The New York Jets appear to have no intention of trading their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Green Bay Packers for Aaron Rodgers. But that doesn’t mean the Jets won’t deal the No. 13 overall selection in other scenarios.
It appears the Packers are not pushing for the Jets to include their top pick in a Rodgers trade. So, that’s good news for New York, though it hasn’t necessarily helped speed up trade talks. There remain obstacles before the Jets inevitably land the 39-year-old quarterback. And it’s believed a deal will be consummated before the start of the draft on April 27.
The Jets could have their sights set on one of three offensive tackles to select in the first round. Our 2023 NFL Mock Draft has the Jets selecting Paris Johnson Jr. of Ohio State with the No. 13 pick. Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski and Georgia’s Broderick Jones would also be excellent options with this selection.
Paris Johnson Jr. can move like a TIGHT END 😳
The Ohio State tackle allowed just three sacks across three seasons.
One of, if not the best OL in this year’s NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/KuH2kz2IC6
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) March 30, 2023
But there are scenarios when moving the No. 13 pick makes sense for the Jets. Let’s examine why the Jets must trade back in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Scenario 1: The top 3 tackles are off the board before Jets pick at No. 13
This is a very real scenario. Many mock drafts have Johnson, Skoronski, and Jones each being selected before the No. 13 overall pick rolls around. If that happens, the Jets very well could trade back if they believe they can fill a need at offensive tackle or interior of the defensive line later in the first round. Of course, they’d also add an extra pick or two, including one on Day 2. The Jets currently have six picks in the 2023 draft, three in the first two rounds.
New York could also trade back to select Alabama safety Brian Branch or Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson. Each is a solid player, projected to be available later in the first round. And the Jets have a need at each position.
Brian Branch All-22 🎥 #RollTide pic.twitter.com/ahcORuwiTU
— Slim 🥷 (@ayeslim_) April 10, 2023
However, their bigger needs are offensive tackle and defensive line. If they move back, the Jets probably would be happy to land Tennessee tackle Darnell Wright. However, his stock is rising and he may not be available. The Jets selecting Wright at 13 feels like a reach, though. So, there’s a risk of overreaching to fill a need or missing out on another first-round option.
NY also needs to find a team looking to move up in the first round. There’ve been reports that their MetLife Stadium neighbors, the Giants, could be an interested trade partner.
However, if one of Johnson, Skoronski, or Jones remains on the board when the No. 13 pick is up, it’s fair to believe the franchise will hold firm and select one of the top tackles in the draft.
Scenario 2: New York needs to restock after trading multiple picks for Aaron Rodgers
Should the Jets complete a trade for Rodgers ahead of this year’s draft, there’s the chance multiple picks are sent to the Packers. The Jets have two second-round selections (Nos. 42 and 43) and at least one likely will be moved for Rodgers. There’s the chance each is included in a Rodgers trade or one second-rounder and a Day 3 pick.
Let’s say New York deals away two picks in the Rodgers trade, including a second-rounder. That would leave the Jets with four selections in this year’s draft. Rodgers would upgrade the QB position but there’d remain several other holes to fill on the Jets roster.
So, the Jets could try to trade a player, say wide receiver Corey Davis, for a 2023 pick. But it’s more likely they’d trade back to accumulate other picks.
In fact, the Jets may not only trade back in the first round but perhaps in the second round, too. With long-term issues at tackle, center and defensive tackle, and safety and linebacker also needing to be addressed, picks are going to be gold for New York in the 2023 draft.
A Rodgers trade might drain that pool and the only way to refill it would be to trade back in the first round and perhaps later, as well.