NY Jets winners and losers following Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft
By Justin Fried
The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft has come and passed, and the NY Jets certainly raised some eyebrows with their selection of Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald IV.
McDonald was widely seen as a fringe first-round talent, and he doesn't exactly fill an immediate need on the Jets' roster, but the team is very high on his pass-rush upside. They believe in his natural talent.
The Jets likely wanted to target one of the top offensive tackles at pick 15, but with the top four already off the board, the team was forced to pivot. Rather than address a more significant roster need, the Jets went with a player who likely was near the top of their board.
Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba would have been a popular pick among Jets fans. Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey would have filled a more pressing need. Even Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid could have provided more of an instant impact.
Instead, the Jets went with McDonald — a likely sub-package pass rusher early in his career. With Carl Lawson and Bryce Huff potentially walking after this season, this pick feels like one that's more for the future than 2023.
The thought process makes sense, but it's worth wondering if the Jets could have made a more impactful selection given the short window of opportunity they have right now.
Either way, the McDonald selection, while controversial, is good news for some players on the Jets' roster. On the other hand, the pick could spell trouble for a few of McDonald's new teammates.
Let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers following the Jets' selecting of Will McDonald.