The New York Jets have an opportunity to raise some eyebrows on draft night.
Connor Hughes of SNY answering a question in a mailbag article said it’s “absolutely” possible that the team takes Georgia tight end Brock Bowers with the No. 10 overall pick in the first round.
“I could see this happening,” Hughes explained in an article posted on Friday, February 9. “The Jets need someone to take the attention away from Garrett Wilson. There’s no reason a creative offensive mind couldn’t figure out a way to use the tight end position as that player. Travis Kelce did it for Tyreek Hill. George Kittle does it for Deebo Samuel. Rob Gronkowski was that player for No. 1 guy for the Patriots for years.”
Hughes admitted that he still sees the team “prioritizing” an offensive lineman over Bowers come draft day. However, the question is will one of the top hog mollies still be on the board by the time the Jets are on the clock in the first round?
Bowers Is a Tantalizing Possibility for the Jets
Bowers, 21, had a historic college career at Georgia. He had team success winning a pair of National Championships. He had individual success winning the John Mackey Award in back-to-back seasons. That award is annually doled out to the best tight end in college football.
In his three seasons, Bowers recorded 175 receptions for 2,538 receiving yards and scored 31 total touchdowns.
“If you’re going to draft a tight end top-10, it better look like Brock Bowers. It’s almost unfair to call him a tight end because he is a hybrid. You can line him up in the slot, you can line him up out wide, line him up in the backfield, or in-line whatever you want to do,” Dane Brugler of The Athletic explained.
Brugler added that “if you have an offensive coordinator that understands his strengths, understands how he wins, and how special he can be you don’t hesitate to draft a Brock Bowers top-10.”
Some Jets fans may have questions on whether or not Nathaniel Hackett is the right offensive coordinator to fit that description.
Connor Rogers of NBC Sports said that he doesn’t think Bowers “is completely out of play” with the No. 10 overall pick. However, he had similar comments about the offensive line being a much higher priority for Gang Green.
Draft analyst Dom C. told me on “Boy Green Daily” that Bowers is a one-of-a-kind prospect.
“I hate to use the term generational because I think people throw it around way too often but listen we are not going to see a player at the position of the caliber with the skill-set with the body with all the chutzpah of Brock Bowers in the next 10-15 years,” Dom C. explained.
Why Jets Fans Should Embrace the Reality of a Potential Bowers Selection
Jets general manager Joe Douglas took some heat at his end-of-season press conference. A reporter openly questioned the selection of defensive lineman Will McDonald and argued the team could have selected a player who could have made a more immediate impact.
Douglas admitted that point was fair criticism but reiterated his “best player available” mentality.
Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network posted his top 50 big board ahead of the 2024 NFL draft. He ranked Bowers as the No. 8 best overall player on his list. Jeremiah ranked Bowers higher than any offensive line prospect in the class.
“Overall, Bowers reminds me a lot of George Kittle, and I see him having a similar impact in the NFL,” Jeremiah explained. “Bowers is an undersized tight end with elite speed, strength, and playmaking ability.”
Jeremiah and Douglas have a pre-existing relationship from their time together in the Baltimore Ravens scouting department from 2003-07.
If Douglas is a man of his word about taking the best player available regardless of position, then Bowers will be in the conversation. I’ve spoken to multiple media draft people and the majority of them had Bowers inside their top 10 overall prospects and some even had him among the top 5.
In the modern draft era since 1970, the Jets have taken a tight end in the first round five times:
- Dustin Keller, 2008, No. 30 overall
- Anthony Becht, 2000, No. 27 overall
- Kyle Brady, 1995, No. 9 overall
- Johnny Mitchell, 1992, No. 15 overall
- Jerome Barkum, 1972, No. 9 overall