1. New York Jets
No team entered the NFL Draft with a more valuable set of picks than the New York Jets, who leveraged trades for Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold to land four of the top 40 picks in the draft. GM Joe Douglas used his assets tremendously to snag three difference-makers for the Jets in the first round, setting the stage for a class that could have a transformative impact on the franchise like the famous 2000 draft class did.
The first pick was a bit of a surprise as the Jets took Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner at No. 4 to add the draft’s best cornerback to their beleaguered secondary. Gardner, who didn’t allow a touchdown in his college career, has the ideal size and cover skills to dominate in Robert Saleh’s defense, which will make him an immediate asset in a division with Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs.
Next up was adding a go-to-guy for Zach Wilson in Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, who was the class’ most pro-ready wide receiver. Wilson’s ball skills and acrobatic ability add another dimension to the Jets’ passing game, giving them a strong trio of pass catchers when Wilson is paired with Corey Davis and 2021 second-round pick Elijah Moore.
Douglas then took advantage of an unexpected slide by Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson, trading back into the first round to add a much-needed pass rusher to New York’s defense to go alongside returning Carl Lawson. The Jets managed to add three of the draft’s top prospects and still have a high second-round pick at No. 38, making them the clear winners of the draft at this point.