NY Jets make two surprising picks in recent 2022 NFL Mock Draft

NY Jets, Ikem Ekwonu
NY Jets, Ikem Ekwonu / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets will enter the 2022 NFL Draft with more draft capital than any team. With as much draft capital as they have, they'll undoubtedly have their fair share of different routes to explore.

That much is absolutely true when it comes to the first round. The Jets possess the 4th and 10th overall picks in this year's draft, and with a number of appealing prospects at the top of the class, it's hard to say what direction they'll ultimately go in.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network recently took a stab at it projecting all 32 first-round picks in his latest mock draft. And most will probably be surprised with the players he mocked to the Jets at No. 4 and 10 overall.

Crabbs had the Jets selecting NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu with the fourth overall selection and Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo at No. 10 overall.

It's safe to say that neither pick is exactly a consensus selection for the Jets at this stage.

Do Ikem Ekwonu and David Ojabo make sense for the NY Jets?

The Ekwonu selection is probably the most surprising, at least when compared to other mocks circulating right now. That's especially true with Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal still on the board in this scenario.

Ekwonu is a highly-touted offensive line prospect who's been receiving his share of top-10 buzz, but most don't project him to be a top-five pick at this stage. Crabbs explained his reasoning by stating the following.

"You ideally aren't drafting Ekwonu to play guard at No. 4 overall, but you can juggle this group and may not have to. [George] Fant has logged nearly 1,000 snaps in the NFL at right tackle. Ekwonu could potentially man a guard spot short-term if [Mekhi] Becton stabilizes his play. But, we may not want to put all our eggs in the "Becton is healthy" basket, so Ekwonu is the pick."

Kyle Crabbs

The logic is sound, although most would expect Neal to be the prospect slotted in this spot. Nonetheless, Ekwonu is a player to keep an eye on.

The selection of Ojabo is a little less surprising with the Michigan standout receiving plenty of top-15 and even top-10 buzz. After passing on an edge rusher with their first pick, Crabbs has the Jets selecting one at No. 10 overall. Here was his logic.

"Carl Lawson returning to the Jets' defensive front is going to make for a lot more pressure when opposing offenses face the New York next season. And, as was mentioned earlier, the Jets' defense is in an all-time low place right now. I would imagine adding both Lawson and Michigan pass rusher David Ojabo would do wonders for this team up front. Ojabo has speed, length, and explosiveness — go cut the tape against Michigan State, Ohio State, and Georgia if you'd like a sampling of what this guy is capable of. Robert Salah gets a big defensive weapon with draft pick No. 2 in the top 10."

Kyle Crabbs

Pairing another young edge rusher with a returning Carl Lawson makes a ton of sense and could help unlock the Jets' pass rush. Ojabo has the upside you look for in a top-10 pick, and at just 21-years-old, he still has plenty of room to grow.

There are so many different combinations of prospects the Jets could go with their first two picks that we're bound to see more out-of-the-box duos as the weeks and months go on.

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No matter the order, Ekwonu and Ojabo would be an excellent haul for any NFL team.