There are different ways to construct a sustainable winner in the NFL but when you choose a path, you have to stick with it and stand by your decision.
When Joe Douglas was hired as the general manager, he told New York Jets fans that he was going to rebuild this franchise through the draft while supplementing those prospects with high-character veterans. For the most part, he’s stood by those words even if some pieces have not worked out as expected.
Then, Robert Saleh joined the administration as head coach and even if the wins have not increased dramatically, the scouting has. There is a clear united plan under this new regime and that starts with Douglas and his HC.
We never saw that with Adam Gase, or Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles before him, and those failed partnerships spanning back to Rex Ryan and John Idzik got Gang Green in this mess in the first place.
Douglas and Saleh are on the same page and that will be key as the Jets approach one of their most important offseasons in decades.
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ESPN Ranking Lists Jets in Rare Territory
It’s not often we see the Green & White ranked second in the NFL — unless we’re talking about draft position. However, during a recent ESPN ranking from Kevin Seifert, the Jets found themselves one spot off the leader.
The veteran staff writer cross-referenced analytics used to determine total draft capital and available cap space to create an order of assets, or a ranking for “offseason capital.”
After crunching the numbers, Seifert explained how the Jets found their way to No. 2 spot on the charts. He wrote:
Trades that shipped out safety Jamal Adams (2020), quarterback Sam Darnold (2021) and tight end Chris Herndon (2021) have left the Jets with four picks in the first two rounds and six in the first four rounds of the 2022 draft. They are in a pretty good position, but after compiling an NFL-worst 27-70 record over the past six seasons, they’ve been here before.
Seifert is right — the Jets have been in positions like this before and they’ve failed to get the job done in free agency and the draft. That’s what gives 2022 a make-or-break vibe for Douglas and Saleh, who must show signs of progress after two non-competitive years in a row (Gase coached the 2020 team).
Gang Green’s “draft capital AV [approximate value] sum” — which encompasses every projected pick in April — ranks fourth behind the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles. Combined with available cap, their score is second to the Jags.
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Hitting on Assets
Douglas has accumulated the perfect blend of draft capital and cap space to position the Jets to make a meteoric rise from worst to first in the AFC East, but hitting on these decisions is easier said than done.
Utilizing these nine draft picks correctly will be paramount, whether on prospects or trade targets. This roster has plenty of needs and this front office can’t afford to be wasteful.
The defense needs an overhaul and an influx of talent, but you can never add too much around a young quarterback. Remember, the Jets organization practically admitted to failing Sam Darnold and they are determined to “lift” Zach Wilson — as Saleh said on draft night.
The next steps take place in 2022. After all, not a single analyst in the world had Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl a year ago.
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