New York Jets 2022 Draft
Robert Salah should take a few positives away from his first season coaching the Jets. In 2021, New York doubled its win total from the previous season. However, the Jets still appear to be a long way away from their first winning season since 2015 and first playoff berth since 2010.
One of New York’s biggest problems was quarterback Zach Wilson‘s difficult season. Wilson, the Jets’ first-round pick out of BYU last season, passed for 2,334 yards with nine touchdowns against 11 interceptions. Wilson missed four games and struggled with his accuracy, completing only 55.6 percent of his passes.
However, blaming Wilson solely for this team’s struggles is a little disingenuous. New York had issues on both sides of the ball last season, and will need to add players who can flourish under Salah. The Jets had the worst defense in terms of yards allowed last season (397.6 ypg).
New York also didn’t force many turnovers, ranking 30th in the league with just 14. Conversely, the Jets committed 28 turnovers. Fixing those many issues in one offseason will be difficult.
Players Leaving the New York Jets
The good news for the Jets is they have plenty of cap space, more than $48 million with which to retain some of their 18 unrestricted free agents. New York will just need to decide the players bringing value on new contracts. Wideout Jamison Crowder may be one of the players on the move due to what he can command in free agency.
Crowder, who’s 28 and missed five games last season, was productive when he played, catching 51 passes for 447 yards and two touchdowns. Defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi may be seeking more money elsewhere as well. Fatukasi is strong in the run game, but doesn’t make much of an impact in the pass rush, recording zero sacks this past season.
Braxton Berrios, an All-Pro kick returner who also plays wide receiver, may have earned himself a bigger contract with his play down the stretch last season. Berrios scored four touchdowns in his final three games. Berrios led the league averaging 30.4 yards per kick return, with the longest return (102 yards) in the NFL last season.
Safety Marcus Maye torpedoed his own value after being franchise-tagged last season. Maye, who turned down a long-term offer from New York, had a DUI arrest, then hid it from the team for months, That likely results in a suspension. Maye also tore his Achilles in November and is probably working back into form during the early part of next season.
Positions Needed by the New York Jets
The Giants are in need of big, burly many willing to protect faster, smaller men. New York has a strong running back in Saquon Barkley, but he seldom had holes to run through. While Jones’ struggles were more than just with the offensive line, he could also benefit from having more time to work.
Jones was sacked 45 times last season and to see him develop and stay healthy, New York will need guys in front of him. It will likely help his development as a passer as well. The Giants’ offense averaged 110.5 rushing yards per game last season, which ranked 19th in the league.
New York could also use help with its pass rush and secondary. While the Giants’ defense was solid overall, they could use more depth help to fill out the roster. New York linebacker Azeez Ojulari led the team with 8.0 sacks. Defensive end Leonard Williams (6.5 sacks) and Lorenzo Carter (5.0) also finished with more than five sacks.
New York Jets Mock Draft
With any team that’s struggled as the Jets have recently, it is fair to assume there are more needs than they could possibly fill. Start with playmakers for Wilson at wide receiver, as a number of New York’s current rank and file at that position are unrestricted free agents,.
New York will also need to find players to rush the passer. The Jets have a solid linebacker in C.J. Mosley on the inside, but don’t have anyone to support him on the outside. New York’s top three sack leaders last season were all defensive tackles. Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers tied for a team-high with six sacks, while Sheldon Rankins contributed three.
The Jets could also use a serious amount of help at safety. Maye and Lamarcus Joyner are unrestricted free agents who are coming off injuries, while some of the others on the roster haven’t progressed as the Jets
New York has a number of high draft picks, with four of its nine selections inside the top 38. The Jets will be eagerly waiting to see what the teams in front of them do before the draft gets to them. New York will likely use that pick on an offensive lineman.
Ikem Ekwonu, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive lineman out of N.C. State, would be a nice fit for the Jets. Ekwonu can play left tackle or left guard, and is known for his aggressiveness.
Ekwonu was the first true freshman to start at offensive tackle since Rob Crisp in 2010. In the 2020 season, he earned second-team all-ACC honors at both guard and tackle. After a trade with Seattle, New York also has a second pick inside the top 10.
The Jets could try to fill their need at safety by drafting 6-foot-4 safety Kyle Hamilton out of Notre Dame. Hamilton intercepted three passes for Notre Dame last season. Overall, his performance earned him several postseason accolades, including being named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and Associated Press second-team All-American.
With New York’s first pick of the second round, the Jets might look to add a pass rusher in Cincinnati’s Myjai Sanders, who can play on the edge. While Sanders saw his sack total fall from as a senior, he was versatile. Sanders defended six passes and recovered a fumble.
An ACL injury limited George Pickens junior year with Georgia, as he only caught five passes for 107 yards in four games with the Bulldogs. However, taking a chance on Pickens, who flashed potential as a first-year and second-year student, could be a big boost for the Jets. Pickers is 6-3 and is used to play in big games with Georgia. Check Jets’ NFL Draft odds and NFL Odds.
2022 NFL Draft Event Information
- Date: Thursday, Apr. 28tb (Round 1) | Friday, Apr. 29th (Rounds 2-3) | Saturday, Apr. 30th (Rounds 4-7)
- Time: 8 p.m. ET (Thursday) | 7 p.m. ET (Friday) | Noon ET (Saturday)
- Location: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada
- TV Channel: ABC | ESPN | NFL Network
- NFL Draft Live Streaming: NFL Game Pass
2022 NFL First-Round Draft Order (with 2021 records)
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- NY Jets
- NY Giants
- Carolina Panthers
- NY Giants (via Bears)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
- NY Jets (via Seahawks)
- Washington Commanders
- Minnesota Vikings
- Houston Texans (via Browns)
- Baltimore Ravens
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
- LA Chargers
- New Orleans Saints
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers (via Raiders)
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Buffalo Bills
- Tennessee Titans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers
- Kansas City Chiefs (via 49ers)
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Detroit Lions (via Rams)
Teams with no First Round Pick
- San Francisco 49ers
- Chicago Bears
- Denver Broncos
- Cleveland Browns
- Indianapolis Colts
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Los Angeles Rams
- Miami Dolphins