NY Jets trade down, fix defense in 7-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft

NY Jets, Jermaine Johnson
NY Jets, Jermaine Johnson / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages
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NY Jets
NY Jets, James Empey, Zach Wilson / Loren Orr/GettyImages

Round 5, 146th Overall, NY Jets: Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky

Robert Saleh very much abides by the philosophy that you can never have too much defensive line depth. That's why we added our third defensive lineman of this draft class in the form of Kentucky's Josh Paschal.

Paschal just looks and acts like a Joe Douglas draft pick. At 6-foot-2, 268 pounds, Paschal is a versatile player with a relentless motor and someone who earned a reputation as a leader on and off the field at Kentucky.

The Maryland native is the only three-time full-season captain in program history and a highly-regarded, high-character defensive leader.

On the field, Paschal is a bit of a tweener and would fit best in a John Franklin-Myers/Solomon Thomas role. In fact, The Draft Network's Kyle Crabbs listed Franklin-Myers as his pro comparison.

His 2021 tape is much better than his 2020 tape, and if the Jets get that version of Paschal, they should be able to land a player who can contribute early and often in their defensive line rotation.

Round 5, 163rd Overall, NY Jets: James Empey, C, BYU

The Jets have made building around Zach Wilson a priority this offseason, and what better way to continue that process than by adding his former college center?

James Empey is a Day 3 center prospect who could ideally be groomed to take over for Connor McGovern at some point in the future. A four-year starter at BYU, injuries prevented Empey from reaching his ceiling in college.

At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Empey is a technically sound center prospect with an NFL-ready skill set. However, his ceiling is undoubtedly capped by his limited athleticism and the fact that he's already 25-years-old.

Next. NY Jets address biggest needs in post-free agency 7-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. dark

The Jets could use some more offensive line depth, and it sure would be fun to reunite Wilson with his former center at BYU.