The New York Jets received a ton of praise for their 2022 NFL draft haul, although not everyone was a fan of what they did.
Head coach Robert Saleh finally got the opportunity to respond to the intense criticism his team has received and he didn’t hold back.
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Fiery Passion From the Brass
During an appearance on the Can’t Wait Podcast with Connor Hughes, Saleh was asked about the decision to trade up in the second round to acquire running back Breece Hall out of Iowa State.
“Yeah, he is a home run hitter. A guy that can take the ball 80. 10 plus play drives are hard to sustain during a game, let alone a season. If you are an offense that can’t hit big strikes and you’re living on singles and doubles, it might work in baseball to play small ball but you can’t do that in the NFL. What did it cost a fifth-round pick? I get it value and all that stuff is cool but to add a home run hitter to your group is significant.”
Reading the quote verbatim doesn’t do it enough justice. When Saleh rhetorically asked out loud, “what did we give up, a fifth?” He motioned his hands as if to say it was a small price to pay for a player they really liked.
It was described as a wow pick among analysts and insiders because the Jets appeared to have much bigger needs at a variety of other spots including linebacker, safety, defensive tackle, and still went with Hall.
It seemed to be a clear message from the front office that they want to surround Zach Wilson with as many talented pieces as possible so he can take that next step in 2022.
History Repeating Itself
This isn’t the first time this current Jets regime has angered the analytical crowd.
The analytical nerds came out in droves to eviscerate the Jets for trading up in the first round, for what they deem a non-valuable position (interior offensive lineman).
Ultimately AVT had a special rookie season and NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said he can be a future Pro Bowler at the position.
This time around the Jets didn’t make nearly as big of a jump in the trade market to acquire Hall (moving up from No. 38 to No. 36 and giving up a fifth-round pick, No. 146 overall), but it wasn’t a popular move among the analytical crowd.
George Chahrouri of Pro Football Focus had the harshest criticism for the move saying, “you’re the Jets and you suck. You are terrible and you used a premium pick on a running back and I don’t want to be this guy but are you f****** me?”
Chahrouri said instead of taking Hall the Jets should’ve taken Malik Willis the quarterback out of Liberty.
Here are some other people that had issues with the move:
Jason of Over The Cap says it was a bad process that led them here.
Seth Walder has been very critical of the Jets in the past and continued that narrative here on Twitter after the Hall pick.
Saleh’s argued that the Jets don’t have enough explosive players and they deemed Hall that type of prospect. If that is the case and all they gave up was a fifth-rounder to ensure they landed the player they were dreaming of, then that is a small price to pay for who they view as a transcendent talent.