Joe Douglas: We have to make the most of these opportunities with these assets

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The Jets have made a habit out of trading their former first-round picks.

Since General Manager Joe Douglas arrived after the 2019 draft, the club has traded 2015 first-round pick Leonard Williams, 2017 first-round pick Jamal Adams, and now 2018 first-round pick Sam Darnold. And while it happened just before Douglas’ tenure began, New York also sent 2016 first-round pick Darron Lee to the Chiefs.

Trading Williams, Adams, and Darnold has set up the Jets well, as they currently have 20 selections combined in the 2021 and 2022 drafts. It’s worth noting 2019 and 2020 first rounders Quinnen Williams and Mekhi Becton remain with the team and have displayed promise. But consistently dumping former first-round picks for draft capital isn’t an ideal way of doing business.

“When I walked in this building in June 2019, I never thought we’d be sitting here and talking about what you just said — trading Leonard, trading Jamal. I know Darron Lee was traded before i even took this job, and now Sam,” Douglas said on Tuesday, via SNY. “We want to be a great team that drafts, develops, and retains their players, not draft develop and trade. But like I said earlier, you try to take the information you have at hand and try to make the best decision that you can moving forward. And ultimately, these decisions were made.

“We were able to acquire assets to help us moving forward. We’ve only had the opportunity to turn the card in on one of those assets, when we took Ashtyn Davis last year in the third round. So like I said earlier, we have to make the most of these opportunities with these assets.”

Davis’ selection came from a third-round pick received from the Giants in exchange for Leonard Williams. Among the highlights, New York has extra first-round selections in each of the next two drafts from the Adams trade to Seattle. And now the club has an extra second-round pick coming in 2022 for sending Darnold to Carolina.

But Douglas is right — the Jets have to hit on the majority of those selections in order to turn the franchise into a consistent winner. And maybe then they’ll retain more of their top picks on long-term second contracts.

6 responses to “Joe Douglas: We have to make the most of these opportunities with these assets

  1. Yes, it is nice that they have all these draft picks but if past history is any gauge it won’t mean a thing since they don’t keep the players, for whatever reason or they make bad choices. The most risky pick is a first round QB! Their fans support the team and are passionate so they deserve more than what they have been getting. I hope that changes.

  2. Who can’t like the Saleh choice? But man there are some more long years ahead for Jets fans.

  3. A terrible way to run a franchise. Their players rarely reach their prime playing years and are either traded early on or not signed to a 2nd contract. A terribly mismanaged franchise. Even Dallas and Cincinnati are better run than this.

  4. You’re the Jets so that means that you won’t. Time to ruin another QBs career.

  5. I’m disappointed in Douglas. I don’t see any improvement in the offense line or running back. Wide receiver may be marginal better than two or three years ago. Is Douglas thinking he can get two starting offensive linemen in the draft? His draft last year was average at best. If the tackle played anywhere but NY nobody would have heard of him.
    We love the highlight blocks but his overall grades were average. Nobody else had an impact at all. Trading Darnold resets the salary cap but almost ensures another two to three years of average to below average play. Douglas had better hope that coaching can make chicken salad out of this chick crap. I’m really down on the whole organization from ownership down.

  6. While I understand the concept of “draft capital” (and the financial reality that draft choices are cheap) I don’t agree with this move. Darnold WAS cheap and even the 5th year option was CHEAP for a quality (which Darnold had yet to prove) staring QB. And he showed some real talent with a coach that shouldn’t be coaching a pee wee team.

    I’ve been a Jets fan since they were in the old AFL and 2 of the last 3 coaches (Ryan who won with Mangini’s team and Gase) just plain old sucked and Bowles was marginal.

    It seems the 2 biggest mistakes that the Jets have made year in and year out is no patience and really bad drafting, especially at QB.

    You CAN’T win in the NFL with a team full of rookies even if they were all consensus All Americans.

    So Joe, show me that things are going to be different. Show me you KNOW what you are doing in the draft and that you have the patience to not throw you 1st Rd QB pick to the wolves behind a line that can’t block.

    I’ll buy in if I see a veteran QB start the season and some serious attempt to get a really great OLine in place.

    Otherwise you are just shoveling it at us AGAIN.

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