Where does NY Jets GM Joe Douglas rank among NFL GMs?

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By: Rivka Boord

Joe Douglas is now heading into his fourth draft with the New York Jets. How does he rank as a general manager?

There’s nothing like a good ranking to stir some serious controversy.

The NFL offseason is the time of rankings. We rank draft prospects, mock drafts, consensus big boards, best player available, best value available, best quarterback fits, and so much more. If an analyst wants to be creative, they can tap into other rankings even during draft season.

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal ranked the NFL general managers based on their performance with their current team. He required that the GM have at least two prior drafts with the team, eliminating seven newer faces.

Since the New York Jets‘ general manager, Joe Douglas, is heading into his fourth draft with the team, he was included in the rankings. Out of 25 ranked GMs, Douglas was ranked 16th, or below average.

Here is what Rosenthal had to say about Douglas:

Give Douglas credit for setting up a team that looks to be only a quarterback away … while not forgetting that every quarterback decision Douglas has made thus far has been wrong, from keeping Sam Darnold for one last miserable season to drafting Zach Wilson with the second overall pick. The terms of the presumptive Aaron Rodgers trade remain to be seen, but it can be a totally sensible move and one borne of desperation at the same time.

Drafting both Rookies of the Year in 2022 — along with Breece Hall! — will forever be on Douglas’ bio, a haul that will float the Jets for years after a couple ragged classes under Douglas. His free agency work has been strong as well, with D.J. Reed and Duane Brown among the wins. The defense is stacked and the offensive line has improved. Douglas isn’t ranked higher because the team has gone 13-37 after Douglas’ first three complete offseasons, but it sure looks like the Jets are ready to turn a corner.

Fair analysis?

It is likely that a certain segment of the Jets’ fan base will riot over this ranking. When you remove the green-colored glasses, it’s fair to say that this ranking may be a bit low, but it’s not out of the range of where Douglas belongs.

In my analysis, Douglas would rank dead-average as a general manager, making him around 12th or 13th of those 25 GMs. Rosenthal hit on some of the big losses, although blaming Douglas for keeping Darnold in 2020 is Monday-morning quarterbacking, in my opinion.

Calling Duane Brown a win in free agency is also a stretch. D.J. Reed was a big win, but Laken Tomlinson looks like a huge loss so far.

Douglas’ main claims to fame are an excellent and promising 2022 draft and smart spending to eliminate the worst of Mike Maccagnan’s excesses. 2023 will be pivotal for his legacy and future with the Jets, though.

Below Belichick?

One noticeably strange ranking is that of the Patriots’ Bill Belichick. It’s fairly well known at this point that Belichick may be the greatest coach of all time, but his personnel decisions are suspect. His tiff with Mac Jones is reportedly becoming more contentious, and his inability to hit on a wide receiver in the draft since Julian Edelman has cost the team.

Belichick deserves tremendous credit for his continued ability to churn out gems in the mid-to-late rounds and UDFA pool, such as Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Rhamondre Stevenson, and many others. However, the Patriots are widely considered the basement of the AFC East and have the least talented roster. The blame for that can fall only on Belichick’s shoulders, as he makes all the decisions within the organization.

To rank Belichick above Douglas as a general manager is disingenuous, in my opinion. Separate the GM from the coach, and I don’t think it’s particularly close, either.

What do you think, Jets fans? Is 16 out of 25 an accurate ranking for Douglas? Should Belichick be ranked higher than him?

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