Potential Trade-down Targets for the New York Jets

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Since the combine, there have been non-stop reports about the New York Jets and their desire to trade down from the third spot in the draft. If they do pull off a trade, who would they target? Below is what league insiders are telling me.

It should come as no surprise that the Jets are trying to trade down from the third slot in the draft. We first reported this story from Indianapolis, and ESPN Jets beat writer Rich Cimini wrote last week that the team will be all ears for any team interested in moving up. 

The team does not own a second-round selection, as it was part of the package of picks traded to the Indianapolis Colts last year to secure quarterback Sam Darnold. This could be a blessing in disguise considering the history of second-round choices made by the Jets in the past 25 years, but the team has a lot of holes to fill.

It may be a little more difficult for the Jets to trade down today than it was a month ago. 

They did not come out of free agency with the pass rusher they desperately need, and it may be tough to trade down if a dominant pass rusher is staring them in the face at No. 3.

The San Francisco 49ers pick second overall, and they filled their pass-rushing vacancy by trading for Dee Ford and are also expected to listen to trade offers. The Niners may accept less compensation for moving down then the Jets would demand.

Assuming the Jets make a trade, which players will they target?

Pass rusher and cornerback must eventually be addressed in the draft, but if they move down, sources tell me the team will target offensive linemen in Round 1. The names specifically given to me were left tackle Andre Dillard of Washington State and Jonah Williams of Alabama.

Dillard is the fastest-rising offensive tackle on draft boards, as we spoke about during last week’s podcast. There is talk he could land with the Buffalo Bills with the ninth selection, as the team would like to upgrade at left tackle.

With Darnold offering hope for the future, the Jets also need an upgrade at left tackle, as current starter Kelvin Beachum is in the final year of his three-year contract. 

Dillard would be a terrific long-term solution at the spot.

Opinions are split on whether Jonah Williams can handle left-tackle duties at the next level; I believe it will be difficult for him. But I do think Williams can be a terrific guard and possibly play center at the next level, two areas the where the Jets need upgrades in both the long and short term. 

Williams would be perfect for the outside zone-running game preferred by head coach Adam Gase, a blocking scheme that may now come into question after the signing of Le’Veon Bell, who’s much more of a power or gap runner.

Jonah Williams Scouting Report

Andre Dillard Scouting Report