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Jets go offense, offense and more offense around Aaron Rodgers throughout the NFL draft

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets traded down and got a protector.

Then they traded up and grabbed a playmaker.

General manager Joe Douglas kept wheeling and dealing throughout the three days of the NFL draft as the Jets focused mostly on the offense to improve a unit that was among the league’s worst with quarterback Aaron Rodgers missing all but four snaps last season.

“It honestly just fell that way with the board,” said Douglas, who used the first five of New York’s seven picks on offensive players.

Rodgers is back from a torn left Achilles tendon and Douglas used free agency and then the draft to solidify things around the four-time NFL MVP.

The Jets took Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu at No. 11 overall after trading down one spot with Minnesota on Thursday night. After not having a second-rounder, New York traded up seven spots with Carolina in the third to lead off the round by selecting Western Kentucky wide receiver Malachi Corley.

Douglas kept dealing Saturday, trading defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers to Denver for a 2026 sixth-rounder and moving down three times in the fourth round.

At No. 134, the Jets stuck with offense and took Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen, who joins Breece Hall and Israel Abanikanda in the backfield. New York later added to that group by taking South Dakota State’s Isaiah Davis in the fifth round.

With the first of their three fifth-rounders, the Jets took Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, a developmental player who’ll be able to sit behind Rodgers and backup Tyrod Taylor. New York wrapped up the round with its first defensive selection: cornerback Qwan’tez Stiggers, who never played college ball and was the CFL’s most outstanding rookie last season.

The Jets’ final pick was also the last of the draft — “Mr. Irrelevant” — with New York taking Alabama safety Jaylen Key.

ROADBLOCK

Fashanu is projected as a left tackle, so he’ll likely sit as a rookie behind Tyron Smith — the former Penn State star’s idol and the player he modeled himself after becoming an offensive lineman in high school.

Fashanu was a two-year starter at left tackle for the Nittany Lions and allowed only one sack in his entire college career — against Ohio State last season.

And it didn’t sit well with him.

“That game definitely wasn’t one of my better games in my career and I beat myself up pretty hard about it the days after, but I ended up just using that game as a learning experience,” Fashanu said. “I really watched myself in that game multiple times, tried to find all the different flaws I had in that game, and I built upon it.”

RUNNING FREE

Corley had 79 catches for 894 yards and a Conference USA-leading 11 TD receptions last season for Western Kentucky. He also set the school record with 259 career receptions.

But it was what he did with the ball in his hands that really impressed the Jets, who envision pairing him with Garrett Wilson and Mike Williams.

“He makes DBs pay,” coach Robert Saleh said. “The guy doesn’t run out of bounds. I joked with Joe (Douglas) this morning: If he had a relative sitting at the goal line, he’s going to run him over, too.”

Corley, who led the country with 1,674 yards after catch and 55 broken tackles the last two seasons, said his new coach’s scouting report was spot on.

“Dang right, I definitely would!” said a laughing Corley, who has the nickname “YAC King” in his social media bios. “My brother’s 6-foot-3, 250 (pounds) and every single day over the summer, me and him are fully padded up together, going at it every day. He’s the safety, I’m the receiver. I catch the ball and make moves and I lower my shoulder on him every time, so I’m used to that.”

TEARFUL TRAVIS

As he was about to begin his video conference call with reporters, Travis could be seen wiping a tear.

The former Florida State quarterback said his “emotions are kind of everywhere right now” after being taken by the Jets. Travis, a dual-threat who set the school record with 97 career touchdowns, broke his left ankle last November, ending his final season with the Seminoles.

The Jets needed a young quarterback with an eye on the future after trading Zach Wilson to Denver earlier this week. The eighth QB taken this year, Travis will be able to pick the brains of the 40-year-old Rodgers and 34-year-old Taylor to start his NFL career.

“I love watching Aaron Rodgers, ever since I was a little boy,” he said. “I mean, he’s one of my brother’s favorite quarterbacks, so I’ve always watched him. To have an opportunity to go work with him and learn from him is such a blessing.”

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