this draft, and this will be key in how the team and this front office are judged for years to come.
Douglas and company could look to keep building patiently, they could look to acquire stars or potential more high-end draft picks, and if these choices aren’t made properly, it could spell the end in New York for Douglas.
So with these variables in mind, let’s take a look at five key decisions the Douglas and the Jets will have to make in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
1. If Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aidan Hutchinson are off the board, what is plan B for the NY Jets?
No one knows for certain, as the Douglas regime in New York has been tight-lipped so far, but with the Jets' biggest need being edge rusher, it’s likely that Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aidan Hutchinson are at the top of their board.
Edge rusher is still likely to be the play at pick No. 4, but both of these elite names being off the board presents New York with an intriguing option, with plenty of different directions they can go in.
Do the Jets go with a tackle like Ikem Ekwonu? A cornerback like Sauce Gardner? A different edge rusher like Jermaine Johnson or Travon Walker? Do they trade back to accumulate more picks?
This is a dilemma that Douglas won’t be able to solve until draft night, but nailing this first pick is key for the Jets, so they should be well prepared for every scenario.