NFL Network's lead Draft analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, is not only well-versed in the nation's top prospects leading up to this year's draft on Thursday night. He also knows how Jets GM Joe Douglas thinks during these drafts as well.
"Joe's a PhD in [Ravens EVP] Ozzie Newsome's way of scouting and looking at players," Jeremiah told the New York Post's Steve Serby in an in depth Q&A. "I think you'll see a lot of the same types of players and the same types of leadership there. He was very close with Ozzie. Ozzie was definitely a mentor to Joe, so I think you'll see a lot of that in his DNA as a GM."
The Jets would certainly love that to be the case. Newsome paved the way for the Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV and XLVII teams as GM, and Douglas could use that knowledge from Newsome to do the same in New York. It all starts with his first draft.
Jeremiah, like the rest of us, knows that Douglas will most likely be choosing between a top offensive tackle or wide receiver with that No. 11 overall selection. What should he ultimately take at the end of the day? Jeremiah says it isn't necessarily that simple.
"I think they need to get a blue-chip player. I think that both of those need to be met. But what you don't want to do is reach for an offensive lineman at the expense of an elite receiver, or do the opposite. When you look at the grand plan there, Joe's got a lot of years on his [six-year] contract, so they're gonna be patient. The goal is in three years, when you look back, you want to see that you've accumulated a bunch of blue-chip players."
Depending on how Douglas grades the prospects, Jeremiah would lean toward taking a lineman over the receiver.
"I think the offensive line is the priority," he told Serby. "If it's close, you definitely go with the offensive line over the receiver in my opinion. But I won't be in the business of reaching for somebody you don't love just to take an offensive lineman."
With that pick just outside of the Top 10, Douglas will have to wait to see who's available once the Jets are on the clock. By the looks of many mock drafts, he'll have a choice of a lineman or receiver, but the talent level varies depending on which linemen are still there. Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills, and Andrew Thomas are the tackles that might be available.
But would Douglas choose one of them if Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb, the top two wide receivers in a stacked group in this class, are there for the taking?
Since Douglas has six years on his contract with the Jets, CEO Christopher Johnson is going to give him ample time to get the roster he needs to compete for a Super Bowl on a consistent basis. That's why Jeremiah believes Douglas must trust his grading system -- something he's changed entirely in the Jets' scouting system after seeing it work during his time with the Eagles and Ravens.
It's all speculation now until you hear NFL commissioner Roger Goodell virtually call out the Jets' pick on draft day. But Jeremiah knows his former colleague is the man for the job at One Jets Drive, and fans will come to see that from his draft picks.