New York Jets Top Five – NFL Draft Trade Down Scenarios

Joe Belic with five trade down scenarios for the New York Jets in 2020 NFL Draft

Uncertainty surrounding the 11th pick in the upcoming NFL draft has sparked much debate; who may or may not be available is anybody’s guess.  Trading back is always an option, but it’s a lot easier said than done. Regardless, let’s have some fun, rack our brains, and contemplate some potential trade down scenarios in this week’s, “Joe Jet 5.”  

First Scenario: Andrew Thomas, Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, and Jerry Jeudy are off the board, but CeeDee Lamb remains.

I expect the phone to be ringing off the hook if Lamb falls to the Jets at 11, and after much deliberation, Douglas deals him to…the Philadelphia Eagles.

Howie Roseman makes a call to his protégé, Joe Douglas, and orchestrates a trade that gives Carson Wentz the number one receiver, he desperately needs. The Eagles lack at cornerback, but finding Wentz playmakers in the passing game trumps all other needs.  

Yes, the Jets are also in the market for a top-flight WR, but they aren’t in the position to make luxury selections, and the additional picks are too good to pass up with multiple holes throughout the roster.  

  • Jets trade pick 11 to the Eagles for the 21st selection, a second-round pick (2020), and 4th rounder in 2021 
  • Philly selects CeeDee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma) at 11 and Jets draft Tyler Biadasz (C, Wisconsin) at 21

With this trade, Gang Green fills a significant need along the OL, adds a dynamic receiver (J. Reagor) in the second round to boost the passing game, and a future pick to aid in roster construction.  

Jets Mock Draft: 

Rnd. 1 (pick 21) – Tyler Biadasz (C, Wisconsin)

Rnd. 2 – Jalen Reagor (WR, TCU) 

Rnd. 2 (from Philly) – Lucas Niang (OT, TCU) 

Rnd. 3 – K.J. Hamler (WR, Penn State)

Rnd. 3 – Netane Muti (G, Fresno State)

Rnd. 4 – Darrell Taylor (Edge, Tennessee)

Rnd. 5 – Chase Lucas (CB, Arizona State)

Rnd. 6 – A.J. Green (CB, Oklahoma State)

Rnd. 7 – Ben Bartch (G, St. John’s)

I want to make this clear, Cee Dee Lamb is a singular talent, and I’d have no issue with Douglas selecting him with the 11th pick; however, the offensive line should be the main priority and using Lamb to fill other needs would be a wise decision.  

Second Scenario: Andrew Thomas, Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, Jerry Jeudy, and CeeDee Lamb are all gone with the Jets on the clock.  

Quarterback, Jordan Love (Utah State), is a prospect fans should familiarize themselves with.  As the draft approaches, don’t be surprised if his name is mentioned as a possible top ten pick, and the NFL’s potential infatuation with Love could land the Jets in a sweet spot.  The Raiders (12), Colts (13), and Buccaneers (14) may all have an interest in the talented signal-caller.  

The Buccaneers, in particular, are a team I’d pay close attention too.  Love could be the insurance policy Bruce Arians is looking for in the event Winston only puts up the latter half of his 30 for 30 next season. Love and Arians are an excellent match, and Tampa would be a great place to start his career.

The Raiders are most likely targeting a WR, CB, or linebacker Isaiah Simmons—if he falls—although nobody knows for sure what Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are thinking, which could work in the Jets’ favor. It would make sense for the Colts to work with the Jets (whom they have an existing relationship with) as opposed to waiting on the Raiders, since they could draft a QB themselves or ship the pick to Tampa Bay. 

In this particular scenario, I have the Jets moving back two spots and making a trade with the Colts, whom willingly sacrifice a third-rounder to secure their signal-caller of the future.  Love can learn behind Brissett (for the time being) and finds himself in the perfect place to maximize his skill set. In the end, for the Jets, “Love is all you need.” 

  • Jets trade number 11 to the Colts for the 13th pick and a third-rounder (2020) 
  • With the eleventh pick, the Colts select Quarterback Jordan Love (Utah State)
  • Douglas begins construction of his wall with a foundational piece, and with the 13th pick in the NFL draft the New York Jets select Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville)
  • Other prospects Jets should contemplate at 13: AJ Epenesa (Edge), Yetur Gross-Matos (Edge), K’Lavon Chaisson (Edge), Kristian Fulton (CB), Trevon Diggs (CB), Isaiah Simmons (S/LB), Henry Ruggs III (WR), and Laviska Shenault (WR)   

The Jets come out of this deal with an additional third-round pick (3 altogether) and an absolute mammoth (6’7” 369 lbs.) of an offensive lineman.  Some might consider Becton a reach at this point, but I think as April nears, he’ll firmly cement himself as a top 15 prospect.  

Mock draft: 

Rnd. 1 (pick 13) – Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville)

Rnd. 2 – Nick Harris (C, Washington)

Rnd. 3 – Jaylon Johnson (CB, Utah)

Rnd. 3 (from Indy) – Tyler Johnson (WR, Minnesota)

Rnd. 3 – Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, USC)

Rnd. 4 – Joshua Uche (Edge, Michigan)

Rnd. 5 – Ezra Cleveland (OT, Boise State)

Rnd. 6 – Denzel Mims (WR, Baylor)

Rnd. 7 – Tremayne Anchrum (G, Clemson)

Third scenario: Thomas (Giants), Wills (Cleveland), and Lamb (Cardinals) are off the board, but Wirfs and Jeudy are both available.

Wirfs and Jeudy still on the board? It seems unlikely, but crazier things have happened, and this could put the Jets in a unique position to fill a major need and obtain draft capital simultaneously.

Remember, we are contemplating trade back scenarios.  I understand the vast majority of people—including myself—would draft Jeudy (at 11) without hesitation. Still, with Wirfs on the board and the OL in dire straits, Douglas would have to field calls, and it wouldn’t shock me if he (who comes from a culture that stresses building upfront) pulled the trigger on a trade.    

  • The Jets trade the 11th pick to the Raiders for the 12th selection and a third-rounder in 2020 and 2021. 
  • With the 11th pick, the Raiders select Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)
  • Jets select Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa)

According to the NFL trade value chart, the Raiders overpay for moving up a spot, but willingly give up one of their three third-round picks in 2020 and a third-rounder next season to acquire arguably the best WR in the draft.  Derek Carr gets his number one, Raiders obtain the player they hope will make the difference in the win column, and Las Vegas receives a superstar the whole city can rally around.  

The Jets select one of the big three OL at 12 (a player they could only hope would fall to them at 11), obtain a future third-rounder, and add to their arsenal of third-round picks in the 2020 draft. 

Mock Draft: 

Rnd. 1 (pick 12) – Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa)

Rnd. 2 – Solomon Kindley (G, Georgia)

Rnd. 3 – K.J. Hamler (WR, Penn State)

Rnd. 3 – Cesar Ruiz (C, Michigan)

Rnd. 3 (from Raiders) – Zach Baun (Edge, Wisconsin)

Rnd. 4 – Gabriel Davis (WR, UCF)

Rnd. 5 – Lavert Hill (CB, Michigan)

Rnd. 6 – Troy Pride Jr. (CB, Notre Dame)

Rnd. 7 – D.J. Wonnum (Edge, South Carolina)

Fourth Scenario: Thomas, Wirfs, Wills, Jeudy, and Lamb are all selected when it’s time for the Jets to pick, but Isaiah Simmons (S/LB) is available. 

Could you imagine if the Saints had Simmons for that last play during wild card weekend? Well, I have to assume Simmons would have kept Kyle Rudolph under wraps, and another team may be playing in the NFC championship.   

Isaiah Simmons (S/LB) is the most versatile prospect in the upcoming draft—a figurative Swiss army knife that can do it all.  Many mocks I’ve seen have him going no later than 9th to the Jaguars, but it’s plausible he falls to the Jets and is used as trade bait to lure a team (like the Saints) looking for a unique playmaker.  

The Saints didn’t hesitate to make a trade for Marcus Davenport two seasons ago, and once Simmons falls out of the top 10, New Orleans should make the call. The Saints are set on offense with Brees, Thomas, and Kamara, but are missing that one piece on defense that could reopen the window on Brees’ Super Bowl hopes. 

  • The Saints go all-in on Simmons and trade pick 24, a first-rounder in 2021, and a fourth-round pick in 2020
  • Saints draft Isaiah Simmons (S/LB, Clemson) in the 11th spot
  • Jets select Laviska Shenault (WR, Colorado) at 24

Shenault is as much a unicorn on offense as Simmons is on defense; he’s a multifaceted playmaker well worth the selection at 24.  With this deal, the Jets gain a future first pick, an excellent man cover corner (Jeff Gladney), and fill major needs along the offensive line.

Mock Draft: 

Rnd. 1 (pick 24) – Laviska Shenault (WR, Colorado)

Rnd. 2 – Lucas Niang (OT, TCU)

Rnd. 3 – Jeff Gladney (CB, TCU)

Rnd. 3 – Cesar Ruiz (C, Michigan)

Rnd. 4 – Joshua Uche (Edge, Michigan)

Rnd. 4 (from Saints) – Hakeem Adeniji (G, Kansas)

Rnd. 5 – Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR, Liberty)

Rnd. 6 – Matthew Peart (OT, UConn)

Rnd. 7 – Scott Frantz (OT, Kansas St.)

Fifth Scenario: Thomas, Wirfs, Wills, Jeudy, and Lamb are, once again, all gone. 

The Raiders and Colts could both target a WR with their first selections, and that could force John Elway to ship one of his three third-round picks to ensure his young QB (Drew Lock) gets the remaining WR Elway most covets.   

  • Jets trade the 11th pick to the Broncos for number 15 and a third-rounder (pick 83) in 2020 
  • The Denver Broncos select (pick 11) Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama)

Cortland Sutton looks like the real deal, but with Emmanuel Sanders donning a new uniform, the Broncos need a player on the opposing side who complements him in the passing game, and Ruggs is a perfect match.  Ruggs can lineup in the slot or the outside (Z), and he’s one of the most dynamic players in the draft. I fully expect his stock to skyrocket after the NFL combine, and he’s a legit trade up candidate.

I’m all about fixing the OL, but it doesn’t necessarily have to start in round one.  For the sake of diversity and exploring other options, let’s begin with one of my favorite edge rushers and see how the rest of the draft plays out.

Mock Draft: 

Rnd. 1 (pick 15) – Yetur Gross-Matos (Edge, Penn State)

Rnd. 2 – Prince Tega Wanogho (OT, Auburn)

Rnd. 3 – Cameron Dantzler (CB, Mississippi St.)

Rnd. 3 – Lloyd Cushenberry (G, LSU)

Rnd. 3 (from Broncos) – Jake Hanson (C, Oregon)

Rnd. 4 – Gabriel Davis (WR, UCF)

Rnd. 5 – Van Jefferson (WR, Florida)

Rnd. 6 – Yasir Durant (OT, Missouri)

Rnd. 7 – Tariq Castro-Fields (CB, Penn State)

I was skeptical of selecting an edge in round one, but I’m be pleased with the result. Gross-Matos can play DE in a 4-3 and OLB in a 3-4; he’s a perfect fit for the Jets, and his relentless motor off the edge is something this defense—and the fans—desperately need. In addition, Wanogho is a high upside tackle who fits well in the current system, Gabriel Davis is a hidden gem at WR, and with the extra pick (via trade) the potential to shore up the center position (with Hanson) is there.