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NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah analyzes who the Jets should draft at 10th overall

A year ago, during the NFL Draft, Jets general manager Joe Douglas shocked many by selecting defensive end Will McDonald IV 15th overall.

After addressing many needs this offseason, Gang Green could go in several directions during next week’s draft.

However, the Jets still need help on the offensive line, wide receiver, and defensive line.

On a conference call with media members, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah gave his prediction on what the Jets will do if the top three receivers (Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers, and Washington’s Rome Odunze) and Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt are all gone when it’s their time to pick at 10th overall.

“To be honest — and I haven’t talked to Joe, but that would be, if you’re going to ask that decision, my gut tells me I think they would take [Georgia tight end Brock] Bowers,” Jeremiah said. “I think he comes from an organization and all the time in Baltimore where they had great tight ends and they’ve always done a good job of drafting tight ends.

“I like their tight end room now. [Tyler] Conklin is a solid player. But this would give him a little something different there that they don’t have.

“That would be, if it came down to that between the tight end with Alt off the board, I would put [Oregon State tackle Taliese] Fuaga and [Washington tackle Troy] Fautanu right behind that.”

According to FanDuel, the Jets are the current betting favorite to draft Bowers.

The tight end position isn’t a need with Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert on the roster. But Bowers’ skill set could be too good to pass up.

Bowers is undersized for a tight end at 6-3, 243 pounds. However, his speed and strength will give defenders trouble at the next level. Bowers also can catch contested passes in the middle of the field and in traffic,

Bowers visited the Jets facility on Monday. During his three seasons at Georgia, Bowers registered 175 catches for 2,538 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Douglas and the Jets organization must decide whether to select a possible tackle for the future, a game-changing tight end, or potentially one of the best receivers in the draft.

Gang Green’s offensive line has been a source of its problems the last two seasons. In 2022, 11 different players started games on the offensive line. Last season, the Jets used 14 different offensive line combinations in 17 games, which led the league.

The Jets did sign Tyron Smith and traded for Morgan Moses, but both are 33 years old and have injury concerns. Smith hasn’t played an entire season since 2015, and Moses recently had offseason surgery on his torn pectoral muscle.

Players like Fuaga and Fautanu have position flexibility on the offensive line. Each could play guard if injuries were to occur.

Like Jets guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, Fautanu could potentially play all five offensive line spots. He has starting experience at both tackle and guard and can consistently make blocks in a zone-blocking scheme. Fautanu visited the Jets facility on Wednesday.

“That, to me, is like the checklist when you’re looking at can somebody do that,” Jeremiah said about Fautanu’s versatility. “Vera-Tucker is somebody who wasn’t real long. I felt like he can play tackle, and he’s done it. He’s played tackle at a solid level but had a chance to be an all-pro guard because of his strength, his anchor, that power core that he has.

“Fautanu, in this year’s draft, he’s got incredible length. So while he’s not the tallest guy in the world, he’s got really, really long arms which leads to believe he can still hang out there at tackle. I think he’s got all the tackle tools.

“He has that power and core strength where some people that have tackles in place are like, dude, I could make this guy an all-pro guard. I know one team that feels like he could be the best center in the draft. He’s a legit five-position guy.”

The potential wild card in the draft could be if Odunze is available at No. 10. Gang Green signed Mike Williams to a one-year contract last month. However, he may not be ready for the start of training camp.

Williams suffered a season-ending ACL tear during the third game of last season when he was with the Chargers.

If Williams is not 100% healthy when the 2024 season begins, defenders could key in on Garrett Wilson, who has led the team in receptions the last two seasons. At 6-3, 212 pounds, Odunze possesses excellent size and strength. He is also a superb route runner who can track passes and is fantastic at bringing down contested catches.

The problem is that Odunze could be off the board by the time the Jets pick at No. 10. However, Jeremiah has a solution for the Jets if they want to draft Odunze.

“If Odunze — we talked about him potentially being in Chicago — gets to eight, I could make a strong argument that the Jets could make an easy, painless flip with Atlanta, where Atlanta goes back to 10,” Jeremiah said.

“They could leapfrog Chicago and take Odunze, and it wouldn’t cost them much. You give them your 3, they give you a 4. You could have other picks involved there. You wouldn’t necessarily lose a pick, you could swap a pick.”


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