NY Jets 2-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft after free agency
By Ryan Shafer
With some last-minute splash moves to address the defensive tackle shortage and backup quarterback, the NY Jets are in a pretty good spot heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. The biggest shoe to still drop, of course, is acquiring Aaron Rodgers.
Assuming that this gets done before the draft, the Jets will be surrendering some form of draft picks and players.
It makes all the sense in the world for both sides to reach a deal before draft night, as it would allow the Jets to get Rodgers in the building and allow the Green Bay Packers to address positions of need with a talent for this year and their young quarterback.
Below is a two-round mock draft constructed using Pro Football Focus' mock draft simulator.
The Aaron Rodgers trade
Before diving into the draft selections themselves, we need to address what picks the Jets will have. In the simulator, I put through my expected trade: Pick 42 in this year's draft, a sixth-round pick this year (Pick 207), and a 2024 second-round pick, with a series of elevators based on how much Rodgers plays and how well the Jets do in 2023.
With a deep playoff run or a guarantee from Rodgers to play in 2024, that pick could rise up to a first-rounder. Additionally, if Rodgers does not play in 2024, the Jets will get a third-round pick back in 2025.
NY Jets trade down with the Seattle Seahawks
At the 13th overall selection, the Jets are widely believed to want an offensive lineman and the three names that consistently get mentioned are Peter Skoronski of Northwestern, Paris Johnson Jr. of Ohio State, and Broderick Jones of Georgia. Of course, all three were off the board by 13, going in order at picks 8, 9, and 10.
There were some intriguing options at 13 still available. Would the Jets take Jaxon Smith-Njigba and pair him with close friend and former teammate Garrett Wilson in New York, creating arguably the most dynamic wide receiver group in the league for Rodgers?
Would they take interior defensive lineman Calijah Kancey of Pittsburgh and line him up next to Quinnen Williams long-term? Would they reach for an edge rusher such as Lukas Van Ness or Nolan Smith?
Ultimately, I think the Jets would trade down in this scenario. Without one of the top linemen available, and still too early to address other positions of need, the Jets could look to move down the first round and add more depth selections later in the draft.
In this scenario, I made a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, giving up pick 13 for picks 20, 52, and 123 in the 2023 draft.