In 2021, the New York Jets finished 25th in total sacks (33), 31st in interceptions (7), and forced a measly 14 total turnovers from opponents, which were the second-fewest in the National Football League last season. Those numbers have to improve if the team wants to take a step, so adding playmakers to the defense via the 2022 NFL Draft is vital. The first focus for the Jets should be adding depth to a thin pass-rushing unit.
Last season, the Jets were one of just two teams (Broncos) to not have a player register more than six sacks, as the team struggled to create consistent pressure off the edge all season long. Getting Carl Lawson back from injury will go a long way but the team still needs to add some young talent to the mix in the 2022 NFL Draft. Fortunately for the Jets, this year’s edge class is incredibly deep, so they could presumably land multiple pass rushers that can contribute right away.
Along with finding help off the edge, the New York Jets need to add players in the secondary that can create turnovers. Bryce Hall has become a nice young player on the boundary but he did not come down with an interception in 2021 despite having 16 pass deflections. In fact, the team secured just five interceptions all year from their defensive backs, so prioritizing playmaking in the secondary should be a high priority in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Top talents at cornerback like Derek Stingley Jr. and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner should be high on the New York Jets draft board, as both players have proven to have a penchant for coming down with the football. Notre Dame safety, Kyle Hamilton, could be another option, as some consider Hamilton to be the best player in the draft.
While the unknown of the NFL draft is always a little nerve-wracking for fans, the New York Jets are in a terrific position to land some premium talent at several key positions of need.