2023 NFL Draft grades: Jets appear to have a plan to protect Aaron Rodgers
Overall New York Jets grade: B-
Thanks to the Aaron Rodgers trade, the Jets moved down one spot too far to get one of the offensive tackle prospects they coveted, but they were still able to get an instant impact starter on the offensive line in the second round with Joe Tippmann. Pitt's Israel Abanikanda is one of the more exciting picks in their draft class — if he can live up to his athletic potential, the Jets may have a dominant one-two punch at running back. At the very least, he’ll make for an athletic backup running back who can still be a source of big plays when Breece Hall is out of the game. While the Jets didn’t get an offensive tackle at the top of the draft, they took a dice roll on Carter Warren in the fourth round who may wind up developing for them. He has the traits that NFL teams covet at tackle, but still needs to work on his actual skill level. The main thing knocking this grade is that the Jets could have gotten a player with a higher floor in the first round, but Will McDonald IV has upside through the roof. It just might take him a while to get there.
Favorite pick: Joe Tippmann, C, Wisconsin (43rd overall)
The Jets needed to continue to secure center depth even after re-signing Connor McGovern, and they might have found their long-term option at center in Tippmann. This rookie is on the taller side for a center, but he has the athleticism and technique to make it work for him. This was a strong pick for a team that needed to get better immediately at center and Tippmann has the potential to be the center in the post-Aaron Rodgers era.
Least favorite pick: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State (15th overall)
McDonald is a good player, and has an athletic profile that boosted his chances of getting drafted in the first round, but he still has ways to go before he’ll be ready to be a full-time NFL edge defender. Iowa State didn’t help him for his NFL development, putting him at defensive tackle for a good chunk of the time. McDonald has a great chance to end up as an impact pass rusher as he develops, but a team that wants to push for a Super Bowl this season could have used a player that was closer to a finished product.
Full Jets draft
Iowa State edge Will McDonald IV (R1, 15th overall)
Wisconsin C Joe Tippmann (R2, 43rd)
Pittsburgh OT Carter Warren (R4, 120th)
Pittsburgh RB Israel Abanikanda (R5, 143rd)
Western Michigan LB Zaire Barnes (R6, 184th)
LSU CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse (R6, 204th)
Old Dominion TE Zack Kuntz (R7, 220th)