New York Jets 2022 NFL Draft Predictions: Strategies to maximize two top-10 picks

The New York Jets are one of the most exciting teams to think about in terms of NFL Draft predictions. What holes will they fill at 4 and 10?

The New York Jets finally seem to be on the right track after years of struggling, and two top-10 picks make their NFL Draft predictions all the more fun. And while New York has made some excellent moves since Joe Douglas walked in the door, there is much more to be done. That gives them a plethora of options.

New York Jets 2022 NFL Draft predictions

The Jets still have a lot of holes remaining on their roster. They did a good job filling some of the bigger ones during free agency, opening their options come Thursday of the NFL Draft. All three predictions will focus on the potential for different picks at No. 4 and how to complement that selection at 10.

Prediction 1: Safety Kyle Hamilton

Kyle Hamilton is the darling of many draft analysts. He’s been the best player on Notre Dame’s defense since he was a true freshman, and that team boasted NFL talent everywhere. There is no weakness in Hamilton’s game. Throw on 30 pounds, and he’s a 6-foot-4 pass rusher with 33-inch arms. He’s a unicorn. And in this NFL Draft prediction, he’s a New York Jet.

Sure, his speed and agility testing wasn’t freaky. Hamilton ran a 4.59 and had a disappointing 4.32 shuttle. But he boasts some of the best size ever for the position and was elite in explosive drills. We’ve seen his ridiculous range on full display. His speed is not an issue. He hasn’t shown an ability to rush the passer, but that would be a minor role for him at the next level. Hamilton can play in the box and cover as a split-field and single-high safety.

The Jets could pair him with a defensive complement, a wide receiver, or an offensive tackle at 10. The class is heavy up top at tackle and defensive end, and there’s a possibility they could also choose the top receiver in the class in this NFL Draft prediction.

Travon Walker, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jermaine Johnson II, and George Karlaftis could all be options. Maybe Charles Cross finds his way to pick 10, and the Jets can take another swing at left tackle if they don’t like their options there.

Prediction 2: Mekhi Becton out, Evan Neal/Ikem Ekwonu in

It doesn’t appear the relationship between Mekhi Becton and the Jets is going well. For now, it’s simply rumors about what could happen at left tackle this season in New York.

If the relationship is beyond repair and the Jets trade Becton, then drafting a left tackle becomes a necessity for the Jets. They must do everything to keep Zach Wilson upright and comfortable in any NFL Draft prediction.

Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu are different players. However, both offer athletic upside at the position and the flexibility of playing multiple positions. Both could be fits for Mike Lafleur’s rushing attack.

Hamilton shouldn’t be available here at 10, but with how the league devalues safety play, there’s a possibility the Jets arguably get the best player in the draft at 10. We shan’t count on that, though.

They could still take one of the receivers and throw assets on offense. Defensive end remains a possibility here as well.

However, there aren’t many teams with pressing cornerback needs either. If New York loves one of the cornerbacks, they should draft them. D.J. Reed has previous experience at free safety and the slot and could shift inside for this NFL Draft prediction.

Prediction 3: Kayvon Thibodeaux falls in their lap

It still boggles the mind that we could be going three straight seasons of having an elite Oregon prospect that gets dissected to a cellular level during the pre-draft process. The other two, Justin Herbert and Penei Sewell, are doing better than just okay.

Remember, Herbert wasn’t a good leader because he was quiet and a biology major. Sewell appeared to be a generational offensive tackle prospect who fell to seventh overall, behind a tight end and two wide receivers. All four of those players — including Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase, and Jaylen Waddle — ended up thriving as rookies, but given his positional value, Sewell should have already been gone.

Thibodeaux is next in line. And if he ends up available with the fourth pick like he is in this NFL Draft prediction, the Jets should sprint to the podium screaming his name.

That leaves no shortage of options to select from at pick 10. Tackle, cornerback, receiver, and even linebacker could all be options at 10. Linebacker is intriguing because the NFL values the position more than social media. If Nakobe Dean is the selection at 10, it would be mildly disappointing given what the board will most likely resemble, but he will be a good player.

New York Jets  2022 NFL Draft needs

Wide receiver, safety, pass rusher, and offensive tackle are all needs for New York. This class sets up perfectly for the Jets’ four top-40 picks. Between free agency and the draft, they could quickly fill the most glaring holes on the roster. All it takes is some progress from Wilson for the Jets to resemble a competent franchise for the first time since Rex Ryan.

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read more of his work here and follow him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch.

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read more of his work here and follow him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch.


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