Jets’ Draft Has All The Signs Of A Winner

Call the Jets’ initial draft a winner.


With the impending pressures of having him in the playoffs this season, GM Joe Douglas apparently stacked the deck further. 


This can be a draft that decides the future of Dougals and head coach Robert Saleh beyond this eason.


Through the first five rounds, the Jets filled some needs and they reinforced some others. In the opening round, they didn’t go for the secy pick, but they chose the more conventional pick.


As draft day approached, the prevailing thoughts had the Jets taking Georgia tight end Brock Bowers with their number 10 pick. If there wasn’t a major shakeup in the overall order, Bowers should have been there for them.


He was there, but the Jets passed.


Instead, the Jets chose Penn State tackle Olu Fashnau as an obvious insurance policy to injury-prone slated starters Tyrome Smith and Moran Moses, who have had trouble playing full seasons. 


He appears to be a safe pick at the position after Notre Dame’s John Alt – the Jets’ other projected pick – was taken earlier by the Chargers. There were indications the Jets would take Oregon tackle Taliese Fugua, who was eventually picked by the Saints at 14. 


But Fugua had all the signs of being another potential Mehki Becton. The Jets made the right call with Fashnau, who is noted for his pass-blocking. New York envisions him as another Brickashaw Ferguson, Marvin Powell, or Chris Ward, who all became long-term solutions at the position.


Yes, there are still the Bowers supporters who believe he will be the next Travis Kelce, and the Jets will kick themselves if he is. The Jets currently have Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert, both capable options, currently at tight end.


But the Jets may have found their playmaker in third-round pick wide receiver Western Kentucky’s Malachi Corley, who can give the Jets a dynamic duo threat with Garrett Wilsom.


Corley’s nickname of “YAC king” (yards after reception) and lure of it made the Jets move up in the draft to get him. He’ll likely be in the slot, and his aggressive nature could make life more interesting for Aaron Rodgers.


Fourth-round pick Washington running back Braelon Allen and second fifth-round pick South Dakota State running back Isaiah Davis. 


The Jets could have further solidified their running game with Wisconsin’s Bralon Allen and South Dakota State’s Isaiah Davis. The 245-pound Allen will be a downhill runner, while Davis is likely to spread the field with his style. Davis also brings the pedigree of being a two-time national champion with his program.


They both should have a good shot at making the roster and getting some playing time with only Israel Abianikanda and Nick Bawden as the lone returning backs behind Breece Hall.


The Jets needed to draft a quarterback that could eventually develop behind Rodgers , and they again traded up to grab Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, who is the program’s all-time leader in total yardage and touchdowns. 


Tragically, Travis suffered a broken leg in the season finale last year, but he has a rifle arm and can run as well. 


If all goes well, the Jets could have two more drafts to find Rodger’s successor. Travis will get a good, long look at camp this summer.


The Jets also drafted cornerback Qwan’tez Stiggers, who has an interesting story. 


Stiggers played in the Canadian Football League last season after he halted his presumed college career at Lane College. COVID shut down the 2020 season, and then he decided to forego football after the death of his father.


After he played semi-pro ball, Stiggers found a home with the Toronto Argonauts, where he was named the league’s Outstanding Rookie with five interceptions. 


Stiggers is a wildcard, but he could be a useful nick or dime back.


On the surface, Jets’s fans have to be pleased with Douglas’ direction. He played it close to the vest, and gave his team the depth it needed. 


Of course, we truly won’t know anything until August and September. 


By then, we’ll began to know if Douglas has a winner on all fronts or a dangerous dud to himself and his head coach that will make it a loser to both of them.


About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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