NY Jets 2-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft after free agency
By Ryan Shafer
Round 1, 25th Overall, NY Jets: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
After sliding down the draft board, many of the same names being thrown around at 13 are still on the board at pick 20. Much of the talent at this section of the draft is on the defensive side of the ball, as Calijah Kancey, safety Brian Branch, and defensive tackle Bryan Bresee are all still available.
I think Joe Douglas taps into his roots here, getting great value with the pick, and selecting defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.
It's not a flashy selection for the Jets, but it addresses a significant area of need. Fans might point to the recent signing of Quinton Jefferson as addressing the position, but Jefferson, already 30, is a very short-term fill.
The Jets still need a long-term answer to play next to Williams. A three-man rotation of Williams, Jefferson, and Kancey takes a position of need just a week ago and immediately makes it a team strength.
Kancey is graded as a 92 through PFF's analysis, tallying 19 career sacks at Pittsburgh and 17 in the past two seasons. He fits best as a pass-rushing interior lineman and should get plenty of one-on-one chances with Williams next to him, demanding double teams.
He offers the flexibility to slide outside and rush the passer as well in certain situations. The bottom line here is that Kancey offers positional flexibility at a position of need and fits schematically into what both the general manager and head coach are looking for.
Round 2, 43rd Overall, NY Jets: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
With the 43rd overall pick in the draft, the Jets make a move to address the offensive line. Sitting there for the taking was Paris Johnson's teammate at Ohio State, Dawand Jones.
Primarily a right tackle, Jones can immediately step in and challenge Mekhi Becton for a starting spot as well as push Becton to make a move back to left tackle and be a plug-and-play guy right off the bat.
Jones played 763 offensive snaps last year and surrendered zero sacks and, more impressively, zero quarterback hits. He only allowed five quarterback hurries in a pass-heavy Ohio State offense.
Over the last two seasons, he has exclusively played right tackle, gaining a lot of experience there. At 6-foot-8 and 375 pounds, Jones is a mauler of a lineman and has exceptional reach to make first contact at the line of scrimmage.
For the Jets, this might be a dream scenario. They moved back in the draft to recoup the picks sent to the Packers in the Rodgers trade, and they still walk away in the first two picks with solid, versatile linemen that can win in the trenches and address positions of need.