Connect with us

NFL

Grading every Jets 2024 NFL Draft pick: Aaron Rodgers gets help

Published

on

Did you get dizzy trying to follow along with the Jets’ draft class?

Don’t worry. We did too.

General manager Joe Douglas traded down four times — once in the first round and three times in the fourth round. He traded up in the second round.

Douglas traded away starting defensive end John Franklin-Myers in a salary dump necessitated after acquiring Haason Reddick in a recent trade with the Eagles. And he added a third-round pick in 2025.

All of those moves came after a handful of others long before this weekend, which included 2024 draft picks coming and going.

So, what was the end result?

Here are The Post’s pick-by-pick grades for the Jets’ draft class:

Round 1, No. 11 overall: Olu Fashanu (OT, Penn State) (A-)

The question entering the draft was whether to prioritize a weapon for Aaron Rodgers or protection for Aaron Rodgers?

The Jets correctly read the depth of receivers in the class and went first with a 312-pounder who allowed one sack in 29 career college games.

Fashanu might not start right away like tight end Brock Bowers would have, but he is a long-term answer, with neither left tackle Tyron Smith nor right tackle Morgan Moses signed beyond 2024. Considering Smith hasn’t played a full season since 2015 and Moses is coming off knee surgery, Fashanu might be needed sooner than later.


Olu Fashanu AP

One drawback is that Fashanu primarily is a left tackle. He will need to learn the right side as a rookie to become a true swing tackle — and maybe supplant Moses by midseason.

Round 3, No. 65 overall: Malachi Corley (WR, Western Kentucky) (A-)

Nicknamed the “YAC King,” Corley is known for turning short catches into big gains. He owns the school record with 259 career receptions and scored 22 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

The Jets wanted him so badly that they reportedly reached out to multiple teams trying to trade back into the second round after giving up their pick in last year’s deal to acquire Rodgers. No exhales until the Panthers agreed to trade down atop the third round.

The 5-foot-10, 207-pounder draws comparisons to Deebo Samuel because he is tough to tackle and will take handoffs in motion. But his average depth of target is just 6.3 yards, which raises questions about whether he can run the full route tree.


Malachi Corley
Malachi Corley Getty Images

Rodgers could get Corley involved the same way he did a young Randall Cobb in Green Bay — who later became one of his favorite targets.

Round 4, No. 134 overall: Braelon Allen (RB, Wisconsin) (B-)

Well, that was a long 68-pick gap. Can Allen be the power in a “Thunder and Lightning” combination?

Breece Hall is an unquestioned three-down back, but the 235-pound Allen might absorb some of the big hits on third- or fourth-and-short, and steal some short-yardage touchdowns. He rushed for 3,494 yards and 35 touchdowns in 35 career games.


Follow The Post’s coverage of the 2024 NFL Draft


Allen, who will be 20 years old for the duration of his rookie season, was the youngest player in the draft, so there should be plenty of tread left on his tires. He initiates contact, including as an above-average pass-protector.

Round 5, No. 171 overall: Jordan Travis (QB, Florida State) (B)

Where would Travis have been drafted if he didn’t suffer a gruesome broken leg last November? Could he have led undefeated Florida State to the national championship?

As is, this scenario is perfect for Travis to take his time getting back to full strength. He can learn from Rodgers and one of the best backup quarterbacks — and young quarterback mentors — of the past decade in Tyrod Taylor.

Travis threw 44 touchdowns and seven interceptions over his final two seasons. He can escape a crowded pocket but needs to show better ball security when scrambling.

Round 5, No. 173 overall: Isaiah Davis (RB, South Dakota State) (C-)

It’s official: Douglas loves drafting running backs. This pick is a bit too repetitive and a bit of a reach.

Davis is the sixth running back drafted by Douglas in five classes. The problem is that philosophy keeps squeezing out past draft picks, like it did to Michael Carter last season and might now do the same to Israel Abanikanda, who struggled to get on the field as a rookie last season.

A former zero-star recruit, Davis rushed for 4,548 yards and 50 touchdowns. Half of his 24 career 100-yard rushing games came in the FCS playoffs, which suggests he got stronger as the season progressed. He is not much of a pass-catching threat on third downs.

Round 5, No. 177 overall: Qwan’tez Stiggers (CB, CFL) (B-)

One approach to the late rounds is to take low-risk/high-reward fliers. Stiggers fits the bill after not playing college football. He comes to the Jets after one season in the Canadian Football League, which he joined after impressing during the Fan Controlled Football league.

Four years after he gave up football to support his family financially, Stiggers visited the Jets’ facility on a top-30 visit on his way to becoming a draft pick. He had 12 passes defended for the Toronto Argonauts, showing good break on the ball.

His ticket to the field is special-teams tackling.

Round 7, No. 257 overall: Jaylen Key (S, Alabama) (C)

Key’s development accelerated over the past two years. After making one start in his first three years at UAB, he parlayed a good 2022 season into a no-guarantees opportunity at Alabama, where he became a full-time starter. He plays physical, whether defending tight ends or bringing the hit stick to special teams.

Now he gets to enjoy the special treatment reserved for the last pick of the draft, including the “Mr. Irrelevant” parade at Disneyland.

Overall draft class grade: B+

Continue Reading