Will the Jets trade up?
Finally draft day is here, just under eight more hours of speculation and smokescreens left. Speaking of speculation and smokescreens, according to multiple reports the Jets are considering trading up in the first round with the assumption being the target is LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
I know many of you are screaming ’smokescreen’ and thinking if the Jets actually wanted to do this then we wouldn’t be hearing about it considering the way John Idzik keeps everything so close to the vest, but the thing is there’s no way to keep this quiet. If a team starts making calls about trading up the teams they call will start talking to everyone else trying to drive up the price tag. Of course just because the Jets have made inquiring phone calls doesn’t mean they are determined to trade up, they could very well just be trying to get a feel for the cost of moving up certain spots just incase a scenario presents itself where trading up some makes sense. It’s called due diligence, doesn’t mean it will happen but it could.
I don’t see the Jets making any huge leap forwards, but if they really have their sights set on Beckham or even one of the corners, Dennard or Fuller, and are convinced they won’t last until 18 I could certainly see them being willing to move up a few spots to get their guy. Just a few spots though, I can’t see them putting togethers a package to move up to the top 10.
The Jets 18th pick is worth 900 points (on the draft value chart), the 11th pick (held by the Titans) is worth 1,250 points. If the Jets wanted to trade up to 11 (Titans) they would have to swap the number 18 pick plus make up 350 points on the draft value chart. That could be their second round pick (410 points) or a third (190 points) and their two tradable fourth round picks (86 and 64 points respectively). Or they could throw in a pick next year and make all this math even more confusing.
That’s not quite as steep a price as I originally thought for moving up seven spots so early in the draft, but it’s still a steeper price than I imagine Idzik is willing to pay. With such a deep draft class I can’t see Idzik parting with the second rounder or two or three of their third and fourth round picks. All the players the Jets are likely to covet in the first would be great selections, but not worth giving the opportunity to draft two or three more players in the first half of the draft.
After the Titans the draft value chart goes like this, 12th) 1,200, 13th) 1,150 14th) 1,100 15th) 1,050 16th) 1,000 17th) 950.
So, if the Jets do want to trade up to 14 and swap first rounders with the Bears they’d only need to come up with an extra 200 points which could be either their third rounder and a seventh or two of the tradable fourths and a sixth. That sounds like something that Idzik might think about, depending on just how much higher the grade for the player they are targeting is over the next best player at the position. The issue with that is will the player they covet still be there at 14?
It’s become increasingly certain Beckham won’t be there at 18 and it’s starting to look like he might not make it out of the top 10-12 so, all this math, phone calls and due diligence could all be for naught. Unless the smokescreen is that they aren’t interested in Beckham but someone else like Dennard or Fuller if they don’t think one of them will last until 18.
Many fans will be irate if they trade up in the first to draft a corner, but there are two top-end corners in this draft and if the Jets want one of them (and they should) they might have to move up to do so. The Jets would obviously love Clowney, Watkins, Evans or Mack, but they certainly won’t be trading up high enough for those guys and the only players I can see the Jets having enough interest in trading up for is Beckham, Dennard and Fuller.
They have 12 picks in this draft, but they won’t be taking 12 rookies to the regular season roster. So, I do expect to see the Jets trade at least a pick or two, but that doesn’t mean it will happen in the first round. The most likely scenario for the Jets trading up still remains in rounds two and three, those are the rounds where they can sit back and wait for a player they love to drop to a certain spot so they can swoop in and snatch them up without giving up too many picks. They could also trade down, they could trade down in the first or they could trade down in later rounds and pick up extra picks for next year.
I only say all of this obviousness to point out that the Jets have options, many different options that would make sense, what they decide to do will depend on how the board starts falling before them and in eight hours we will finally see players coming of the board and the clock ticking down on the Jets.