The NY Jets organization can no longer be content with last-place finishes in their division and their perennial position as cellar-dwellers in the AFC.
Their inability to acquire and cultivate franchise-alternating talent in the draft has destroyed the credibility of an organization that was a competitive (and competent) organization throughout the 2000s.
In a league that encourages quick turnarounds via the draft and salary cap restrictions, there simply isn’t a valid excuse that the Jets could use to explain why they haven’t been competitive for most of the last decade.
General manager Joe Douglas was hired in the summer of 2019, fully understanding the mess he was about to inherit from his predecessor Mike Maccagnan.
The six-year contract Douglas received mirrored Douglas’ belief that sustainable winning is built over time through the draft, with free agency utilized only as a supplement to homegrown talent.
The brunt of Douglas’ tenure with the organization has seen him trade once-thought franchise cornerstones Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold, amongst others, to create a stockpile of premium draft picks that would give the franchise several opportunities to add young talent to the roster.
Now, armed with perhaps the most valuable batch of draft capital in the entire league, the time to hit on the draft picks has arrived.
From the likes of early-round selections such as Zach Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Elijah Moore to the day three picks of the Michael Carters, Bryce Hall, and Brandin Echols, amongst others, the team has found some difference-makers and valuable depth from the last two drafts.
However, as the combined 6-27 record in the past two years might indicate, the team is still far from a finished product. The young roster showed significant signs of growth throughout the season, but there are still many holes to fill before the Jets can expect to compete with the heavyweights of the AFC.
Douglas will undoubtedly address some of these holes through free agency, but here we will look at the five biggest needs the NY Jets need to address in the 2022 NFL Draft.