In five of the last six NFL drafts, the Jets moved up at least once to select a player they coveted. This time around, the Jets might be adopting an entirely different philosophy.
A league source told Metro New York that the Jets are eying options that would see them trade back in the first round, looking to acquire more picks rather than package together a deal to move up in the draft. After a 6-10 season where they missed the playoffs for a second straight year, the Jets have several holes to fill and with a tight salary cap situation would benefit from an infusion of young, cheap talent.
“The Jets have been doing their due diligence on the pick and seem very open to moving out of No. 9,” a league source with knowledge of the situation told Metro. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to comment on personnel situations. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone at that spot in the draft who can necessarily help them any more than later in the round. This isn’t a top-heavy draft, especially in the first round, but it is relatively deep. The Jets seem open to the idea of moving out.”
The source said, to his knowledge, the Jets have not actively looked at moving up in the first round, as they most recently did in 2009 when they moved up from the No. 17 to the No. 5 spot in a trade with the Buccaneers to select Mark Sanchez. Given new general manager John Idzik’s “competition” mantra, he might be looking to add numbers and talent, a break from recent draft philosophy.
The source also said the Jets rate several players very highly who could fall late in the first round or perhaps in the second round, making a move out from No. 9 more attractive.
Only one starter at linebacker is back and all three of their top safeties could depart. In addition, help is needed at wide receiver, running back and perhaps two offensive line starters will need to be replaced.
“There isn’t just a lack of talent in some key areas on this team — there is a lack of depth too. This team can address their needs later on in the first round and get an extra pick or two,” the source said. “Some team will covet being able to draft ninth. The Jets will be a willing trade partner and seem to be thinking that way. It doesn’t hurt that some of the players they like will be there later on too.”
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