Jets NFL Mock Draft 1.0: “Sauce” Gardner, George Karlaftis

We’re three weeks away from the NFL draft. time to mock. In our last mock draft last year, we got four of the Jets selections right – Zach Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore and Michael Carter (the running back). Let’s see if we can get that close again. This is our first crack in designing the jets. We’ll be back each week to try again until the April 28th draft.

We used Pro Football Focus’ draft simulator to help us, and here’s what we came up with for the Jets’ 2022 draft:

Round 1 (No. 4 overall) – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

I think Robert Saleh would rather take an edge rusher here, but Kavon Thibodeaux comes in with plenty of questions and Travon Walker’s lack of production in college is scary. Sauce Gardner is a lockdown corner and gives the defense a nice tandem with DJ Reed.

Round 1 (No. 10 overall) – George Karlaftis, DE/OLB, Purdue

Wide receiver is tempting here, but there will be receivers available in the second round that can make an impact. Karlaftis is currently the top edge rusher available and will give the Jets a complement to Carl Lawson on the other side. Saleh’s defense is all about putting pressure on the quarterback. Karlaftis can do that.

Jets NFL draft
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, George Karlaftis
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Round 2 (No. 35 overall) – Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

The Jets need to keep adding at the wide receiver. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Joe Douglas makes a trade for a proven receiver before or during the draft. If not, expect him to design one. Moore was very productive in college. He had 95 catches for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns for Western Michigan last year.

Round 2 (No. 38 overall) – Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin

Linebacker is an underestimated necessity for the Jets. After CJ Mosley, they don’t have many proven players. Chenal could gain depth in the position and eventually become a regular. He led the nation’s top-rated defense last year. He had 18.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, 115 tackles and two forced fumbles in 11 games. He was named a second-team All-American and was linebacker of the year in the Big 10.

Round 3 (No. 69 overall) – Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State

The Jets have a solid offensive line early on, but they have to deal with depth. Lucas is a former 6-foot-6 basketball player who can back George Fant and Mekhi Becton.

Round 4 (No. 111 overall) – Dohnovan West, C, Arizona State

Douglas goes on the offensive on back-to-back picks. West was a three-year starter for the Sun Devils and can back up Connor McGovern for a year and then potentially become a Year 2 starter.

Dohnovan West
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Round 4 (No. 117 overall) – Matthew Butler, DL, Tennessee

The Jets lost Folorunso Fatukasi in freehand and now need to find someone to develop in the position the way they developed Fatukasi. Butler had 47 tackles, 8.5 for losses and five sacks for the Volunteers last year. Saleh loves defenders and the Jets need to add to the position.

Round 5 (No. 146 overall) – ZaQuandre White, HB, South Carolina

White began his career in Florida State, spending time at fullback and running back. He would be an immediate contribution to special teams and then a potential part of the running back rotation.

Round 5 (No. 163 overall) – Sterling Weatherford, S, Miami (Ohio)

The Jets got a close look at Weatherford in the Senior Bowl, where he impressed. The 6-foot-3 Weatherford could slip into a linebacker role instead of playing safety like the Jets did last year with Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen. Jets NFL Mock Draft 1.0: “Sauce” Gardner, George Karlaftis


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