NY Jets winners and losers following Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft
By Justin Fried
Winner: Mekhi Becton
There is no bigger winner from Day 1 of the draft than Mekhi Becton. The Jets went into the draft with a clear objective to add an offensive tackle, but with their top four options off the board, they didn't really have that option anymore.
The Jets could still add a tackle on Day 2 or Day 3, but the odds that Becton is a Week 1 starter just went up significantly. If the Jets drafted someone like Broderick Jones or Peter Skoronski, there was a possibility that Becton wouldn't end up as a starter.
The team seems to really like Duane Brown at left tackle, and the fact that they're paying him over $11 million this year certainly helps his case. But with no clear competition for Becton at right tackle now (outside of potentially Max Mitchell), he's the clear-cut favorite to start at right tackle.
The Jets are showing faith in Becton after all the work he has put in this offseason. He came away as a big winner from Day 1.
Loser: Bryce Huff
On the other end of the spectrum, Bryce Huff is easily the biggest loser. Huff was one of the most efficient pass rushers in football last season. He finished with the highest pass-rush win rate in the NFL and ranked second among qualified edge defenders in pass-rush productivity.
That's partially why the Jets extended a second-round tender to Huff this offseason. They didn't want to lose him. Despite this, they essentially just drafted his replacement.
Will McDonald should immediately fill the role that Huff did last season as a situational edge rusher on passing downs. Both players occupy the same space, but one has the benefit of being a first-round pick.
There remains a good chance that Huff, much like he was at the start of last season, is a healthy scratch on game days with a healthy Jets' front four. He seemingly just lost his spot in the rotation.