The NY Jets have emerged as potential contenders in the AFC despite the loss of Aaron Rodgers in Week 1. This is a Jets team that sits at 3-3 coming out of their bye week with the most challenging portion of their schedule behind them.
And with the ever-persistent possibility that Rodgers could return at some point this season, the Jets might be serious about contending this season. That could propel the team to make an addition or two at the trade deadline.
The Jets already got the trade festivities started last week, shipping Mecole Hardman back to Kansas City. Could the Jets consider making an addition of their own before next week's deadline? It's certainly possible.
You've heard all the popular trade targets like Hunter Renfrow and Jerry Jeudy. That's not what this list is for. Let's take a look at five ideal under-the-radar trade targets for the Jets at the deadline.
5. Ezra Cleveland, OG, Minnesota Vikings
This one was more realistic before the Minnesota Vikings' stunning victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, but it's still worth mentioning. If Ezra Cleveland is made available, the Jets should highly consider making a move.
A second-round pick of the Vikings in the 2020 NFL Draft, Cleveland started his first season at left guard before moving to right guard in 2021. He's spent the last three years as the Vikings starting right guard, and he's developed into a pretty good player.
Cleveland's 73.4 Pro Football Focus grade in 2022 ranked eighth among 77 qualified guards, and his 73.8 grade ranks ninth among all qualifiers this season. Despite this, the Vikings have yet to commit to giving him an extension.
The Jets' interior offensive line depth is thin following injuries to Alijah Vera-Tucker and Joe Tippmann. Cleveland could step in as an immediate starter at guard, perhaps even allowing the Jets to move Tippmann over to center when/if he returns this season.
At just 25 years old, there's no reason why Cleveland can't be a part of the future as well. The only issue is the Vikings probably aren't particularly motivated to trade him after winning back-to-back games.