$24 Million Move ‘Opens the Door’ for Doomsday Jets Scenario

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacting in the middle of an NFL game.

The New York Jets losing out on free agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney could have massive ripple effects this offseason.

Connor Hughes of SNY said the Carolina Panthers stealing Clowney away from Gang Green on a $24 million contract, “opens the door for [the] Jets to draft a pass rusher [at pick] No. 10.”

Pro Football Focus lead NFL Draft analyst Trevor Sikkema joined me on “Boy Green Daily” back in early March. During that conversation, I asked him what would be the surprise pick that would create the most stunned reactions among Jets fans.

“I do wonder if the answer to that question though is another edge rusher,” Sikkema told me back on March 6. “Do they say to themselves like no we still want a super deep edge rushing rotation. Do they go, we can’t pass up on Dallas Turner’s athleticism or the type of productive pass rusher that Laiatu Latu is or whatever. I’m just saying, you asked what could be a total surprise.”

Jets Would Continue a Troubling Trend

I asked my 17,500+ followers on X previously Twitter if they truly believe the Jets would take a defensive player with the No. 10 overall pick. They had three choices: no chance, oh it’s happening, or it’s a 50-50 toss-up.

Over 600 people voted and here are the results:

  • 64.9% said “0% chance.”
  • 25.9% said “I could see it.”
  • 9.2% said “Oh it’s happening…”

At the NFL Honors, Jets owner Woody Johnson told ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington that fixing the offense was a top priority this offseason.

For the team to turn around and take a defensive player in the first round for the fourth time in three years would be eyebrow-raising.

I explained my doomsday scenario to Sikkema.

In Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft 2.0, he didn’t have a single defensive player inside his top 10 for NFL Media.

If that scenario played out on draft day, head coach Robert Saleh could make an intriguing argument to the draft war room. The Jets would have the No. 1 overall pick in the defensive draft. In other words, they would have the pick of the litter out of all of the defenders in the entire class.

General manager Joe Douglas said at the Annual League Meeting that the team has full flexibility in the draft based on the moves they made in free agency. Which could very well include a defensive player being selected at the top.

A Potential Strange Allocation of Resources

While Bryce Huff didn’t technically leave the Jets until this offseason. Many have argued on social media that the epitaph of Huff’s Jets career was written during the 2023 NFL draft.

With the No. 15 overall pick the Jets surprisingly selected EDGE Will McDonald out of Iowa State.

A former NFL general manager once told me that a common misconception in the draft is the purpose of a first-round pick. Most fans assume that selection is used to fill an immediate need. However that GM told me that it’s actually about a year or two down the road.

It’s a constant game of thinking multiple steps ahead. With that thought in mind, it’s not hard to connect the dots of what transpired with the Huff-McDonald situation.

With Huff gone and the Jets’ aggression on the free-agent market this offseason, it seems like they’re hellbent on adding a significant piece. If that ends up coming to fruition in the first round of the NFL draft it will leave a sour taste in Jets fan’s mouths.

The team let Huff walk out the door for nothing but would turn around a month later and invest in another first-round draft choice at EDGE. That would be a tough pill to swallow for Jets fans.

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