It happens almost every year in the NFL draft.
A team attempts to leapfrog another to make sure they get the prospect they want.
The New York Jets were recently deemed a team that is “likely” to be leapfrogged in April’s draft.
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Normally a team being leapfrogged isn’t good news.
That scenario normally features a squad with obvious needs getting skipped in line so another team can steal the player they really wanted.
However, in this trade scenario presented by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, he has the Carolina Panthers trading ahead of the Jets for a player and positional group they will have zero interest in.
Panthers receive: No. 3 overall pick (first-rounder)
Houston Texans receive: No. 6 overall pick (first-rounder), No. 137 overall (fourth-rounder), and a 2023 second-rounder
The Panthers would be taking a page out of the Jets’ playbook from the 2018 NFL draft. Back then the Jets traded with the Indianapolis Colts going from No. 6 to No. 3 to make sure they got one of the many talented quarterbacks in that class.
The uniqueness of the trade was the timing, March 17, well ahead of the draft at the end of April.
Knox has the Panthers trading up to “virtually guarantee them” a shot at taking one of the top quarterbacks (Malik Willis out of Liberty or Kenny Pickett out of Pittsburgh).
This column by Knox was dedicated to determining the “five trades likely to happen before the 2022 NFL draft.”
The Theme Seems Very Real
I don’t know who would be celebrating more in their war room: the Panthers or the Jets.
Gang Green invested the No. 2 overall pick in Zach Wilson out of BYU in last year’s draft and they’re thanking their lucky stars they did. He would’ve been the top-ranked quarterback in this class and obviously, with that, the Jets have zero interest in taking a quarterback in this 2022 NFL draft.
That means one more really good player is going to fall a slow lower than they should have which should be music to the Jets’ ears.
The Texans are one of the hardest teams to guess what they’ll do in front of the Jets because of their array of needs and they have a new regime taking over. So simply taking them off the board, in general, is more great news.
This could allow one of the top pass rushers to slide, or perhaps Ikem Ekwonu out of NC State, and this will even have a ripple effect on who could still be available when the Jets pick again in round one (No. 10 overall).
Also, you can’t help but chuckle at the thought of general manager Joe Douglas getting three draft picks for Sam Darnold in 2021, then waiting a year later to see the Panthers give up three more picks just to replace him with another quarterback.
While this is simply a trade idea at the beginning of April and not reality, the theme of trading up for a quarterback in round one is very real and that could benefit the Jets whether directly or indirectly leading up to the draft.