Why the NY Jets must trade up to draft one of the top WRs

Trading up in the 2024 NFL Draft is a scary, yet logical decision for the NY Jets
Marvin Harrison Jr.
Marvin Harrison Jr. / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The NY Jets currently hold the No. 10 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but that could — and should — change in tonight's draft.

If the Jets decided to stay at No. 10 and draft an offensive lineman or a highly-touted pass catcher, their team would improve. That offensive lineman may not be an everyday starter in 2024, but in the longer term for the organization, they’d be a better team than they were yesterday.

The same logic would apply to Brock Bowers, whose game has been compared to George Kittle. Imagine adding a Kittle-like tight end to a Jets offense that already has Breece Hall, Mike Williams, and Garrett Wilson. That would be a lethal combination, but I’m not completely sold on Bowers yet.

This is coming from somebody who wanted Kayvon Thibodeaux over Sauce Gardner, so my NFL Draft views haven’t exactly been perfect, but the top tight end scares me. It's easy to draw comparisons to the Kyle Pitts situation in Atlanta.

It’s not a guarantee that Bowers' production would mirror Pitts’ with the Falcons, but with Nathaniel Hackett still running the team’s offense, there are reasons to be hesitant about his potential usage.

The NY Jets could land Marvin Harrison Jr. in a trade-up

As such, the Jets need to do everything in their power to trade up in the 2024 NFL Draft and draft one of the top wide receivers. The team that makes the most sense to partner with right now is the Los Angeles Chargers, who may be inclined to move down, as newly appointed head coach Jim Harbaugh has always valued the offensive line as his most important asset.

The Chargers could draft Joe Alt with the No. 5 overall pick, or they could trade back and still potentially get him at No. 10 while gaining more assets. If Alt isn’t there, there are plenty of appealing offensive line options.

Justin Herbert would likely love another star receiver after Keenan Allen and Mike Williams left the organization this offseason, but he needs to be protected first before he gets a playmaker.

Marvin Harrsion Jr. may not be a burner, but he can catch any ball thrown to him, even if there’s a crowd of defenders on him. With similarities to CeeDee Lamb, Harrison, is projected to step into the NFL and be an instant starter with All-Pro upside.

Projected as the No. 4 overall pick, Harrison could still be available with the Chargers’ pick at No. 5, as the Arizona Cardinals could trade back as well, with many expecting the Minnesota Vikings to jump to that pick to draft a quarterback.

If the Cardinals don’t trade their pick, then Harrison seems like an impossibility for the Jets, but the team could still move up to draft Malik Nabers if Harrison is gone.

Nabers has elite speed that could turn him into a YAC machine with an incredible ability to play the slot or outside. One AFC personnel executive said “You can see some flashes of both” Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson in Nabers’ game and that’s a good enough comparison for me to take a chance on him.

As mentioned, the Jets are in a win-now mode and need to be as aggressive as possible in moving up in the NFL Draft this year, even if they have to sacrifice future assets.