New York Jets Draft Picks 2023 – First Round Grade and Potential Next Picks

New York Jets Draft Picks 2023 – First Round Grade and Potential Next Picks
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After acquiring 4-time MVP Aaron Rodgers in a trade days prior to the draft, the New York Jets dropped from 13th overall to 15th due to the trade. With their round one pick, New York selected Will McDonald IV, an edge rusher out of Iowa State.

On Friday, the organization used their second-round pick (No. 43) on Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann.

Check this page after each round of the draft, as it will be updated with grades on every pick.

Jets Draft Picks 2023

New York has four more picks remaining in the draft.

First-round pick (15th): Will McDonald IV, Edge, Iowa State

  • Position: Defensive end, Linebacker
  • Age: 23
  • Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
  • Class: R-Senior
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 239 lbs
  • Arm: 34 7/8”
  • Hands: 9 1/2” 
  • Wingspan: 82 2/8”
  • 40-yard dash: 4.70 seconds

The Jets needed a pass rusher and by selecting McDonald, were able to fill the position.

Last year, New York ranked fourth in total defense (311.1 yards allowed per game) and in points surrendered (18.6 per outing). 

Third-year head coach Robert Saleh is known for his defensive knowledge (previously succeeded as the defensive coordinator in San Francisco) and can develop the 23-year-old draftee who had 34 career college sacks.

McDonald’s measurables and attributes include explosiveness, quick at changing directions and long arms. With Saleh’s ability to transform players into top talents, he’ll definitely have a chance to improve quickly.

At the combine, McDonald received an athleticism score of 82, putting him as the No. 5 edge prospect. His total score of 82 ranks him at No. 10 overall at the position.

A personnel executive for an NFC team had the following scouting report regarding McDonald:

“He’s going to put up big workout numbers and be one of the buzziest prospects headed into April once the media catches up on him.”

College Career

McDonald saw significant action from 2019-2022 at Iowa State. In 2020, the Milwaukee native earned first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors after finishing in a tie for first with 10.5 sacks. He also recorded 13.5 tackles for loss. 

A year later, McDonald beat his own Iowa State record for most sacks in a season with 11.5 and also forced five fumbles. 

During his final year as a Cyclone, McDonald started every game and recorded 36 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, five sacks and broke up four passes. He once again earned first-team All-Big 12 honors.

Jets Draft Grade (First Round): C

Moving down from the 13th to 15th pick due to the Rodgers trade did hamper the Jets and prevented them from taking one of the top-rated offensive linemen.

Georgia’s Broderick Jones would have been the ideal pick to help replace Duane Brown (37 years old) and protect their newly acquired quarterback.

There were also higher-rated defenders on the board and offensive talent. Players such as Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez (top-10 talent at CB), Georgia’s Nolan Smith (LB) and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith Njigba (top-rated WR) were available.

The Jets parted ways with receiver Elijah Moore so they could’ve provided Rodgers with another weapon.

McDonald was graded to be an extremely late first-rounder or second-rounder so selecting him at No. 15 did draw red flags.

Joe Tippman, C, Wisconsin Round 2 Grade: A

The Jets needed help at tackle and center. With their 43rd pick, they selected the No. 1 ranked center in Joe Tippmann.

At the combine, Tippmann earned a total score of 87, putting him as No. 1 overall at the position. He received a 78 production grade (2nd) and a 77 athleticism score (3rd).

In high school, the 6-foot-6, 313-pounder was named Indiana Mr. Football Offensive Lineman when he played at Bishop Dwenger.

In 2021, as a sophomore, Tippman became the first-string center and started 11-of-12 games en route to earning All-Big Ten honorable mention. As a senior, he won the award again and started every game.

Tippmann should be able to start in the NFL after a year or two thanks to his size, strength, intelligence, and quickness.

Rounds 4-7: B

Round 4 (120) — Carter Warren, OT, Pittsburgh

Round 5 (143) — Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh

Round 6 (184) — Zaire Barnes, LB, Western Michigan

Round 6 (204) — Jarrick Bernard-Converse, CB, LSU

Round 7 (220) — Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

What to expect this season?

After acquiring Rodgers, the Jets became the sixth favorite to win the Super Bowl (14/1) on many sportsbooks. 

Last season, the franchise finished with a 7-10 record but struggled all year with quarterback issues between Zach Wilson and Mike White. With an upgrade at the position and plenty of weapons including Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Allen Lazard and Breece Hall, New York should be contenders and make their first playoff appearance since 2010.

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