The New York Jets entered the 2021 season having started over, again. Expectations were low, and the team met them on its way to a 4-13 season.
There were some positives. A pair of first-year offensive skill players, wide receiver Elijah Moore and running back Michael Carter, looked great in their debut campaigns. Carter averaged 4.3 yards per carry out of the backfield, adding another 325 receiving yards. Moore caught fire in the middle of the season, rolling up 459 receiving yards and five touchdowns from Weeks 8-13, until injuries ended his season early.
On the other side of the ball, the defense struggled. No team in the NFL gave up more points per game than the Jets, an average of nearly 33 per contest. Pass defense, run defense, there weren’t many bright spots. Injuries were on issue, but this unit has a lot of work to do to approach competency in 2022.
The Jets believe they have their quarterback of the future, last year’s first-round pick Zach Wilson, but it was a rough debut. Injuries cost Wilson four games, and he finished with a concerning 9-11 touchdown/interception ratio. The Jets will need to get him more support, but they have the draft picks, including two first-rounders, to stock up on some talent.
Here’s a list of the Jets’ picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
2022 Draft Picks
The Jets addressed their most glaring offensive needs in free agency. The team re-signed slot receiver Braxton Berrios, signed tight ends CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, and landed guard Laken Tomlinson. They still need depth at most positions, especially on the offensive line as last year’s injury to left tackle Mekhi Becton made clear.
There really isn’t a position on defense where the Jets DON’T need help. They beefed up the secondary with the additions of DJ Reed and Jordan Whitehead, but they could easily justify using one of their first-rounders on a cornerback. Pass rusher is another need. A healthy season from Carl Lawson and the addition of Jacob Martin will help, but defensive linemen should be another priority with their early round picks. The Jets need linebackers too.
Dream first pick
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
With a draft top heavy on defensive talent, the Jets are in a great spot with two top-10 picks. Hamilton may very well be gone by the fourth pick, but if he’s still there, the Jets should pounce. A do-it-all safety who’s particularly vicious as a pass defender, he could lock down the secondary for Gang Green, which would be a real asset in the AFC East.