New York Jets’ brass downplays unfamiliar reward for NFL draft class

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets, who have not completed too many issues proper over the previous decade, discovered themselves in an uncommon place close to the conclusion of the NFL draft on Saturday.

On the receiving finish of common reward.

As an alternative of taking a bow, coach Robert Saleh shrugged it off.

“I’ve additionally been in locations the place we have been universally mocked,” mentioned Saleh, recalling his time as a Seattle Seahawks assistant coach in 2012. “We took Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson within the first three rounds and we received a D grade, if I bear in mind proper.

“It would not matter. We have got to develop these younger males. They’ve to come back in they usually should carry out. We’ll know in about three years.”

The Jets walked away with seven gamers, together with 4 of the highest 36 picks. They used their unique first-round picks on Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and Ohio State extensive receiver Garrett Wilson, they usually traded into the underside of the primary spherical to pick Florida State defensive finish Jermaine Johnson II. They traded up within the second spherical for Iowa State operating again Breece Corridor.

Gardner, Wilson and Corridor have been regarded by many draft analysts as the most effective gamers at their respective positions.

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Basic supervisor Joe Douglas collected further draft capital by buying and selling security Jamal Adams and quarterback Sam Darnold in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Going into the draft, he mentioned the Jets had a chance to do “one thing particular.”

Douglas did not need to name it that when it was over, however he was clearly glad.

“A couple of issues have bounced our method when it comes to the draft, however we additionally made probably the most of our alternatives in including high quality gamers,” mentioned Douglas, who accomplished his third draft because the GM. “In the end, we’ll see the way it performs out within the subsequent couple of years.

“Nothing ever goes completely with the draft, however I really feel just like the final two years, issues have gone our method and we’re taking advantage of our alternatives.”

The Jets wanted an inflow of expertise after ending 4-13, their eleventh straight season out of the playoffs — the league’s longest lively drought.

After the highest 4 picks, the Jets added tight finish Jeremy Ruckert within the third spherical, capping the draft with a pair of fourth-round picks — sort out Max Mitchell and defensive finish Micheal Clemons. They began with 9 picks however have been left with a complete of seven choices after trades that allowed them to maneuver up for Johnson and Corridor.

One query that continues to be is the standing of 2020 first-round choose Mekhi Becton, who’s coming off knee surgical procedure and is not taking part within the offseason program. Hypothesis about him has been swirling for months. Saleh publicly lobbied Becton, who has handled weight points, to rejoin the crew.

“You need all of your guys to be right here,” Saleh mentioned of the offensive sort out. “It is voluntary, however I do know he is working his tail off in Dallas. We’ve got tabs on him. We all know precisely what he is doing and we all know the place he’s in his rehab.”

Glancing at a TV digicam, Saleh, smiling, mentioned, “We’d like to have you ever again right here, buddy. We’ll deal with you.”

Saleh put Becton on discover on the finish of the season, saying he must compete with George Fant to win again the left sort out job. On Saturday, he was evasive when requested about Becton’s position, hinting there’s an opportunity they may transfer him to proper sort out.

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