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A Recap Of The Jets’ 2023 NFL Draft: Did Gang Green Rise Or Fall?

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

RD 01 | PK 15 – EDGE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State

Following the Aaron Rodgers trade with the Green Bay Packers, the Jets moved back from pick No. 13 to No. 15 in the first round. That was ultimately the difference in drafting one of the top four offensive tackles in the draft. Pittsburgh traded up to the No. 14 pick and chose Georgia OT Broderick Jones.

New York pivoted from the O-Line to address their pass rush by selecting Will McDonald IV, who many consider a bit of a reach here, especially with a guy like Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith still on the board.

What #Jets are getting in Will McDonald IV: -Burst off the ball, 90th percentile length + someone that has mastered outside speed rush with ability to dip and turn into the pocket Saleh on his draft call: 'we'll get you out of that 4i and get you in that wide 9'…good idea — Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) April 28, 2023

RD 02 | PK 43 – C Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin

After flirting with the idea of signing former Titans center Ben Jones in free agency, the Jets just recently brought back one of their own on a one-year deal, in center Connor McGovern. New York missed out on improving the offensive line in the first round, so they found a way to do so in the second.

If the Wisconsin center was to start sooner rather than later for the Jets, then McGovern would become a viable backup at the center and guard positions. Depending on who you ask, Tippmann was arguably the best center in this year’s draft, so the Jets shoot for the value with their only day-two selection.

.@nyjets @JoeTippmann is a J E T. Plug and Play for next 10 years. The wall up front just got stronger #takeflight #BaldysBreakdowns — Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) April 29, 2023

Jets Trade Back

we movin' — New York Jets (@nyjets) April 29, 2023

RD 04 | PK 120 – OT Carter Warren, Pittsburgh

As we all know, improving the offensive line was a main goal coming out of this year’s draft. I like that the Jets made it a point to address that need with their next two picks following their first-round selection. Carter Warren provides New York with immediate depth at the tackle position and at 6’6’’, 311 lbs, he’s got the size to eventually make his case for a starting spot if he can put it all together.

Really impressed with Carter Warren's pass protection so far, he looks polished in his pass sets. Big fan of this pick. When I watch him, he just looks the part of a solid NFL starting tackle — Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) April 29, 2023

RD 05 | PK 143 – RB Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh

This pick was a surprise for me. I did not see the Jets taking a running back here with needs for depth at safety, linebacker, and even interior defensive line. Breece Hall is coming back from a torn ACL, and Michael Carter had a disappointing sophomore season, so the Jets seem to be looking for some extra insurance here with Abanikanda.

I always thought they might gain some depth by considering a guy like Kareem Hunt in free agency post-draft. That now seems unlikely, but I guess you could never rule it out.

The Jets land a home run hitter in Brooklyn's own Israel Abanikanda 🔥 — Jets Videos (@snyjets) April 29, 2023

Jets Trade Back… Again

more to work with — New York Jets (@nyjets) April 29, 2023

RD 06 | PK 184 – LB Zaire Barnes, Western Michigan

The Jets address some linebacker depth with their first of two picks in the sixth round. Barnes should start out as a special teams contributor but hopefully can find a way to make a name for himself in the front seven. New York has C.J. Mosley and the newly re-signed Quincy Williams, but there is still one more spot to fill. Kwon Alexander is still available as a free agent, and I could definitely see him returning as well.

Put together some highlights to show what #Jets new LB Zaire Barnes is capable of A raw do-it-all LB that flies all over the field, with a little mentoring from CJ Mosley, Barnes could become a quality LB for us next to CJ & Quincy Williams — Harrison Glaser (@NYJetsTFMedia) April 29, 2023

RD 06 | PK 204 – CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse, LSU

With their second selection in the sixth round, the Jets take their first LSU player since drafting safety Jamal Adams in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Bernard-Converse played corner in college but with Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed as the bonafide starters, I see the Jets’ plan for the LSU defensive back is to either play him at safety or for him to compete in the slot with Michael Carter II.

During his LSU pro day, newest Jets CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse ran a 4.42 and a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash. — Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) April 29, 2023

RD 07 | PK 220 – TE Zack Kuntz, ODU

Wrapping up the 2023 NFL Draft for New York, they chose to add another body to the tight end group. Similar to Abanikanda, this was another pick that surprised me since the Jets signed tight ends Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah in free agency just a year ago and drafted Ohio State and Long Island native tight end Jeremy Ruckert in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Kuntz measures in at 6’7’’ and was the 11th-ranked tight end, so it seems like the Jets were looking for some value at this point in the draft.

Zack Kuntz is probably my favorite offensive weapon still on the board. Athletic freak 6’8 255lb 4.55 40-Yard Big wingspan — Matt Couture (@MattCouture5) April 29, 2023

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