Draft

NY Jets land two defensive studs in FanSided mock draft

By Kristen Wong
NY Jets, Kayvon Thibodeaux
NY Jets, Kayvon Thibodeaux / Tom Hauck/GettyImages
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The NY Jets prioritize defense and pick two studs in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Ahmad Gardner in a recent 2022 NFL mock draft.

FanSided's Sayre Bedinger released her 2022 NFL mock draft that includes two blockbuster QB trades: Aaron Rodgers going to Denver, and Derek Carr going to Washington.

As for how the draft plays out, Bedinger has the Jets taking Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux and Cincinnati's Ahmad Gardner with their first two picks. Not too shabby.

"I went with the risk-reward option of Kayvon Thibodeaux here, keeping all options on the table with the Jets’ second first-round pick."

Sayre Bedinger

The Thibodeaux pick feels self-explanatory, as much ink has already been spilled on how impactful the Oregon prospect can be.

As arguably the most coveted star of the draft, Thibodeaux has been described as an explosive and instinctive athlete who can make plays all over the field from defending the run to rushing the quarterback.

The Draft Network lists him aptly as a versatile starting edge defender, and he would absolutely fill the Jets' position of need on the edge.

Bedinger also gave her reasoning for picking Gardner with the Jets' second pick of the draft.

NY Jets upgrade defense with Kayvon Thibodeaux and Ahmad Gardner in 2022 mock draft

"As much as the Jets emphasized offense in 2021, they might need to do the same defensively in 2022. Ahmad Gardner has a reputation of being a shut-down type of cornerback and joining him up with the talent the Jets are assembling on the defensive front could lead to a lot of opportunities to make plays on the ball."

Sayre Bedinger

Though not as exciting a prospect as Thibodeaux, Gardner projects as a defensive standout more than capable of elevating the Jets' weakened secondary.

Amid rumors that New York could sign top-tier defenders in Marcus Williams or Carlton Davis, the Jets may also look for gems in the draft to improve their pass defense.

Gardner posted excellent numbers at Cincinnati and built a reputation as a shut-down corner — he's also considered a ready-made NFL starter and could make an immediate impact in New York.

If the Jets came away with these two top-10 picks in the draft, the team should be elated. They would be getting an unrivaled pass-rushing prospect in Thibodeaux to pair with Carl Lawson, and that tandem sounds like heaven with a cherry on top.

They would also get crucial help in their defensive backfield with Gardner, who could develop into a true No. 1 cornerback and perhaps turn into a future cornerstone piece for the franchise.

Next. 2022 NFL Mock Draft: NY Jets build around Zach Wilson, 3 QBs in the first round. dark

Other areas like tight end and wide receiver still need reinforcements, but the Jets wouldn't complain about getting these two high-profile draft picks. Not one bit.

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