It’s never too early to start breaking down the NFL draft if you’re a New York Jets fan.
That is especially true in a 2021 season where the team sits at a disappointing 2-6, tied for the third-worst record in all of football.
With an embarrassment of riches upcoming in the 2022 NFL draft, it’s time to take a sneak peek at what could be coming to the team this offseason.
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Interesting Deep Dive Into Draft Analytics
Pro Football Focus has a really cool mock draft simulator that is able to track data from all the people who participate.
Specifically, you can see what positions and what players people are selecting the most for the teams you’re controlling in the simulator.
Here is an inside look at the most popular positions and fans’ top five most desired 2022 NFL draft prospects.
Most drafted position:
- EDGE rusher (28.3 percent of the time)
- Cornerback (23.4 percent of the time)
- Offensive tackle (14.7 percent of the time)
Most drafted player:
- Tyler Lindenbaum, interior offensive lineman, Iowa (14.2 percent of the time)
- Derek Stingley Jr, cornerback, LSU (12.7 percent of the time)
- Evan Neal, offensive tackle, Alabama (10.9 percent of the time)
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE rusher, Oregon (9.9 percent of the time)
- Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE rusher, Michigan (8.5 percent of the time)
A Flip in Philosophy Could Be Coming
If the fans are any indication, there will be a clear philosophy change coming to the Jets this offseason.
During the general manager Joe Douglas era which features the 2020 and 2021 NFL drafts respectively, he has yet to select a defensive player in the first two rounds of the draft:
2020 NFL draft:
- Mekhi Becton, offensive tackle, Louisville; No. 11 overall pick in the first round
- Denzel Mims, wide receiver, Baylor; No. 59 overall pick in the second round
2021 NFL draft:
- Zach Wilson, quarterback, BYU; No. 2 overall pick in the first round
- Alijah Vera-Tucker, interior offensive lineman, USC; No. 14 overall pick in the first round
- Elijah Moore, wide receiver, Ole Miss; No. 34 overall pick in the second round
According to the most recent mock draft analytics the two most popular positions fans have selected with the Jets’ highest draft picks have been on the defensive side of the ball.
The fans normally have a pretty good pulse of what their team needs because they follow them closer than anyone else.
Dane Brugler, an NFL draft analyst for The Athletic, apparently concurs.
The most well-represented position in his latest top-50 draft board is EDGE rusher. Out of his top-15 players, nine of them come on the defensive side of the ball.
After a historically long run of defensive players in the first round for the Jets, from 2010 to 2019 (10 of the 11 players they selected were defenders), it may be time to return to that world.