As it turns out, Aaron Rodgers being traded to the New York Jets did not mean that the position he might have desired most be taken first was drafted for him. While the Jets were not in need of wide receivers like the Packers have been over the past two seasons, they were in need of a good offensive tackle. As Brian Gutekunst as done for 11 of the past 12 years, Jets general manager Joe Douglas used his first round pick on a defensive player (Will McDonald IV). He then used his second round pick on an interior offensive lineman (Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann) and his fourth round pick on the offensive tackle Rodgers needs (Carter Warren).
Due to Douglas and the Jets’ neglecting the offensive tackle position until the fourth round, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell named Rodgers one of the biggest losers of the NFL Draft.
Aaron Rodgers Did Not Get Great Help from the New York Jets in the NFL Draft
In his recent column on the winners and losers of the 2023 NFL Draft, Barnwell wrote:
“In terms of what happened during the draft, though, I don’t think Jets general manager Joe Douglas got what he wanted for his new quarterback. In addition to trading a second-rounder and what will likely be a first-round pick in 2024 for Rodgers, the Packers were able to convince Douglas to swap first-round picks, causing the Jets to move down two spots to No. 15 overall.
“The Steelers then used that swap to jump ahead of the Jets, making a deal with the rival Patriots to move up for left tackle Broderick Jones at No. 14 overall, who was popularly mocked to the Jets throughout April.
“Douglas used his first-round pick on edge rusher Will McDonald IV. The Jets used their second-rounder on center Joe Tippmann and their fourth-round selection on tackle Carter Warren, but Douglas wasn’t able to add the high-end tackle solution he had hoped.
“Douglas responded after the draft by dipping back into the well of ex-Packers and signing offensive tackle Billy Turner to a one-year deal for just over $3 million. Turner is a versatile veteran, but he was a cap casualty for the Packers a year ago and missed time with a knee injury last season. The interior of the line should be sound, but there are major questions about whether the tackles will be able to hold up in New York this season.”
Joe Tippmann is a great prospect as an interior offensive lineman, but the Jets (and Rodgers) needed desperate help at tackle. While they did sign Billy Turner, as Barnwell mentioned, he is coming off of a knee injury. If the tackle situation in New York does not hold up, it will not matter how many good wide receivers Rodgers has.
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