With three games left in the season, the NY Jets have a good chance at securing the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Here's what it'll take.
The Jets lost a close game to the Miami Dolphins in Week 15, but ever since getting knocked out of playoff contention by the New Orleans Saints the week prior, New York's priorities should be crystal clear.
Secure a high draft pick. How high their pick will be depends on the Jets' results as well as those of the Detroit Lions.
The lowly Lions just shocked the league with a dominant win over the Arizona Cardinals, giving New York a better opportunity to jump and take the No. 1 pick in next year's draft.
NY Jets have a straightforward path to take the No. 1 draft pick next year
Detroit will likely lose to Aaron Rodgers' Packers, but matchups against the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks (a Jamal Adams revenge game, perhaps?) could be winnable, especially after the Lions' Week 15 showing.
On New York's part, the Jets would pretty much have to lose all their games. A once tantalizing matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars now becomes complicated with the Jets' extra incentive to lose.
After the Jaguars, New York will probably get throttled against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills which would work to their advantage in climbing the draft pecking order.
If all those conditionals fall into place and the Jets do nab the No. 1 pick in 2022, head coach Robert Saleh may be most inclined to draft a pass rusher — either Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson or Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux, two highly touted prospects.
There are still three weeks to go, though, and if the Adam Gase era taught us anything, it's that nothing is guaranteed for the New York Jets.
These next few games should be crucial in further developing Zach Wilson and the other young players on the roster as well as putting the Jets in the best possible position to build their future.