The New York Jets have a pair of top-10 overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and a ton of cap space to use come free agency.
If not now, when for the New York Jets?
Last year was supposed to be a season of change for Gang Green. New coach in Robert Saleh, new quarterback in No. 2 overall pick, Zach Wilson. Instead, New York went 4-13, rarely playing competitive football. Wilson was a mess when he wasn’t hurt, starting 13 games and completing 55.6 percent of his attempts for 2,334 yards with nine touchdowns and 111 interceptions.
In fairness to Wilson, the roster was a mess. Left tackle Mekhi Becton was lost to a knee injury in Week 1, and the weaponry was essentially non-existent, with nobody going for more than 1,000 scrimmage yards.
Entering this offseason, general manager Joe Douglas needs to get rolling. He’s loaded up with assets including a pair of first-round picks at Nos. 4 and 10 overall, the latter coming from the Seattle Seahawks as a result of the Jamal Adams deal in 2020. Additionally, Douglas has $48.2 million in cap space, the fifth-most of any team in the league.
After a decade of being irrelevant and being within a tough division with three teams coming off winning seasons, the Jets have to make moves in both the draft and free agency.
Defensively, New York has a pair of quality players inside with John Franklin-Myers and Quinnen Williams, who each notched six sacks. And with edge rusher Carl Lawson coming back from a torn Achilles, the pass-rush should be a strength. However, the corner situation needs to be addressed, and with safety Marcus Maye potentially leaving on the open market, safety is a need as well.
As aforementioned, the offense is a mess. Wilson has to be supported heavily if he’s going to improve, and getting him a top-tier receiver would be a nice start. Corey Davis was brought in on a hefty contract last offseason, but he posted only 34 receptions for 492 yards and four touchdowns across nine games. The Jets need another threat across from Davis, perhaps someone such as USC’s Drake London.
Without a draft that pays immediate dividends and a free-agent haul that can change the dynamic of the roster, it’ll be another lost year for New York. With Saleh and Wilson entering their second campaigns in Gotham, it’s time to make a move and ensure progress.