Round 1, 4th Overall, NY Jets: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
With Evan Neal, Kyle Hamilton, and Kayvon Thibodeaux off the board, the Jets were somehow able to land a player who many believe could be the favorite to go first overall come April.
Michigan pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson is a high-floor, high-ceiling prospect who should instantly step in as an impactful starter on defense. At 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, Hutchinson has excellent size for the position that he blends with outstanding speed, length, and effort.
He's the complete package — the prototypical 4-3 defensive end. Head coach Robert Saleh is looking for his next Nick Bosa and Hutchinson could be that player if the Jets surprisingly manage to land him.
I wouldn't expect Hutchinson to be available at this spot come April, but crazier things have happened on draft day. This year's top picks remain a mystery leading into March.
Round 1, 12th Overall, NY Jets: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati (TRADE)
We have a trade! The Minnesota Vikings phoned the Jets and were able to trade up two spots to select Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, sending the Jets a 2023 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick in exchange for the Jets' first of two fifth-round picks in 2022.
That's a sizable haul given that the Jets fell just two spots, with one of those selections being a quarterback. They were still able to secure a player who could become a cornerstone of their defense in Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner.
Gardner can make a strong case to be CB1 in this class. He has the physical tools, athleticism, and instincts to develop into an All-Pro at the next level.
The Jets are in the market for a potential CB1 this offseason, particularly one with good ball skills. Gardner, who had three interceptions in each of his three collegiate seasons, fits that profile.