NY Jets winners and losers following Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft

NY Jets, Bryce Huff
NY Jets, Bryce Huff / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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Winner: Robert Saleh

The Will McDonald pick was a Robert Saleh decision, through and through. Saleh has never been shy about his love of defensive line depth, and you can absolutely argue that the Jets now have the deepest and most talented defensive group in the NFL.

The Jets are legitimately six-deep at the position. That's a dream scenario for a coach like Saleh, who loves to rotate his defensive linemen as much as possible. McDonald is just another chess piece for him to play with.

On top of that, Saleh is evidently very excited to see McDonald's skill set implemented in the Jets' Wide-9 scheme. Iowa State often lined McDonald up as a 4i defensive end, shading inside the offensive tackle.

Saleh believes that McDonald can reach his full potential as a Wide-9 edge rusher lining up far outside the tackle box. Given his impressive speed and bendability, it's hard to disagree.

Loser: Jermaine Johnson/Micheal Clemons

Perhaps one of the biggest criticisms of Saleh's defense is that he rotates his defensive linemen too much. After all, this is the same guy who played Quinnen Williams just 60 percent of snaps last season.

Following impressive rookie campaigns, many hoped that the likes of Jermaine Johnson and Micheal Clemons would be in line for larger roles in year two. That seems unlikely now.

Johnson and Clemons both played roughly 27 percent of the Jets' defensive snaps last season. It's difficult to believe that number will go up with McDonald now joining the room.

4 players the NY Jets should have drafted instead of Will McDonald. dark. Next

In reality, we're likely looking at similar snap totals for Johnson and Clemons and somewhere around 20-25 percent of snaps for McDonald if everyone is healthy. There might just be too many mouths to feed in the Jets' defensive end room.