Round 1, 4th Overall, NY Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
If Kayvon Thibodeaux is on the board at this spot, I'm going to pick him every time. The star Oregon pass rusher is one of the best overall prospects in this class and an ideal target for the Jets at pick No. 4.
At just 21-years-old (he doesn't turn 22 until December), Thibodeaux provides an ideal blend of size, length, and athleticism that give him one of the most appealing physical profiles of any edge rusher in this draft.
What sets him apart from a player like Travon Walker is that Thibodeaux is already a very accomplished and seasoned pass rusher. His 15.0 percent pressure rate was higher than every other top pass rusher prospect in this draft and nearly double Walker's rate.
Ignore the noise surrounding his "off-field concerns." Kayvon Thibodeaux is a fantastic edge rusher prospect and someone who could be the key to unlocking the Jets' pass rush.
Round 1, 10th Overall, NY Jets: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
I fully do not expect Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner to still be on the board when the Jets select at pick No. 10. But the fact that he was changed my entire approach to the draft.
There was simply no way I was going to pass on Gardner, not at this spot. In three years at Cincinnati, Gardner put together one of the best careers of any college cornerback in recent memory.
Gardner didn't allow a single touchdown during his entire time at Cincinnati, he was tagged with allowing just one completion on 115 red-zone snaps in three years, and he allowed an opposing passer rating of just 22.6 when targeted in 2021.
Gardner is an immediate difference-maker on defense and someone who, when paired with Thibodeaux, can transform a Jets pass defense that ranked 30th in the NFL last season. This is how you fix your defense.