NFL Draft – New York Jets Trade Options At Tackle

Michael Meegan with a look at two trade back options for the New York Jets at tackle

The New York Jets have to prepare for a scenario where none of the consensus top four tackles are available at #11. It has been widely speculated that Joe Douglas will not take receiver in round 1, no matter what so if this scenario happens expect the Jets to try to trade back. Here are two other tackles they could target if they trade back…

Austin Jackson, USC- A two-year starter for USC at left tackle. Jackson is a very raw prospect with exceptional athleticism,, in a big 6”5, 320-pound frame. These traits, as well as his very young age (20 years old) make Jackson an intriguing developmental prospect. His game tape leaves a lot to be desired as he was too often beat due to his lack of play strength and spotty technique. He especially struggled against top competition, as his worst games were against Iowa and Utah.  Jackson’s sister needed a bone marrow this past summer and Jackson stepped up to do so. Some have attributed that to a possible reason for why Jackson had some struggles this year and it shows the kind of person Jackson is that he was willing to make that sacrifice.  Jackson has some appealing traits but he is a guy who could struggle as a starter right out of the gate. 

Josh Jones, Houston– Jones was a four year starter at Houston and has been on a steady rise this draft season since his impressive Senior Bowl.  Jones is another raw prospect who has shown great physical traits while lacking technique. Jones has ideal strength and athleticism and was rock solid in pass protection this past year.  His technique however needs major work and he was able to mask it against lower competition at Houston but will not be able to do that at the next level. With likely no rookie minicamp and OTAs, it is going to be really hard for Jones to be competent to start from day 1. 

Jackson and Jones are both intriguing athletic linemen, who if given time to develop can become high level NFL starters. However, the Jets do not have the luxury of letting this happen if they are serious about surrounding Sam Darnold with the most talent possible. If the Jets trade down from #11, selecting one of these two may not provide much immediate value in 2020.