The New York Jets got sniped thanks to a divisional rival.
During the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, the New England Patriots traded the No. 14 overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It allowed the Steelers to leapfrog the Jets at No. 15 to acquire the last of the top offensive linemen.
Pittsburgh Steelers receive: a 2023 first-rounder (No. 14 overall)
New England Patriots receive: a 2023 first-rounder (No. 17 overall) and a 2023 fourth-rounder (No. 120 overall)
“They should have had to give up a [third-round pick] and not a four to move up there,” one NFL general manager said anonymously to The Washington Post. “Belichick did it just to f–k the Jets. He sold low because he knew the Steelers were going to take the kid the Jets wanted to take.”
Draft Value Chart Backs up NFL GM’s Claims About Patriots-Jets-Steelers Draft
According to the NFL draft value chart, the No. 14 overall pick is worth 1,100 points. The No. 17 overall pick is worth 950 points.
That means Pittsburgh had to make up 150 points of difference to make it an equal trade.
However, the only pick they gave up was the No. 120 overall pick in the fourth round which is only worth 54 points. That means the Patriots gave the Steelers a discount to jump up in the draft.
New England didn’t want Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones, but they knew that the Jets wanted him. So instead of letting Gang Green get the offensive linemen they desired, the Patriots took slightly less to trade the pick to a team that would take that hog molly.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has “hated” the Jets since he resigned as New York’s head coach in 2000.
Steelers Draft Pick Forced the Jets to Pivot During Draft
Jones was the fourth offensive lineman taken in the first 14 picks of the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.
- Paris Johnson Jr, Arizona Cardinals, No. 6 overall
- Darnell Wright, Chicago Bears, No. 10 overall
- Peter Skoronski, Tennessee Titans, No. 11 overall
- Broderick Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 14 overall
Todd McShay of ESPN said it was “close to a lock” that the Jets would take an offensive lineman in the first round. It was one of the worst-kept secrets heading into draft day.
Every other NFL team knowing that truth made it easy for the Jets to be leapfrogged in the draft.
With Jones and the other top linemen off the board, the Jets didn’t want to reach for the fifth-best offensive linemen. So they pivoted and took Will McDonald IV a pass rusher out of Iowa State.
Instead of forcing need, the Jets went to its draft board and took who they perceived to be the best player available at that spot.
With how the draft board fell, Gang Green couldn’t address the offensive tackle position until the third day of the draft.
The Jets selected offensive tackle Carter Warren out of Pittsburgh with the No. 120 overall pick in the fourth round. Ironically that is the same selection New England initially acquired from Pittsburgh in its first-round trade swap.