The 2023 NFL Draft is nearly here, and the NY Jets are now picking two spots further back than they were a few days ago. That does change things, as they are now behind the New England Patriots, who could take the last of the top three offensive tackles.
Now sitting in a new spot, let’s take a look at five final options for the Jets at pick No. 15 overall.
Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
I mentioned that now, picking at 15, the idea that the top three offensive tackles (Paris Johnson Jr., Peter Skoronski, and Broderick Jones) all being off the board is more likely. If any of the three were to fall, it seems likely that it would be Jones.
Jones fits the mold of what the Jets want in an offensive tackle and would provide much-needed insurance at offensive tackle. In his lone season as a full-time starter, Jones allowed no sacks and just nine total pressures on 470 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus.
If Jones or either of the other two top tackles are available at 15, I think that will be the pick.
Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Now if those three offensive tackles are gone, the Jets can still address the need with Darnell Wright. Wright seems like he will be the fourth offensive tackle off the board, and it will be telling of the Jets' faith in current offensive tackles Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton, and Max Mitchell if they take Wright or look to address another need.
Wright is a little bit of a different fit and might not be what the Jets are looking for. Wright is likely a right tackle only, having struggled in his lone season at left tackle at Tennessee, while the Jets seem to value the versatility to play both spots.
He's also not as developed of a run blocker as he is as a pass blocker. Per PFF, Wright allowed no sacks and only eight total pressures in 507 pass-blocking snaps, which is very impressive. However, he only earned a 65.0 run block grade, which is the worst of the top offensive tackles.
Wright is probably the most likely option if the other offensive tackles are gone because it would be hard to depend on the Jets' current offensive tackles to stay healthy, and the Jets' main priority from here on out has to be protecting Aaron Rodgers.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
If the Jets don’t like Wright or whichever offensive tackle is available, another way for the Jets to help Aaron Rodgers is to give him another target in Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
The Jets had interest in Odell Beckham Jr., so they were at least looking for a receiver at some point. Smith-Njigba is truly an elite weapon to add to an already-loaded receiver room.
In 2021, Smith-Njigba had over 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns. He would fit right in the slot with Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard on the outside and Mecole Hardman as Braxton Berrios' replacement.
It is unclear if the Jets keeping Corey Davis in the Aaron Rodgers trade changes the need for a wide receiver or if they still plan to cut or even trade him. Smith-Njigba could be the best non-offensive tackle pick that the Jets could make.
Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
An option on the defensive side of the ball is Calijah Kancey. Kancey is an undersized defensive tackle at 6-foot-1, 281 pounds, but he is a great athlete. He ran a 4.67 40-yard dash with a 1.64 10-yard split.
Over three seasons at Pittsburgh, Kancey racked up 16 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss. In 2022, Kancey earned an elite-level 92.4 pass rush grade from PFF and had a very impressive 22.7 percent pass rush win rate.
With questions around Quinnen Williams’ contract extension and a need for another interior player, Kancey might be the best option if the Jets want to draft a defensive player.
Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
This one might seem a little odd, but let me explain. The Jets invested in three tight ends last season, signing Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah, as well as drafting Jeremy Ruckert in the third round of the 2022 draft. However, none of these players are true difference-makers.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, who seemed to have a pretty similar board to the Jets last season, has Kincaid as his ninth overall player. In what seems bad draft class, if the Jets are on the clock at 15, the top three or even four offensive tackles and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are gone, and the Jets have Kincaid as a top-10 player…why not?
The Jets have elite playmakers on offense at wide receiver in Garrett Wilson, running back in Breece Hall, and now quarterback in Aaron Rodgers — why not add an elite weapon at tight end?
Kincaid had almost 900 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022 and earned a 91.8 receiving grade from PFF. He is truly an incredible receiving threat at the tight end position and would put the offense over the top.
Kincaid is my dark-horse pick for the Jets at 15.