NFL Study Ranks Jets Draft in Terms of Fan Approval, Rival Finishes Near Bottom

New York Jets fans

Getty A throwback of New York Jets fans at the 2012 NFL draft in New York City.

The 2022 NFL draft appeared to go well for the New York Jets — at least on paper — but what did fans really think of this rookie class?

A recent NFL study from Pickswise ranked all 32 franchises’ draft classes based on social media “fan sentiment.” They did this by collecting “Tweets directed to all NFL teams between April 25-May 2nd to see whether fans approved of their team’s draft picks or not. Using the data, Pickswise analyzed positive and negative sentiments in the Tweets to find out who came on top.”

While the Jets finished in the upper echelon, a long-time AFC East rival ranked in the bottom three. All the details are below.

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Jets Take Flight While Patriots Aggravate

According to Pickswise, the Jets’ percentage of positive tweets was the sixth-highest in the NFL at 72.27%. They actually finished top three if you go by total positivity, however.

Not factoring in the negative, Gang Green fans shared 2,914 messages on Twitter that were hopeful, excited and pleased, rather than sour or disappointed. Only the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers had more total positive tweets — something must be in the water in NYC!

If you go by overall percentage, as the study did, the Detroit Lions ranked first with a positivity rating of 76.94%.

On the flip side, the rival New England Patriots seemed to anger fans in 2022. General manager/head coach Bill Belichick traded down multiple times in April and reached on an interior offensive lineman in round one. They also drafted another mid-round quarterback after taking Mac Jones a year ago.

“It was a strange one for the New England Patriots,” Pickswise wrote, “with Belichick’s first-round pick Cole Strange, an offensive lineman coming from Chattanooga, along with the rest of his picks not getting the fans’ approval. With 38.38% of Tweets directed to the Patriots being negative, it puts the New England team third from [the] bottom.”

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Can This Class Accelerate the Turnaround?

After the 2022 schedule was released, many Jet fans speculated on the team’s ceiling in year two under Robert Saleh.

Is this another rebuilding season with growing pains? A mild improvement at six or seven wins? Legitimate playoff contention in a strong and competitive AFC? Or the improbable but tantalizing Cinderella story — like the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021.

It’s always hard to make that determination in May, as so much can change from now until September — and even more before January. Still, the Jets won’t hesitate to bet on themselves in 2022 and fans are doing the same.

Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas know that their promise of a turnaround must finally come to roost. Is this the draft class that pushes the Green & White back into relevance?

Think about it like this. If you combine the past two drafts under Saleh and Douglas, plus the free-agent acquisitions over that span, you’ve added at least 16 legitimate starters on offense and defense.

  • Quarterback: Zach Wilson.
  • Offensive line: Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laken Tomlinson.
  • Offensive playmakers: Breece Hall/Michael Carter, Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, C.J. Uzomah/Tyler Conklin.
  • Defensive line: Carl Lawson, Jermaine Johnson/Sheldon Rankins.
  • Linebacker: Quincy Williams.
  • Secondary: Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed Jr., Michael Carter II, Jordan Whitehead, Lamarcus Joyner/Jason Pinnock.

Go back to the Mike Maccagnan era and the only two starters left are C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams.

Taking a deeper look at the 2022 class, the potential is great. In theory, here is your best-case scenario:

  • Gardner: Shutdown corner for the next decade.
  • Wilson: Eventual premier wide receiver talent.
  • Johnson: Every-down talent that secures the edge across from Lawson.
  • Hall: Bell-cow running back with All-Pro ability.
  • Jeremy Ruckert: Future starting tight end and long-term answer at the position for Zach Wilson.
  • Max Mitchell: Future George Fant replacement and short-term Mekhi Becton insurance.
  • Micheal Clemons: Draft gem at pass rusher, long-term replacement for Lawson across from Johnson.

Add in the free-agent additions and the hope that the aforementioned Lawson will be healthy and this team should take a jump. The question is: How high is their reach?

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