Do we call Joe Douglas "Trader Joe" when the design rolls in April? A design guru thinks so.
ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. believes the jets could move up to the top 10 for an offensive tackle. During his latest podcast "First Draft" with his colleague Todd McShay, Kiper was asked which team he could see in the draft and he selected the jets.
"I think that could be a place," said Kiper about the jets that were seated 11 in the draft. "If you want to go back, go with me [D’Brickahsaw] Ferguson and [Nick] Mangold, they've done this before, with a focus on the line of attack, and they attacked these two guys. I think the jets will be particularly aggressive at the age of eleven and will try to get ahead to get the offensive attacks they think are best for supporting Sam Darnold. "
Kiper justifies this with the belief that the jets will target an offensive tackle in the first round of the draft, and that several tackles could come off the board before the jets can be picked up at 11. This is what the Giants, Chargers, Cardinals and Browns have all been associated with duels in the last experimental designs. All four teams vote in front of the jets. Would Douglas be happy to have the fourth best tackle on their board when it comes to tackles?
"Look at the jets, that will be a focus when building this line for Sam Darnold," said Kiper. "Look, wait until 11 … I understand that you can take a broad receiver, but you have to help this offensive line. Before you worry about the receiver, make sure the line is continuous. If you do look at the lineman you prefer out of this group of four to five, which ones are you targeting? you don't want to wait to see what Cleveland is doing and you don't want to see what Jacksonville is doing, what Arizona is doing and what they are doing Chargers could do if they don't take the quarterback. They want to get their guy. "
It is still early in the design process. The NFL Scouting Combine lasts two weeks. However, five tackles have already emerged as potential top 15 picks. Jedrick Wills from Alabama, Tristan Wirfs from Iowa, Josh Jones from Houston, Mehki Becton from Louisville and Andrew Thomas from Georgia love the Draftniks very early.
Kiper's logic makes sense. The offensive line is a huge area of need for the jets. This also applies to Edge Rusher, Wide Receiver and Cornerback. Would you be happy to stay in 11th place and get the second best edge rusher when your top rated tackles are gone? I think so.
The other question is how much capital Douglas will work with. The jets have only seven draft picks, four of them in the top 80. In addition to the position holes, Douglas urgently needs to build the middle class of this squad. The jets do not have the necessary depth in their line-up to keep up with the best in the league.
Last year, Douglas was part of a front office in Philadelphia that took an aggressive step in the first round. The Eagles rose from 25 to 22 in trade with the Ravens to attack Andre Dillard. It cost them number 25, a fourth round and a sixth round. Two years ago, Douglas and the Eagles advanced three places in the second round to bring Dallas Goedert a close end.
A climb may be tempting for the jets, especially if they fall in love with one of these tackles over the others, but it makes more sense to keep more picks.