The Jets may have just assembled their most talented offensive roster of the last decade after the Aaron Rodgers trade, and nothing will bring their high hopes down.
Ask the New York Jets if they regret the terms of the Aaron Rodgers trade, and it’s possible that every single member of the franchise will vehemently say no. This is the Jets way.
Blind confidence in one’s self usually doesn’t bode well for the future, but in New York’s case, they need to act that way. They didn’t move on from Zach Wilson’s four yards per pass attempt (an exaggeration that’s still not too far off) for the franchise to get sunk by a cannonball of depressed spirits and low morale.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh saw it within his duties as team leader to say whatever was necessary to keep the boat afloat, and that may be why he came out with a somewhat bitter take on the draft.
Well, it reads as bitter. Just imagine each of the following words dripping with spite:
"“The difference between 13 and 15 in the way everything shook out made no difference to us.”"
Robert Saleh and the Jets hitch their wagon to first-round pick Will McDonald
Those are Saleh’s words to Rich Eisen saying that he was planning to take defensive lineman Will McDonald regardless of whether the Jets picked at No. 13 or No. 15 overall.
The Jets swapped first-round picks as part of the many conditions of the Aaron Rodgers trade prior to the draft, which meant the Packers got the 13th pick and the Jets selected two places after.
New York was reportedly high on offensive tackle Broderick Jones, who got swiped by the Pittsburgh Steelers at 14th overall. The Jets settled for McDonald in the end — well, Saleh wouldn’t call it “settling”, but the popular perception was that New York were indeed forced to settle.
When the Jets took McDonald in the first round, the public’s knee-jerk reaction was that of surprise since McDonald was widely considered a fringe Day 1 prospect. The Jets could have instead taken a promising pass-rusher, tight end, or even another wide receiver (Jaxon Smith-Njigba was still on the board!) at pick No. 15, but they made their bed with McDonald, and now they’re very obviously lying in it.
A top-ranked offensive lineman like Jones would have been a dream addition for the Jets, who have in recent years struggled to keep their front five healthy. Saleh would never admit it, but then again, why would he? So he can shoot holes in McDonald’s confidence before he even steps onto the field? So he can give the Packers that sweet taste of satisfaction for winning the trade?
No. All Saleh can do is keep his head down and work with the pieces he has in his hands. Blind faith, baby.