The New York Jets 2020 draft class is aging like a terrible wine.
As we progressively get further away from that moment in time, the draft class looks worse and worse. Just a year ago one of the players clearly looked like the worst one in the entire class, but a recent turnaround has arguably transformed him into one of the best.
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A Plot Twist of Epic Proportions
Zack Rosenblatt recently provided a stock report for The Athletic where he picked out some risers and fallers from Jets training camp.
One of the more surprising selections was former Florida pass rusher, Jabari Zuniga:
“The 2020 third-round pick has a difficult path to the 53-man roster considering the Jets’ depth at defensive end, but perhaps he’s playing his way into cultivating value in a trade to another team before the start of the season. Throughout camp, Zuniga has been getting to the quarterback, ending one practice with a sack of White. He had another sack, two QB hits, and five pressures against the Eagles, too.”
Rosenblatt explained it is difficult to see a path to one of those precious 53 roster spots, however, the trade market could be his ultimate destination.
The Jets would like nothing more than to get something of substantive value for a player that hasn’t lived up to the hype.
Zuniga originally entered the league as the No. 79 overall pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft.
In his rookie season, he only appeared in eight games and played a grand total of 103 defensive snaps. Then the following year he was cut from the active roster and eventually signed to the team’s practice squad.
The Jets brass felt so little of him that they dumped a premium draft choice and not a single team tried to claim him off of waivers.
Now apparently the third year was the charm as Zuniga has emerged from the ashes as a draft bust to become a hot trade commodity in the middle of August.
You Can Never Have Enough
The reason why Zuniga could be such a hot commodity on the open market is pass rushers are always in short supply.
You can never have enough of them unless you’re the Jets of course. Their pantry is absolutely overflowing with options and head coach Robert Saleh is dealing with that first-world problem.
Now the fine game of balance that Saleh will have to play is making sure he keeps the right ones and trades the other ones.
If he is able to have a fully loaded deck during the season and still flip a few of his depth pieces for valuable commodities, he has a chance to come out of this looking like a champ.
Whether that be in the form of future draft picks which would make general manager Joe Douglas very happy. Or even those rare player-for-player swaps to address other areas of weakness on the roster.
This is the sign of a good football team. When you can trade players on your bench for assets that other NFL teams not only want but are willing to pay for.
We’ll see if any of these deals come to fruition over the coming weeks.
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