Jets 2024 mock draft sees New York land star WR in blockbuster trade

Could the Jets trade up or down in the 2024 NFL draft?
Malik Nabers
Malik Nabers / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The NY Jets are looking to continue their already successful offseason heading into the 2024 NFL draft, hoping to draft their next big star. General manager Joe Douglas just traded his own former top-five pick, quarterback Zach Wilson, to the Denver Broncos and is clearly leaving last season in the past.

The Jets have the 10th overall pick Thursday night, and Joe Douglas and co. will have many options in the first round. In 2022, Douglas traded back into the first round by making a deal with the Titans, and then drafting defensive end Jermaine Johnson. Besides that trade though the Jets haven't been much of a mover in the first round.

With a roster mostly set the Jets are in a fortunate position to stay put, trade up, or even trade down and accumulate more draft capital. In this mock draft, I plan on having some fun and seeing what could happen if the Jets decide to be active in the NFL draft.

For context, this mock is using ESPN's mock draft simulator for both the trades and drafting.

Round 1, 5th Overall, NY Jets: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU [TRADE]

Jets/Chargers Nabers mock trade

The Jets should be ultra-aggressive due to an aging QB and an incredible defense. Adding the last major weapon to the offense would be an incredible way to keep the Jets' offseason rolling.

The trade is simple, the Jets giving up their 10th, 72nd, and 2025 third-round pick to the Chargers for the fifth overall pick. Yes, it's a lot to give up but in their window, the Jets could end up making a big move like this.

Wide receiver Malik Nabers proved to be the second-best receiver in this year's draft, not only during his three years at LSU but during the entire draft process he's impressed. Nabers led the LSU team in 2022 with 72 catches for 1,017 yards and exploded in 2023 with 89 catches for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The first-team All-American and All-SEC winner has the explosiveness and downhill speed the Jets need on offense. Nabers would join Mike Williams and Garrett Wilson and create one of the top receiver rooms in the league. Given Aaron Rodgers' age and health, it makes the most sense to go for it all in 2024 regardless of current and future draft capital.

Trading up and drafting Malik Nabers not only immediately makes the Jets offense legitimate, but it also sends a message to the league that the Jets have their eye on the Super Bowl and nothing less.

Having an offense led by Rodgers, Breece Hall, Nabers, Wilson, Williams, and Tyler Conklin would be nothing short of a miracle for Jets fans given the lack of weapons for what feels like an eternity.

Round 4, 111th Overall, NY Jets: Dominick Puni, OL, Kansas

The Jets could very well end up drafting an offensive tackle with the 10th overall pick in the draft, but in this scenario, they'll have to wait until the fourth round to add much-needed depth.

Dominick Puni started his college career at Central Missouri in 2018 before transferring to Kansas in 2022. After starting 13 games at left guard in 2022 for the Jayhwaks, Puni moved to left tackle this past season and received first-team All-Big 12 honors.

A 2023 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year finalist, Puni was a big part of the prolific Kansas offense over the last two seasons. Drafting Puni will not only give the Jets immediate depth but allow them to develop Puni while he's a backup and hopefully turn into a starter for the Jets down the line.

The Jets need to be considerate of their older offensive tackles and add depth to the position during the draft instead of risking it. Puni has the upside to become a productive member of the line but needs time to develop and fans can't have huge expectations for him in his rookie year if he's needed to step up and play.

Round 4, 134th Overall, NY Jets: Sataoa Laumea, OG, Utah

Injuries have crushed the Jets offensive line for years and that's why they should be aggressive this year to have depth they can develop. Sataoa Laumea is a highly experienced guard and tackle from Utah who can plug in and play in year one if needed.

Just like the previous pick in Puni, Laumea can fill a needed depth void on the offensive line and has experience at the top level of college football.

Laumea has played in 45 games, starting most, and has played at both right guard and right tackle for Utah, and at 6-foot-4 he has the size to play at either position for the Jets.

I'm not an offensive line expert by any means but the Jets should be aware of their injury-prone offensive line and develop linemen much like the Baltimore Ravens, where general manager Joe Douglas got his start in the NFL.

Fun fact about Laumea, he has nine siblings, three brothers and six sisters. Additionally, he received first-team All-Pac 12 honors in 2022 and second-team All-Pac 12 honors in 2023.

Round 6, 185th Overall, NY Jets: Beau Brade, S, Maryland

While the Jets brought back fan favorite Ashtyn Davis, there is still a need for additional secondary help as the Jets play a multitude of defensive sets.

Beau Brade is a guy who isn't as experienced, playing a lot more in his latter two seasons than the former, but has the ability to find the football and tackle in the open field.

Brade isn't going to wow you with his size or athleticism but as a third safety can make plays as he has in college. With 160 tackles and six turnovers in the last two years, Brade has the "it factor" a safety needs to be aggressive but also single-handedly affect the game.

Do the Jets need to draft a safety? No, they don't, but depth in the secondary isn't a bad thing for the Jets as head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich like to be creative and swap guys out to stay energized.

Brade will have to play special teams but again this draft outside of Malik Nabers is more about development and trying to find "steals."

Beau Brade has gone up against some fantastic quarterbacks and receivers in the Big Ten and his overall game is impressive as he's not strained to one type of safety.

Round 6, 203rd Overall, NY Jets: Kedon Slovis, QB, BYU

"A BYU QUARTERBACK?!?! Matt, are you insane?" Hold your horses, don't look too much into it. The Jets should draft a quarterback as they have a 40 and 34-year-old currently in the quarterback room. Just because Zach Wilson, a BYU quarterback, failed as a Jet doesn't mean Slovis can't be good.

Kedon Slovis spent five years at USC, Pittsburgh, and BYU. He's played in 43 games, starting 42 of them, throwing for over 11,000 yards. He's thrown 80 touchdowns and 39 interceptions throughout his career but was never really able to become a major threat across college football.

Slovis' biggest upside is that he's played in a pro-style offense for a while and isn't afraid to rip it. His injury history is a concern, but he's 6-foot-2 and size isn't a concern.

Simply put: Slovis looked better at his first stop at USC than he did the rest of his career. He's worth a draft pick to sit and learn from both Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor, but I wouldn't expect him to ever become a starter as he's struggled with accuracy that won't translate well into the NFL.

The thought process here is that the Jets will probably draft a quarterback to hope and develop, Slovis has been all around the country and has played for and against elite talent. He has the tools to be a successful backup quarterback, and the Jets are far too familiar with starting a backup.

Round 7, 257th Overall, NY Jets: Jawhar Jordan, RB, Louisville

Mr. Irrelevant 2024 come on down! Jawhar Jordan you ARE Mr. Irrelevant, for this mock and probably this mock only. The Long Island native started his career at Syracuse before transferring to Louisville and was a first-team All-ACC member in 2023 with over 1,000 yards rushing and thirteen touchdowns.

Jordan is small, at 5-foot-9 and 193 pounds, but his ability to find open holes and play special teams gives him a chance to make a team in 2024. Mr. Irrelevant recently has received hype due to 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, but in reality, it's extremely difficult for any seventh-round draft pick to have a significant career.

Jordan isn't super athletic, rarer for his size, but just produces on the field with nearly 2,000 rushing yards over the last two seasons and he has returned the ball on kickoffs as well.

The Jets will add a running back regardless of whether it's in the draft or not, but drafting a rookie who has legit experience and results isn't the worst idea. Whether it's Jordan or someone else, I do expect the Jets to add at that position sometime this weekend.