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New York Jets 2023 NFL Draft picks, analysis and prospect spotlight

Morgantown, West Virginia, USA;Iowa State Cyclones defensive end Will McDonald IV (9) during the third quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a flurry of selections from Thursday to Saturday, 259 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the New York Jets draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2023 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2023 NFL Draft Picks

R1 (15): EDGE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
R2 (43): C Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin
R4 (120): OT Carter Warren, Pittsburgh
R5 (143): RB Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh
R6 (184): LB Zaire Barnes,  Western Michigan
R6 (204): CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse, LSU
R6 (220): TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion

Day 1: McDonald had the best season of his college career in 2022 and flashed incredible lateral quickness. PFF’s Sam Monson views him as the second-best pass-rusher in this draft class, but the Iowa State product was just the 29th-ranked player on the PFF big board. He finished his college career with 127 total pressures across 862 pass-rushing snaps.

Day 2: The Jets eliminated their need to take center by bringing back Connor McGovern on a cheap, one-year deal, but Tippmann gives them another long-term option at the position. He brings a unique combination of size and athleticism to the middle of New York’s offensive line, along with an 84th-percentile run-blocking grade at center on zone runs since 2021.

Day 3: The Jets finally take their tackle. For now, Warren projects as more of a depth piece. He has the requisite build and length but needs some work in his technique and consistency in pass protection. The Jets will hope to develop him behind some veterans in the early going.

With reports the Jets were considering drafting Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at 15th overall, they add a speedy depth piece to their backfield in Abanikanda, who earned a 90.6 rushing grade in 2022 and is a threat to break off a big gain on any given carry. Abanikanda’s 10-yard split, vertical jump and broad jump all placed him in the 95th percentile or better. His hip flexibility and bend are not great, but if he can plant his foot in the ground and get upfield he will rip off chunks as a rotational piece.

Barnes is an undersized linebacker with great speed, landing in the 88th percentile for his 4.54-second 40-yard dash. Barnes' sideline to speed shows up with his 88.9 run defense grade in 2022.

Kuntz is a freakish athlete at 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds, as he put together one of the best combine performances we’ve ever seen. His 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, short shuttle and three-cone all ranked above the 90th percentile. At this point in the draft, you bet on these traits.


Prospect Spotlight: EDGE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State

McDonald will be one of the more interesting defensive line prospects in the class because his tape is almost all at a position that he won't play in the NFL. He was frequently a four- or five-technique in Iowa State's defense at 236 pounds. McDonald is at his best in space off the edge, where he can be a speed rusher. He earned an 84.1 pass-rushing grade in 2022 and an 85.3 mark in 2021.

Strengths, weaknesses and NFL role

Where he wins: Explosiveness

McDonald can really get upfield and test an offensive tackle's ability to get out of their stance. Combine that with his length, and it sets up anything he wants to do as an edge rusher.

What's his role? 3-4 OLB/Wide 9

He has all the traits to be an excellent speed rusher. You saw that whenever he was given the opportunity to pin his ears back at Iowa State. He earned a 92.6 pass-rushing grade against true pass sets this past fall.

What he can improve: Play strength

McDonald very much understands leverage in the run game, but there's only so much he can do without more sand in the pants. He seemingly has the frame to get bigger, but we need to see it.


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