3 Sneaky good players Jets must take in 2024 NFL Draft

After the Jets get out of Round 1 in the 2024 NFL Draft here is who they should be looking at.

After a flurry of offseason moves, the New York Jets will come into the 2024 season with a re-tooled offense. General manager Joe Douglas has addressed several needs in the free agent and trade markets; namely offensive line, wide receiver, and backup quarterback. The Tyron Smith and Mike Williams acquisitions should especially help the Jets improve on their second-worst total offense ranking from last year. Now, the Jets set their sights on the 2024 NFL Draft.

NFL draft prospect Xavier Legette in a Jets uniform

New York still needs to prioritize the offense in the draft in order to bolster depth. Douglas and Saleh simply cannot afford another season derailed by injuries, especially on the offensive line. While there has been plenty of talk about elite prospects like Joe Alt and Marvin Harrison Jr., it’s equally as important to examine the underrated mid-round options.

Who are some diamonds in the rough that the Jets’ scouting department should be looking at outside the first round of the NFL Draft? Here are three.

WR Xavier Legette, South Carolina
Xavier Legette should be one of the team’s top targets in the third round. At 6’1, 223 pounds, the big-bodied receiver would slide in as an imposing third option behind Williams and Garret Wilson.

With Allen Lazard’s poor performance in 2023, he shouldn’t be looked at as a reliable piece. Legette would almost certainly help the Jets improve upon their 31st-ranked red zone offense, due to his size and catch radius. Williams also measures at 6-foot-4, so it’s tough to imagine opposing secondaries stopping both of them consistently near the end zone.

The big WRs’ presence would also help open up looks for the dynamic Wilson, who has been New York’s only game-changing receiver the last couple of seasons.

TE AJ Barner, Michigan
Michigan football, Wolverines, AJ Barner, Colston Loveland, JJ McCarthy

The Jets shouldn’t only be looking at the offensive line to be protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. A quality blocking tight end is another useful resource to protect the quarterback, especially when said signal-caller is a 40-year-old coming off an achilles tear.

At 6-foot-6, 251 pounds, former Wolverine AJ Barner has the frame to help the big guys up front slow down pass-rushers. He gave up just two pressures and no sacks in last year’s championship-winning season for Michigan. Pro Football Focus (PFF) also ranked Barner as the best run-blocking tight end in the country, so he’d be useful on all downs.

The Ohio native would be a steal for Douglas and company as a day-three pick.

OG Brandon Coleman, TCU
With Smith and offensive tackle Morgan Moses each being 33 years old, the Jets cannot rely on them to stay healthy the entire season. Mix in Alijah Vera-Tucker’s checkered injury history, and it’s easy to see another doomsday scenario for the Jets offensive line.

Coleman could provide valuable depth in the event of any major injuries, as he played both guard and tackle for the Horned Frogs. Measuring 6-foot-4, 313 pounds, he has the size and power to deal with both interior and edge rushers. The team captain was a second-team All-Big 12 honoree last year and earned a PFF grade of 57.7.

Coleman also performed well at the 2024 Combine, recording the third-best athletic score among guards (88). He would be another quality day-three pickup for the Jets.

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