The NY Jets will have their fair share of options when it comes to addressing their needs in the 2022 NFL Draft. We should have a clearer picture of how they might attack the draft in a few weeks, once the dust from free agency had settled.
But with the official start of free agency right around the corner, we put together one final 2022 NFL Mock Draft. What positions did the Jets address? Let's take a look at our latest results.
Round 1, 4th Overall, NY Jets: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
The New York Jets are in desperate need of a football identity. The rebuilding franchise hasn't had a clear strength since the Rex Ryan-led defensive unit carried the club to postseason success nearly a decade ago.
Unlike the disastrous Adam Gase regime, the new coaching era brings reasons for optimism under Robert Saleh's leadership. However, in order for the Jets to properly gauge their progress, they must provide a competent roster for the defensive expert. Thankfully, the top of the 2022 NFL Draft is loaded with defensive talent, particularly on the defensive line.
Many mock drafts have the Jets snagging star pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux with the 4th overall pick. However, I agree with Walter Football's analysis that New York would be wisest to pass on the Oregon star in favor of Georgia defensive end Travon Walker.
The 2022 Georgia Bulldogs featured the best defense I've seen in college football since the late 1990s Miami Hurricanes unit that featured superstars Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Jonathon Vilma, and Vince Wilfork. This historically dominant Bulldogs defense was also clearly headlined by their devastating defensive line.
The most valuable commodity in the modern NFL is an elite quarterback. The Jets hope to develop Zach Wilson into this type of talent. Secondly, a genuine argument can be made that the ability to pressure the quarterback without blitzing is the next most important trait a team can possess.
Walker possesses all-world athleticism and immense upside. He would be a phenomenal fit as a Nick Bosa-type role that led Saleh to such success during his last stint in San Francisco.
Walker excels in speed, size, and strength. He has also drawn praise for his flexibility and ability to line up in multiple schemes. the negative points in his scouting report generally deal with technical issues. This would make him an ideal fit alongside a great defensive mind like Saleh.
Jets' fans may criticize this selection, opting instead to put another player in this slot. However, top draft analysts including Daniel Jeremiah (and many others) agree that Walker has the upside and skillset to warrant a top-five pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
I would personally be thrilled to see New York add him to the fold this offseason. Especially considering...