The New York Jets’ dream week? Dee-bo Samuel on trade and defense in draft – New York Jets Blog
FLORHAM PARK, NJ – A preview of what’s going on around the New York Jets:
1. Ready to pounce? The Jets are having a solid offseason. Nothing spectacular, just a series of sound football moves, plotted by a methodical general manager who has yet to embark on the commercial frenzy of the new NFL. Could this change in the next few days?
Let’s put it this way: If general manager Joe Douglas trades for disgruntled wide receiver Deebo Samuel and comes out of the draft with two plug-and-play defenders, it will be a trifecta for the ages.
Ideally, the Jets would like to land Samuel without having to give up one of their first-round picks (presumably, No. 10), but that will be difficult. The feeling at One Jets Drive is that the San Francisco 49ers would be asking for the moon if they decided to make him available. The Jets have access to the moon – that is, a ton of draw capital.
“It’s a great position,” Douglas said. “Obviously there’s been a lot of movement to be in this position. Unfortunately we had to trade some really good players to be in this position, but it’s a great opportunity to be part of any opportunity that comes along. and having those discussions. If the right situation arises, we can be in it.
We know the Jets were ready to part ways with two second-round picks and a third-round pick for wide receiver Tyreek Hill, which tells us how much they appreciate a WR1 star. We also know the Jets were willing to pay Hill something comparable to the four-year, $120 million deal he received from the Miami Dolphins, so sticker shock shouldn’t be an issue.
Yes, the Jets want Samuel, who has requested a trade. The 49ers are telling people they have no interest in trading him, sources said, but if we’ve learned anything in this wild offseason, it’s that star players tend to get by. The Jets went through the same thing two years ago with safety Jamal Adams, who was fired when Douglas received an offer he couldn’t refuse.
If the Jets can get Samuel and somehow retain the fourth and 10th picks, they would be in a prime position to select two of the following players: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon), DE Jermaine Johnson II (Florida State) , CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (Cincinnati), CB Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU) and S Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame).
If they have to give up the 10th pick for Samuel, so be it. It would still be a win for the Jets, assuming they hold on to their second-rounders (35 and 38) — a sweet spot for more defense. They would seek to meet their need for security with Jalen Pitre (Baylor), Daxton Hill (Michigan), Lewis Cine (Georgia) or Jaquan Brisker (Penn State). The Jets coached Pitre to the Senior Bowl.
2. Deebo in numbers: It’s not a revealing statement, but Samuel is a unique talent. Check out these facts from 2021, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:
He became the first player in history with at least 1,400 receiving yards and 300 rushing yards in the same season.
His eight rushing touchdowns were the most by a wide receiver in a season, and it was the first time since the 1970 amalgamation that a receiver had led his team in that category.
His YAC (yards after catch) per reception was 10.0, only the second time in the past 15 years that a wide qualifier has reached that mark. The first to do it? It was Samuel in 2020 (12.0).
He averages 13.1 yards per reception on targets at or behind the line of scrimmage. That was a better rating than 52 average qualified wide receivers on everything goals last season.
3. Don’t: Not everyone thinks the Samuel trade is a no-brainer for the Jets. Here’s ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid, a guest on the “Flight Deck” podcast:
“Not only are you spending high-end draft capital, but you’re probably going to have to give Deebo $25-30 million a year. I just think draft is a better route for that as long as they’re in this moment I know you’re taking a guy at 10 that you hope you can eventually turn into Deebo Samuel but you just have to trust your scouting department and trust your draft committee where you feel like you can bring this guy on a cheaper five-year contract instead of paying $25 million a year.”
4. Receiver Madness: If Samuel switches teams, three of the five All-Pro wide receivers from the past two years will have been traded. The others: Hill and Davante Adams.
5. Wanted: Outliers. If there’s one thing we know about Douglas, it’s that he likes to sign players who perform well in sports tests.
Five of the Jets’ nine picks who were ranked last year by NFL Next Gen Stats were ranked in the top 10 in “athletics” at their respective positions. NGS calculates a score that represents a prospect’s measurable elements from the scouting combine and professional days relative to their position. (Offensive linemen aren’t rated, so there’s no rating for Alijah Vera-Tucker.) Brandin Echols (score: 99) and Jonathan Marshall (99) were No. 1 at cornerback and defensive tackle , respectively.
In 2020, CB Javelin Guidry (97), DE Jabari Zuniga (83) and WR Denzel Mims (85) were ranked first, second and third at their respective positions. (Guidry was an undrafted free agent.)
“Obviously you’re looking for unusual people,” Douglas said.
Notable prospects with the top 10 draft scores this year are DEs Aidan Hutchinson (95) and Travon Walker (86) and S Kyle Hamilton (74).
6. Warning: Walker is a fascinating prospect. So much talent, but so little college production (just 9.5 career sacks). If drafted into the top 3, he would have the fewest sacks of any DE/OLB top 3 since 2000 (when sacks became an official NCAA stat).
7. Dibs on Thibs? The Jets, who hosted Thibodeaux on a pre-draft visit, came away with the belief that a narrative surrounding him — a prime dude with a strong personality — is overblown. Is he confident? Yes, but not in a bad way, according to them. With Thibodeaux, it is a footballing decision. They like his game, but “there probably isn’t a real headliner like you’ve had in the past,” assistant GM Rex Hogan said of the top class, mentioning Chase Young and the Bosa brothers.
I don’t know about you, but if I pick a fourth guy, I’d like him to be the headliner.
8. Did you know? There are a record eight teams with multiple first-round picks. How do teams fare after making two picks in the first round?
It’s happened 71 times in the last 20 drafts. Of the 71, 41 teams improved their win total from the previous season and 19 made the playoffs.
9. A vote for Sauce: It’s always a good idea to pay attention to NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah. Not only does he provide excellent insight, but he knows how Douglas thinks. Years ago, they worked together as scouts for the Baltimore Ravens. On a national conference call, I asked Jeremiah about the Jets and the fourth pick.
“For me, personally, Sauce Gardner, if he’s there at No. 4, I would return the card and make a real difference,” he said. “You go back to 10, if Jeremiah Johnson is there that’s an opportunity for you. If not, hopefully he gets a chance at one of those wides, with Drake London being my second option and Garrett Wilson being my first option.
“They need to have players who make a difference. They need to have playmakers in this team. They’ve done a pretty solid job of building the basics, but you need to have guys who equip fear. You need to have some of these guys in this draft.”
10. The Last Word: “I think everyone here saw what Carl was doing in training camp and OTAs last year and how he was one of the best players on the pitch for us and was going to be an impact player for us last year. So I absolutely can’t wait…to get Carl back on the pitch and make him roar.” — Douglas on DE Carl Lawson, who missed last season with an Achilles tear