Draft

Analyzing 6 scenarios the NY Jets could explore with the No. 4 pick

NY Jets, Ahmad Gardner
NY Jets, Ahmad Gardner / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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It's been 12 years since the NY Jets have made the playoffs, the longest current drought in the NFL. And a significant reason for that is that the Jets, over the last decade-plus, have failed to draft superstar players, particularly at the top of the first round. 

In an attempt to finally land a ready-made superstar player using their draft capital and cap space, Jets general manager Joe Douglas went all in trying to acquire wide receiver Tyreek Hill from the Chiefs.

Unfortunately, Hill chose the Miami sun and no state income taxes instead of stardom in New York. Reports suggested that New York would've parted ways with high draft capital this year to get a deal done, but it wasn't meant to be.

As a result, the Jets are still in the hunt, looking to add difference-makers to their roster, and it will have to come through the draft, an area where the Jets have failed over the years to land cornerstone players.

In the last 10 Jets drafts, since 2012, the team has selected the following players in the first round: Quinton Coples, Dee Milliner, Sheldon Richardson, Calvin Pryor, Leonard Williams, Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Quinnen Williams, Mekhi Becton, Zach Wilson, and Alijah Vera-Tucker.

The jury is still out on some of the latter names, but even the players selected who did produce — like Leonard Williams, and Jamal Adams — didn't live up to the hype or stand the test of time in green and white.

If you are looking for an answer as to why the Jets haven't been a contender for years, look no further than their misses in the draft, especially with who they have selected in the top-10.

When you get up to the plate picking in the top tier of the draft, you have to hit home runs. The Jets have either struck out or have barely gotten on base, only to not score in the long run. 

It's a case of cause and effect. The Jets lack difference-making players on their roster, and the top of the draft is where you can obtain those types of players. Hence the reason why the team has not been a contender for a long time.

In the NFL, you don't consistently win unless you have superstars. Every NFL team has good players on it, but the difference between contending and non-contending teams is the number of elite players you have on your roster.

Just look at the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams have top-shelf players at premier positions. It goes beyond the QB position. 

The Rams have superstars like Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, and Jalen Ramsey. Players who are the best of the best at their respective positions.

The Bengals rode to the brink of football heaven last season, thanks to elite difference-makers like Ja'Marr Chase and Trey Hendrickson. The Jets do not have players like that on their roster. 

Excluding the uncertainty attached to the quarterback position with Zach Wilson, the two biggest needs on the Jets are an impact pass rusher on defense and a centerpiece player in their passing attack.

The Jets haven't addressed those two significant problem spots in free agency, but in the draft, they could and arguably should. 

Despite the Jets' most significant needs being a pass rusher or pass receiver, they are not the only areas that the team could address at the top of the draft in late April.

No matter which way the Jets start the first round, they have to walk away with impact franchise players. With that in mind, let's entertain some of the options and scenarios the Jets will be facing with their first pick in the draft, No. 4 overall.

After all, what they do when they first go on the clock could determine what follows at 10 and beyond.

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