The New York Jets are about to be forced to reveal their cards when the 2022 NFL draft arrives.
They have openly flirted with many of the top offensive linemen in this class that will only be available in the first round. If they end up pulling the trigger, the Jets may have to make a drastic move, including a potential big-time trade.
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An Absolute Stunner
Jets analyst and host of the Badlands feed, Joe Caporoso, recently predicted a seven-round mock draft featuring trades.
In his column he had the Jets selecting Ikem Ekwonu offensive tackle out of NC State with the No. 4 overall pick. Caporoso explained that general manager Joe Douglas in this scenario “wouldn’t pass on the top player on his board.”
In a corresponding move, he predicted that the Jets would trade away Mekhi Becton “by the end of draft weekend” for a 2023 second-round draft choice. The two suitors he listed as a landing spot would be the Baltimore Ravens or the Carolina Panthers.
Here is a look at how the rest of the draft played out:
No. 10 overall (first-rounder): Jermaine Johnson, EDGE rusher, Florida State
No. 15 overall (first-rounder): Jameson Williams, wide receiver, Alabama
- “The Jets package #35 and #38 to move up to #15 in a swap with the Philadelphia Eagles to land either Williams or Treylon Burks, who is still available. “
No. 69 overall (third-rounder): Tariq Woolen, cornerback, UTSA
No. 111 overall (fourth-rounder): Tyler Allgeier, running back, BYU
No. 117 overall (fourth-rounder): John Ridgeway, defensive tackle, Arkansas
No. 146 overall (fifth-rounder): Erik Ezukanma, wide receiver, Texas Tech
No. 163 overall (fifth-rounder): Traded for Samson Ebukam, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers
- “The Jets trade their last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft to continue bolstering their edge rush group by adding a player familiar with Robert Saleh’s defense.”
To check out other cool Jets articles, podcasts, and live streams subscribe to the Badlands feed here. Connor Rogers’ Jets specific 2022 NFL draft guide is dropping on Monday, April 18 exclusively for Badlands subscribers.
A Very Real Possibility
Becton is a very polarizing player. Some fans like him a lot, think he has plenty of potential, and can still turn this thing around. While others want him gone calling him names like lazy, fat, and a bust on social media.
Regardless of how you feel about him, this is a very realistic scenario that could play out on draft weekend.
If the Jets select an offensive lineman with one of their two first-round picks (No. 4 or No. 10 overall), they could be forced to make an even bigger move.
They have a few options, but one that is very much on the table is a potential trade of Becton or George Fant. The staff seems to really like Fant, but he is 29 (will turn 30 by the start of the 2022 season) and is entering the last year of his deal. So he’d be the easier piece to move in theory.
On the other side of the coin, the Jets giving up on Becton after two seasons, one of which was completely lost to a fluke incident would be a tough pill to swallow for the fans and Douglas.
The Jets are in an impossible situation as it pertains to Becton.
If they want to still get any value back for him, then you’d have to trade him this offseason. If he flops in 2022 with more injuries, he will be untradeable.
Although based on his recent surge of Instagram workout videos, this could be a huge comeback season for Becton. If he stays healthy he could easily fulfill his potential and be the franchise left tackle they expected him to be when they selected him with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
Either way, you slice it, this is an incredibly difficult decision for this front office to make. There has been a lot of speculation and smoke coming from both directions, but truth serum is coming with the draft right around the corner.
We’ll know exactly how the Jets front office feels about Becton, based on what they do within the first two rounds of the draft.
While this was simply a projected scenario above, Jets fans have to come to grips with the fact that this is a very possible outcome on draft weekend.