Jets 2023 Mock Draft Roundup: Could Gang Green add another Ohio State WR in the first round?
The Jets could go a number of different ways heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.
General Manager Joe Douglas could look to add some offensive weapons or protection for their likely new starting quarterback. Or they could look to make some improvements to an already relatively strong defense.
While they’ll only have one first round draft pick for the first time since 2020, the Jets should still be able to make a bit of a splash at the 13th overall pick. It's also important to keep in mind New York could look to trade this pick as part of a package for a new quarterback.
But while they still have the pick at hand, here’s who some of the experts have Gang Green selecting in their latest mock draft’s...
WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (USC)
I thought about an offensive lineman here, but let's instead reunite my top-ranked receiver in this class with my top-ranked receiver in the 2022 class. The Jets picked Garrett Wilson at No. 10 last April, and he had 83 catches for 1.103 yards. But for the Buckeyes in 2021, it was his teammate Smith-Njigba who was their top wideout, as he put up 1,606 yards, doing damage mostly out of the slot.
After an injury-plagued 2022 in which he caught just five passes, however, there are big questions about his health -- he had a nagging hamstring injury -- headed into the draft.
I’m a big fan of Smith-Njigba, and I think he could be a star in the right situation. New York likely will have a new starting quarterback in 2023, and that passer will have to get support around him. This offense has a chance to be much improved.
The Jets had a stellar draft last year; Smith-Njigba would be a great start for this one. And yes, I know, this makes back-to-back top-15 picks on receivers for the Jets, but Smith-Njigba is worth it because of what he and Wilson can do together.
Charlie Campbell, Walter Football
WR Quentin Johnston (TCU)
The Jets take the best player available and a playmaker to go with Garrett Wilson. Denzel Mims is a bust, and Elijah Moore is a slot receiver. Here's a big outside receiver who will make things very tough on defenses with Wilson and Breece Hall.
In 2022, Johnston recorded 60 receptions for 1,069 yards and six touchdowns. He flashed in 2021, catching 33 passes for 612 yards and six touchdowns.
Sources from around the NFL are high on his skill set. "He's 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and can win on all three levels. He puts up 20 yards per catch, runs great routes, is super smart, an alpha, and the hardest worker on the team," an area scout told WalterFootball.com.
OT Broderick Jones (Georgia)
Jones is very athletic and powerful. He can create movement in the run game and his ability to recover in pass pro is impressive. The Jets need to keep throwing resources at the offensive line.
DL Bryan Bresee (Clemson)
The Jets will be in the market for a veteran quarterback this offseason. While that is their top need, New York needs to address the interior of the defensive line.
Sheldon Rankins, Solomon Thomas, and Nathan Shepard will be free agents in March. Meanwhile, Quinnen Williams is a free agent after the 2023 season and could reset the defensive tackle market this offseason. Assuming he’s back in New York for the long haul, pairing Williams with Bresee would give the Jets an unstoppable duo.
S Brian Branch (Alabama)
Alabama does a lot of pattern matching in the secondary and that requires communication. Nick Saban trusted Brian Branch to fulfill that role in his defense. New York has two quality boundary cornerbacks and now it has another intelligent player in the secondary.