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By: Billy Riccette
The New York Jets are in the middle of a fantastic and pleasantly surprising season, enjoying their bye week at 6-3 and perhaps starting to think about the playoffs in their not-so-distant future.
While that may be the case, it’s also doesn’t hurt to keep one eye on the future that’s a bit more distant than the playoffs and starting eyeing some prospects that could be in play for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Luke Easterling over at our sister site, Draft Wire, whipped up a fresh, two-round mock for the midway point of the season. With the Jets currently holding a playoff spot, the Jets aren’t as high in the draft order as previous years, but fans will certainly take that trade off for ending an 11-year playoff drought.
In this mock, the Jets add help at a position group that has been ravaged by injuries this season, the offensive line.
The Jets in this mock, at pick 25, select Jaelyn Duncan, offensive tackle, Maryland.
Duncan is a redshirt senior, listed at 6’6” and 320 pounds. He has appeared in every game during his time at Maryland, staring all but three games since the start of the 2019 season, including all eight so far this season.
Injuries have ravaged this offensive line, leaving the Jets with more questions than answers at both tackle spots. Duncan has tons of upside thanks to his athleticism and physical tools, and could end up playing on the right side if Mekhi Becton is able to return to full strength.
You certainly hope Becton can return to full health, but Duncan would at least give you quite the insurance policy if he can’t. But if he can, that’s two strong bookend tackles with Alijah Vera-Tucker back on the inside. Suddenly, the Jets have some depth at the line.
Then in the second round, the Jets head to the defensive side of the ball and take Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders.
Sanders is currently the team leader for the Razorbacks with 7.5 sacks and second on the team with 74 tackles. He has also forced three fumbles which also leads the team. The Alabama transfer can be a nice addition to an already impressive edge-rushing group for the Jets and can also play in coverage as well, as he has started taking on more of a hybrid role with Arkansas.
It’s certainly early, and a lot can change, but never a bad idea to start building a list of prospects for the future and Duncan and Sanders are a good place to start.
Originally posted on Jets Wire