He instead pointed to the comments made by the Jets brass that they’re hoping to acquire a veteran quarterback this offseason.
If those statements are factual then Gang Green was the primary beneficiary of a mock draft simulation by Mel Kiper Jr on Tuesday, April 11.
In this projection, Kiper had four quarterbacks going off the board at each of the first four selections.
- Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, Alabama
- Houston Texans: CJ Stroud, Ohio State
- Tennessee Titans (projected trade): Anthony Richardson, Florida
- Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, Kentucky
“By the way, if you’re wondering how often quarterbacks have been taken with the first four picks in a single draft, well, I can tell you this would be the first time ever,” Kiper explained in his column posted on Tuesday April 11. “Passers have gone with the first three picks three other times — 2021, 1999, and 1971 — but this would be history.”
Titans Go All in on Trade With Cardinals
ESPN NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler mentioned the Titans as a team that is expected to “strongly consider” taking an offensive lineman with their first-round draft choice at No. 11 overall. That could be bad news for the Jets who sit at No. 13 overall.
However, in this mock scenario, the Titans instead traded all the way to the No. 3 pick in a blockbuster deal with the Cardinals.
Arizona Cardinals receive: a 2023 first-rounder (No. 11 overall), a 2023 second-rounder (No. 41 overall), a 2024 first-rounder, and a 2025 first or second rounder
Tennessee Titans receive: a 2023 first-rounder (No. 3 overall)
The Titans moved up for a quarterback and the Cardinals landed Texas Tech pass rusher Tyree Wilson.
Gang Green ended up with Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones. He was the third offensive lineman to come off the board behind Darnell Wright (No. 9, Chicago Bears) and Peter Skoronski (No. 10, Philadelphia Eagles).
If that blockbuster quarterback trade didn’t happen there is a chance the Jets could have missed out on all of the top offensive linemen in this class.
Kiper said that Jones “could play on the right or left side” at the NFL level and called him “nearly flawless” last season for the Bulldogs.
Kiper also made a fascinating comparison that should rev the engines of Jets fans across the planet.
“When the Bucs added Tom Brady in March 2020, they picked plug-and-play tackle Tristan Wirfs at No. 13 overall the following month, filling a void. That move helped get them [to] win a Super Bowl title in Wirfs’ rookie season. That’s New York’s best-case scenario here — assuming the [Aaron] Rodgers deal gets done with Green Bay.”
Mel Kiper’s Projections for Jets on Day 2 of NFL Draft
In the second round of the 2023 NFL draft, the Jets hold back-to-back selections. That could change with a potential Rodgers trade with the Packers, but so far there has been no update on that front.
With the No. 42 overall pick Kiper projected that Gang Green would select tight end Luke Musgrave out of Oregon State.
That seems a bit obtuse on the surface considering all of the depth at the position (CJ Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Jeremy Ruckert) but Kiper said “I just don’t see much upside in the pass game there” with that group.
Musgrave measured in at 6-foot-6, 253 pounds at the NFL combine in February. He only played in two games last season because of a knee injury but Kiper said he was “starting to show his potential as a pass catcher.”
With the No. 43 overall pick, Kiper had the Jets solving the void at center with Joe Tippmann out of Wisconsin.
“Tippman and John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota) are two starting-caliber centers likely to be drafted in Round 2. The Jets can’t go wrong with either one here.”