The Jets were among the most likely suitors should the San Francisco 49ers have traded Deebo Samuel, but with New York making a pair of first-round selections Thursday in the 2022 NFL Draft, it seems like that trade is no longer as likely.
After all, New York reportedly was planning to package its No. 10 overall pick in a trade for Samuel. The deal reportedly was considered “not dead” as recently as Thursday afternoon. But given that it never materialized, the Jets used their selection later Thursday night on Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson. The Jets not only filled their need at receiver by adding Wilson, but eliminated a major piece of the package.
The Jets making each of their two selections, and thus not acquiring Samuel, should be viewed positively by other teams around the AFC including the New England Patriots.
Of course, this isn’t to say Wilson is not a good player — he certainly is as indicated by being the second receiver off the board in a loaded class — but facing the dual-threat Samuel, especially at this point in their respective careers, would be far worse.
Samuel, a 2021 All-Pro who has blossomed into one of the best offensive weapons in the league, would further complicate New England’s schedule and road to the postseason. The Patriots already have to deal with the Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills, who did not punt during a playoff game last season, all while the Miami Dolphins added Tyreek Hill. And this is on top of New England’s individual concerns with questionable talent and depth at cornerback after the departure of J.C. Jackson.
Not having to deal with Samuel on top of that? Good news.
The Jets used their first of two first-rounders, the No. 4 overall pick, on Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.
Coincidentally, the Patriots received another positive development as the Tennessee Titans traded receiver A.J. Brown out of the AFC and to the Philadelphia Eagles.