For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the New York Jets have a pick in the Top 4 of the NFL Draft. They also have extra picks at the top of the first and second rounds thanks to the Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold trades, giving them a total of four selections in the Top-40.
General manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh have plenty of holes to fill as they look to turn around this franchise. We try to figure out their game plan with our New York Jets best bets and 2022 NFL mock draft.
Jets draft picks 2022
|1||10 (from Seattle)|
|2||38 (from Carolina)|
|4||111 (from Carolina)|
|4||171 (from Minnesota)|
|5||146 (from Seattle)|
|5||163 (from Pittsburgh)|
Jets team needs
This draft looks wildly unpredictable and the Jets have so many needs that they could go in a variety of directions with their picks. After taking an offensive lineman in the Top-15 in each of the past two years and signing Laken Tomlinson in the offseason, we think they focus on the defensive side of the ball in the first round this time around.
Saleh built his reputation as a defensive coordinator with the 49ers and needs to upgrade a pass rush that finished last season 24th in the league in sacks (33) and 25th in quarterback pressure rate. Taking an edge rusher early and an interior lineman to push the pocket would be a good choice in the later rounds.
The Jets could also use help in the secondary but played three rookies and a sophomore at cornerback last year, and signed DJ Reed in free agency so they might not want to add more youth at CB and should look to upgrade the back end instead.
Given his track record in his first two years as GM, we do expect Douglas to add to the offensive line at some point. They also need more weapons for last year's first-round pick Zach Wilson so they can see if he's the long-term solution at QB. Although wideout Elijah Moore flashed massive potential as a rookie, New York still needs a bigger target on the outside to compliment the diminutive receiver and could use another running back as well.
Jets mock draft
Round 1 (No. 4 overall) - Kayvon Thibodeaux ED
While Aiden Hutchinson and Trayvon Walker will likely be gone with the first two picks, at least one other highly-rated edge rusher should fall to the Jets at No. 4.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic reports that the Jets are more likely to go with Jermaine Johnson than Kayvon Thibodeaux with their first pick, but we're not so sure. This time of the year is notorious for misdirection, and while Johnson is a fast riser his age (he turned 23 in January) and mediocre pass-rush win rate at FSU, gives Thibodeaux the higher ceiling.
It wasn't that long ago that the Oregon product was considered a potential No. 1 selection, but questions about his refinement and motor have seen him drop below Hutchinson and Walker. Nonetheless, his physical traits (particularly his length, explosiveness, and power) make him a value pick at this spot and a great fit for the Jets.
Round 1 (No. 10 overall) - Drake London WR
We mentioned that the Jets need size on the outside and USC wideout Drake London fits the bill at 6-foot-4 and 219 pounds. London hauled in 88 passes for 1,084 yards at USC last year, despite suffering a season-ending ankle injury after just eight games.
I have Buckeyes wideout Garrett Wilson rated higher on my board but think the Falcons grab him at No. 8, which means that London should fall to the Jets.
There are questions about London's straight-line speed, but he was athletic enough to play on the Trojans basketball team as a freshman. His body control and ability to win 50-50 balls will make him a vertical mismatch and a dangerous red-zone target from Week 1.
Round 2 (No. 35 overall) - Jalen Pitre S
The Jets added Jordan Whitehead in free agency and resigned LaMarcus Joyner, but they still need a talent infusion at safety after losing Marcus Maye. There are several safeties that are graded as late first or early-second round options and Saleh should target at least one of them.
We think that Michigan's Daxton Hill will end up going in the first round, leaving Georgia's Lewis Cine and Baylor's Jalen Pitre as the best remaining options for the Jets. While Cine is an impressive tackler with blazing speed, Pitre's versatility and superior instincts in coverage make him a better fit for the team.
Round 2 (No. 38 overall) - Bernhard Raimann OT
The Jets look set at guard with Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker, while Mekhi Becton will be given another shot at left tackle. George Fant played well at tackle but the 29-year-old is in the last year of a contract, and adding a player with Raimann's potential would be hard to pass up.
The Austrian moved to the U.S. in high school and played tight end in his first two years at Central Michigan, so you know he can move. In just his second season playing on the line, Raimann was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2021 according to Pro Football Focus.
Round 3 (No. 69 overall) - DeMarvin Leal DE
Leal was once viewed as a first-rounder but despite a productive career at Texas A&M, the former five-star recruit has been sliding down draft boards. If he falls to the third round, he would be a good fit for a Jets team that needs more disruptive players upfront.
The Jets have a couple of decent starters at linebacker in C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams, but the cupboard is bare behind them and there are plenty of high-floor, low-ceiling thumpers that should be available in this range.
Michael Carter was electric as a rookie running back last year but the Jets could use a bruiser to compliment his slashing style. Powerful, tackle-breakers like Zamir White, Brian Robinson, and Dameon Pierce all churned out yards against tough SEC defenses and at least one of them will be available in the middle rounds.
A backup quarterback to develop, plus more depth at corner and the interior of the offensive line are other areas the Jets could address with four selections in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Best Jets NFL Draft prop bets
- Exact Position of First Drafted Player - Defensive Lineman/Edge (+125 at DraftKings)
- Top 10 pick Drake London (+125 at DraftKings)
Although we have Thibodeau in our mock draft, we are a bit leery of backing him at +175 to go at No. 4 given the recent rumors about the Jets brass loving Johnson. With this prop, you're covered if the Jets take either pass rusher.
We like London to get selected by the Jets at No. 10 which means we also like the plus money for London to get picked in the Top 10.
Jets odds to win the Super Bowl
New York's Super Bowl odds opened at +15,000, but as of Tuesday morning, they can be found anywhere from +12,500 to +20,000.
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Jets 2022 Mock Draft FAQs
New York has nine picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, including the fourth and 10th-overall selections.
The Jets have been linked mostly to Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, and Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 4.
New York selected Zach Wilson (No. 2) and Alijah Vera-Tucker (No. 14) in the first round of the 2021 Draft.
The 2022 NFL Draft runs from Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30.