The New York Jets currently have the 3rd overall pick in this upcoming NFL Draft. The same spot where a year ago they selected franchise QB Sam Darnold. General Manager Mike Maccagnan moved up to the third spot from sixth overall; after acquiring via trade from the Indianapolis Colts. The trade ultimately paid off for the Jets since their long-search for a Franchise QB is finally over.
On the other side, Colts G.M. Chris Ballard decision to trade-down turned out to be an even better investment. Indianapolis only moved back three-spots and acquired three 2nd-Round picks from the Jets (two in 2018, one in 2019).The Colts used the Jets original sixth overall pick to select former Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. Nelson is the type-of-player you want to build your franchise around, and somebody who will 100% guaranteed provide elite protection for the entirety of QB Andrew Luck’s career.
Nelson, was selected as a Pro Bowl starter and has been the anchor that has transformed the offensive line. They also added another anchor to the line utilizing the first of the acquired Jets’ second round picks; to select Braeden Smith who turned out to be a very solid starting right tackle for them this season from the University of Auburn.
Ballard also used the other acquired Jets 2nd-Round pick to select LB Darius Leonard. Leonard, was an absolute-star this season for the Colts finishing with the most tackles in the NFL and their franchise history in a single season with 161 tackles. Leonard instantly helped rejuvenate on of the worst defenses in the league into a playoff-caliber defense.
With that being said, G.M. Mike Maccagnan recently saw first-hand a year ago the potential the value of trading down and acquiring move draft picks, in order to improve the overall talent within the organization. Maccagnan responded to the potential decision of doing something similar to what the Colts did if an opportunity presents itself.
“If there’s an opportunity for us to move back and acquire more picks, that’s definitely something we’d be potentially interested in.” –G.M, Mike Maccagnan on possibly trading down to acquire more picks.
Although, the Jets have an abundance of salary cap flexibility, they also have a glaring need at pretty much every single position besides QB. Besides acquiring free agents with years already under-their-belt; the easiest way to improve your overall roster is by enhancing the talent around the organization with more draft picks.
When a team like the Jets has consistently failed to meet expectations and to reach the playoffs, it is time to begin stocking up as many talented players as possible in order to have the most talented group of 52 possible especially under a new head coach.
The Team: Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers G.M. Brian Gutekunst made a lot of noise last season in his first-ever draft with control taking over for Ted Thompson. Gutekunst traded back with the New Orleans Saints to acquire the Saints first round selection in this upcoming draft (30th overall). He then traded again with the Seattle Seahawks to move back up to the 18th overall pick to select the CB Jaire Alexander.
This upcoming draft the Packers now will have two first round picks; at 12th and 30th overall (via Saints) which ultimately should be a huge negotiating-advantage for the Packers trying to move-up into the Top-10. The Packers should offer both first round picks, as well as possibly adding a mid-round pick as well if needed to the Jets to acquire the third overall pick.
This appears to be a perfect “win-win” scenario for both teams in which should instantly help improve both.
Why the Jets Should make the Trade:
Moving down to the 12th overall pick will allow the Jets to save a ton of money long-term; opposed to paying a player in the Top-5 price range. The Jets also have had many past experiences selecting around the Top-5, and also would have to eventually pay Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, and then another Top-5 pick this year once their rookie contracts run out.
The Jets have an extreme need at offensive line, so acquiring the 12th overall pick will still allow them to help fill that need with a top OL prospect such as former Alabama OT Jonah Williams. The also would acquire the original Saints 30th overall selection in the first round which they could add a RB like Josh Jacobs.
Why the Packers Should Make the Trade:
The Green Bay Packers have not had a Top-5 pick since 2006 went they drafted former LB A.J. Hawk. Green Bay’s past success has restricted them from ever being able to select a top-premier defensive talent at the top of the draft board. With new head coach Matt LaFleur, as well as the immediacy of winning now, opposed to re-building makes this perhaps their last potential shot at ever acquiring a Top-5 pick with Aaron Rodgers still as the quarterback.
The Packers have continued to add defensive players (mostly secondary) in the late-1st or early-2nd rounds, but adding an undisputed superstar within the front-seven of the defense could definitely be just what Green Bay needs in order to get them right back into the Super Bowl conversation.
If the Packers were to acquire the third overall pick it would guarantee them a Superstar; between either Ohio State DE Nick Bosa, Alabama DT Quinnen Williams, or Kentucky Edge Rusher Josh Allen. Each one of them in a different fashion would help transform Mike Pettine’s defense into being something special.
Adding Bosa or Williams to the 3-4 front alongside Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels would immediately be arguably one of the best starting defensive lines in football. Allen would dominate as a 3-4 outside linebacker pass-rusher comparable to Denver Broncos LB Von Miller. Allen would be a tremendous addition as well for the Packers, especially with the uncertainty of Clay Matthews future with the team as he will be a free agent, but either way Allen is a game-changer alike Bosa & Williams.
This seems like a perfect trade for both sides, Brian Gutekunst should highly consider having a discussion with Mike Maccagnan at the NFL Combine and make this trade happen.