Early in the second round, the Jets drafted the former Iowa State running back Breece Hall with the 36th overall selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, making Hall the first running back to come off the board for the year. Despite the annual debate over whether it’s worth spending a first-round pick on a running back, this marked the first draft since 2014, when a running back was not selected in the first round.
However, it was almost a continuation of the 7-year trend. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, New York were so high on Hall that they tried to switch back to the bottom of the first round to draft him. Whether they just wanted to be extra confident that Hall became a Jet, or whether they were looking to add a fifth-year option to his rookie contract is unclear at the time.
If New York had been successful in this endeavor, it would have been the first time an NFL team had used four first-round picks since the Jets themselves did so in the 2000 NFL Draft. In the 2000 draft, the Jets selected future Pro Bowl defensive goals Shaun Ellis and John Abraham back-to-back on No. 12 & 13 overall. Five picks later, New York selected the quarterback Chad Pennington, who would become their starter two years later and take them to the playoffs three times. Eventually, they made the tight end Anthony Becht which became a threat in the Red Zone throughout his tenure in New York.
The Jets are certainly hoping to get the same, if not better, success out of this year’s class. With two top-ten choices in cornerback Ahmad Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilsonin addition to No. 26 overall pick defensive end Jermaine Johnson II and Hall at No. 36 overall, New York has added key parts to needs positions.
Stacked up with last year’s high value picks by quarterback Zach Wilsonguard Alijah Vera-Tuckerand wide receiver Elijah Moore, The Jets are looking to build draft success to success on gridiron, something they have not seen since their last winning season in 2015, a year in which they still failed to qualify for the postseason. They will look to end the NFL’s longest active playoff drought and reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 NFL season.