Pigskin’s 2023 NFL Draft Team Grades J-E-T-S

May 12, 2023

Jets, Jets, Jets!    So, by now most JETS fans have at least halfway descended back down to Mother Earth after their pre-Draft high based on the RODGERS trade officially done . The team’s Draft is still in the background shadow of Savior AARON RODGERS and his descent into the Big Apple. They have their QB for now (I predict 2 seasons barring injury) and are retooling their roster to make a serious Play-Off push.

So let’s take a hopefully objective look at what GM JOE DOUGLAS did in the Draft.

Round 1, Pick 15     WILL McDONALD    ER      Iowa State  6’4/240   PP Rank 34      Yes I think it was a bit soon at Pick 15, but I will not deny that if you only measure his attitude, athleticism and skill to rush the passer, then it’s just what DOUGLAS & SALEH were looking for. His 5 Sacks last season look bit slight, but he played for a marginal defense last season and he will likely have more success with the talent surrounding  him in NYC in that JETS D.

Round 2, Pick 43    JOE TIPPMANN    OC    Wisconsin     6’6/315    PP Rank 44         So pretty much dead-on with my thinking about where TIPPMANN deserved to go. He’s a bit tall for the OC spot, but he is way more athletic than most guys snapping the ball. His wing span is over 80″. If you watch tape of him as a Badger you will notice him pulling quite often and sealing off defenders from getting to the ball carrier. His weakest point may be his pass-pro skill. He is likely to start right away, but even if he needs coaching up he will still likely be their best OC since a guy named MANGOLD retired eventually. McGOVERN is no slouch as starting OC and RODGERS may prefer him to the Rookie.

Round 4, Pick 120      CARTER WARREN    OT     Pitt    6’5/325    PP Rank 175      WARREN lost much of his 2022 season to injury. If not for that injury I would have rated him higher, and he might have gone in Round 3. He must have checked out well at the Combine Medical to go this high. Needs more strength to battle DL at NFL level, but he’s a 4-year starter for the Panthers, with 35 3/8″ long arms. He might turn into the guy they thought they were getting when they drafted BECTON.

Round 5, Pick 143     ISRAEL ABANIKANDA    RB     Pitt     5’10/215      PP Rank  122     Welcome the Brooklyn native back home JETS fans. Rushed for 1431 yards last Fall. Not a speedster, nor does he have great after contact balance to stay on his feet after being hit. But he is quick to the hole and sees the open field well. Might get better with pro level coaching and training, but he’s a solid addition to the RB room of HALL & CARTER. Good value in Round 5.

Round 6, Pick 184    ZAIRE BARNES      LB    Western Michigan   6’2/230     PP Rank  191     A solid all around MAC defender. Not highly regarded as a pro prospect, but then again has been a very productive and dependable player.  I was glad to see him gets elected and he may serve the JETS  capably in multiple roles.

Round 6, Pick 204     JARRICK BERNARD-CONVERSE   DB    LSU   6’1/195    PP Rank 161   It amazes me how many WR & DB LSU turns out for the NFL, almost every year. It feels like we are talking 5-6 prospects per year for those two positional groups. He might be athletic enough for the Corner, but would certainly fit easily at S. He should also find fits 0n Special Teams unit. The JETS DB room is kinda crowded but he might slip onto a Developmental Squad spot as a Rookie.

Round7, Pick 220    ZACK KUNTZ    TE     Old Dominion   6’7/255    PP Rank 91     I confess, that being a big believer in athleticism I had this guy in Round 3 after he exploded athletically at the Combine. How about 10 1/4″ hands and 34″ arms. He also ran a 4.55/40  at 255 lbs. But he is a bit stiff and his game is raw in spots. If the JETS can just be patient and coach the heck out of him he could make a run at a TE2  spot in time. Great Pick based on talent, now they must make him into a real football player.


I know that JETS fans have been skeptical (to say the least) about JOE DOUGLAS as their team’s GM, but I like the way he works and evaluates talent. He and his staff worked diligently to maneuver the minefield that was recruiting AARON RODGERS to theBig Apple. But he got it done and without giving up the farm in Draft Picks.

Grade: B+     They get this grade because I included RODGERS as the biggest part of this Draft. That means next year’s Draft grade will  stand alone on its merit even if they owe the PACKERS  their 1st Round Pick. But if the team gets into the Play-Offs most JETS fans won’t care.