Just as quickly as it began, week one of the NFL free-agent frenzy had ended. At this point, things tend to calm down a little as teams finalize their rosters heading into draft season.
- Laken Tomlinson, right guard.
- C.J. Uzomah, tight end.
- Tyler Conklin, tight end.
- Jacob Martin, edge rusher.
- D.J. Reed Jr., cornerback.
- Jordan Whitehead, strong safety.
- Re-signings; QB Joe Flacco, QB Mike White (tendered), RB Tevin Coleman, FB Nick Bawden, WR Braxton Berrios, OT Conor McDermott, OL Dan Feeney, DT Nathan Shepherd, S Lamarcus Joyner, S Will Parks, K Eddy Pineiro (tendered).
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King Provides NYC Draft Theory
Long-time and well-respected NFL reporter Peter King put out his famed “Football Morning in America” column this week and had some interesting thoughts on the NFL draft.
Two “nuggets,” in particular, pertained to the New York City franchises. He wrote:
The Giants, picking fifth and seventh overall, are likely to look to move one of them to try for multiple first-rounders next year.
The Jets, with four picks in the top 40, would also love to put one of them off till next year, if the right offer comes.
This should not be viewed as a groundbreaking development, the Jets have been included in trade-down rumors for months, but the Giants portion of this statement does add some intrigue.
Generally, Jets trades always involve Joe Douglas electing to move back from No. 10, his second selection in the 2022 draft. It’s much rarer that they drop down from No. 4, where many fans would love to see them take a top defensive playmaker.
King didn’t suggest one or the other, but he did note that the G-Men could be looking to trade out of the top 10 with one of their two picks. That just goes to show how much quarterback stock has risen in a couple of months.
Let’s say teams are interested in a QB like Malik Willis at No. 4, should the Jets consider trading down from the higher of their two positions? See how things just got interesting?
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Willis Hype Helps Jets
The more Willis and Kenny Pickett rise, the better positioned Douglas is with two picks in the top 10. If the choices are to reach for the player you want or trade down, accumulate more capital and still acquire him, you’d always choose the latter.
In other words, the more options the better and as these QBs gain steam, the Jets gain more and more power. Sure, the Giants have two premier picks, but the Jets have the highest of the four. That matters.
Vegas Insider recently shared odds that gave Willis the fourth-best chance of being drafted at No. 2 overall, to the Detroit Lions. Only Kyle Hamilton, Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker were higher.
FanDuel Sportsbook had Willis second in those odds, as of March 16.
Of course, the Lions being a quarterback-needy team adds to this probability but there are plenty more franchises like Detroit that could be looking to trade up.
Carolina or Atlanta might fit that mold. Both were in on Deshaun Watson and if either gets wind that the Giants might nab Willis, or the Panthers in the case of the Falcons, another GM could easily make a call to Douglas to check in on the price tag at 4.
As King stated, if the Green & White can land a second first-round selection in 2023 — giving them two first-rounders for the third straight season — Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh would happily sacrifice a few spots in the order to secure it.