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NY Jets: Way-too-early 7-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft

NY Jets, Derek Stingley Jr.
NY Jets, Derek Stingley Jr. / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Tyreke Smith
NY Jets, Tyreke Smith / Joshua A. Bickel/Columbus Dispatch via

Round 3, 68th Overall, NY Jets: Tyreke Smith, DE, Ohio State

If there's any specific position group Jets fans had to pick to be excited about this upcoming season, it would be the defensive line.

Robert Saleh coaching up promising young stars in Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers, while also tossing new free-agent acquisitions in Carl Lawson and Sheldon Rankins into the mix is something out of a dream.

That being said, there's never any harm in adding some more talent. As the saying goes, the rich get richer.

Now the Jets haven't been "rich" in sacks for quite some time now. However, a new look defense could quickly change that since Williams will no longer have to break through three blockers at a time.

Adding a talented Buckeye in Tyreke Smith might make the pass rush something opposing teams have nightmares about.

Smith could be seen as a bit of a project player, as all of his talents could use with a bit of brushing up. He's fast and strong, but needs to learn how to use those abilities to attack the quarterback at an elite level.

Even if he needs a bit of time to season, Smith being plugged into a defense opposite of Carl Lawson could be just the kind of situation he needs.

Round 4, 109th Overall, NY Jets: Cade Mays, OL, Tennessee

While the tackle position seems to be set for the foreseeable future, fans surely wouldn't complain about upgrading the interior offensive line.

The Jets traded up for USC's star guard Alijah Vera-Tucker in the 2021 NFL Draft. Along with the signing of Morgan Moses, most of the offensive line seems to be elite — except for the center and right guard positions.

Connor McGovern played okay at center in 2020, succeeding in run blocking, but showing weakness in passing plays. That could be attributed to his surrounding cast between the tackles being less than ideal.

Credit must be given to McGovern, as he was able to find his rhythm and mojo to finish the 2020 season strong. The Jets will watch him closely to decide if they want an upgrade or not.

Greg Van Roten joins the fray as another up-and-down player on the offensive line. Van Roten was the opposite of McGovern, as he shined in pass protection, yet not in run blocking. With Alex Lewis right behind him on the depth chart, Van Roten could find himself out of a job if he does not impress.

Should the answer at guard or center be found this season, expect Joe Douglas to continue his overhaul of the offensive line.

Cade Mays could have entered the 2021 NFL Draft, but made the decision to return to the Volunteers for one more season. In fact, it would be a shock if Mays falls out of the first two rounds entirely.

Mays has experience starting all over the offensive line, and will fit perfectly in at right guard should the NY Jets call his number in 2022.

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