4. Michael Carter, RB, NY Jets
When the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft came around, Joe Douglas couldn’t believe his luck when North Carolina running back Michael Carter was still on the board. This pick may turn out to be the biggest steal of the entire 2021 draft.
Carter was absolutely electric for Gang Green once he took over as a starter in Week 3, and while an injury also derailed his outstanding campaign, the Jets managed to find a great starting back all the way in Round 4.
While part of this pick was lucky, as not very many analysts saw Carter getting past the third round, it’s also great talent evaluation from Douglas and the Jets. If they can keep finding starters in the late rounds, this team could turn around very, very soon.
5. Bryce Hall, CB, NY Jets
While many saw the talent of Bryce Hall, they knew the injury history that he came with, but after slipping all the way to the fifth round, there was no way that Douglas was going to let a future starter at cornerback slip away from him.
The injury did delay the start of Hall’s career with the Jets, but since taking over as starting cornerback, he’s shown flashes of being incredible while maintaining a consistently great level of play for this cornerback-hungry team.
With D.J. Reed now solidifying the Jets cornerback room, it will allow Hall to further understand his role on this team. Going forward, there is a definite chance that he blossoms into an above-average player for this team.
6. Mekhi Becton, OT, NY Jets
While Mekhi Becton has had plenty of criticism thrown his way over the past 12 months, he remains a solid NFL player, and if he can stay healthy and show improvements in 2022, he may show the entire football world that he can be one of the best tackles in the league.
His rookie season, while also marred by injury showed plenty of promise. And while most Jets fans still believe that the Louisville product can contribute to this team, there have been plenty of doubters among the fan base over this last offseason.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but looking back on the draft, this was a great choice at the time. If Becton can stay healthy, it could be the best draft choice Douglas will ever make. While unfortunately, we don’t know right now, time will tell.
7. Michael Carter II, CB, NY Jets
If taking one Michael Carter works, why not take another? A round after taking the Jets' future starting back, the team would go back to the well and take Michael Carter II. This time, it was a cornerback with the potential to be a huge part of the Jets' future, and his 2022 didn’t disappoint either.
This Carter hasn’t quite secured his spot as a future starter like the other Carter, but he showed flashes of brilliance throughout 2022, and with an open spot in the slot, he has the potential to solidify this secondary for years to come.
For Douglas to hit on several late-round picks in his second draft as GM shows the ability he has and has put around him when it comes to talent evaluation. It shows that the Jets are certainly on the right path to building this organization properly.