The New York Jets might have revealed their cards ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.
NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero shared on Friday, March 24 that Gang Green hosted offensive lineman John Michael-Schmitz for a private workout recently.
JMS is a “projected first-round pick” per Pelissero and is the consensus top center available in April’s draft according to ESPN’s panel of draft experts.
Jets Still Have a Void at the Center Position Heading Into 2023
The green and white have made a variety of moves in free agency yet the void at the center position still remains.
*Performs my best Brian Windhorst impersonation with fingers pointed upward*, now why would that be?
Connor McGovern the Jets starting center over the last three seasons remains an unrestricted free agent near the end of March.
By all accounts, Gang Green isn’t interested in a family reunion in 2023 from what I’ve been told.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, just follow the tracks in free agency. Gang Green attempted to make a run at San Francisco 49ers center Jake Brendel and according to Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic even offered him more money, but he chose to stay.
So what the heck is their plan?
Perhaps John Michael-Schmitz is the answer to this center problem. The 24-year-old stands in at 6-foot-3 and weighs 301 pounds.
During his career at Minnesota, the big man started 35 games. NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein said he should be “plug-and-play” at the next level.
JMS is one of the most decorated players in this class when you take a peek at his accolades. Whether that be as a first-team All-American, his numerous conference honors, or even using his invite to the Senior Bowl as another example.
Conspiracy Theory Time on 1 Jets Drive
What was the thought process behind the Elijah Moore trade to the Cleveland Browns?
Were the Jets trying to add extra ammunition for a possible Aaron Rodgers trade? Was this simply general manager Joe Douglas attempting to maximize value? Or was JD trying to guarantee he has a pick in the second round in 2023?
Some on social media have argued the latter.
One of the rumored packages for a potential Rodgers-Green Bay Packers trade has revolved around a second-round draft choice in 2023.
With the Jets now owning a pair of second-rounders, even if they ended up sending one to the Packers they would still have one in their back pocket.
What would they need that for? Well, it brings us back to the start of our conversation about the center spot.
Over the last three years, only two center prospects have heard their names called in the first round of the NFL draft:
- Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens: No. 25 overall in 2022
- Cesar Ruiz, New Orleans Saints: No. 24 overall in 2020
The center position is undervalued and even the best ones in their respective classes have gone late in the first round.
That in theory sets up the Jets pretty well with the No. 42 and No. 43 overall picks in the second round in 2023. If the Jets were truly in love with one of the top centers in this class their recent trade of Moore makes a lot more sense in terms of setting them up to take one of those guys early on Day 2.