Problem Solved? Jets Land New QB In ESPN’s 2022 NFL Re-Draft

Would Brock Purdy thrive in New York?


Feb 8, 2023

The New York Jets surely have no complaints about the 2022 NFL Draft.

They landed cornerback Sauce Gardner, a First-Team All-Pro in his rookie season, with the No. 4 pick and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finalist Garrett Wilson with the 10th overall selection. Then, they drafted Breece Hall in the second round, which looked like a steal until the running back tore his ACL in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos.

But ESPN recently tasked its NFL Nation reporters with re-drafting the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Jacksonville Jaguars (represented by Michael DiRocco) chose Gardner at No. 1 overall. So, Jets reporter Rich Cimini opted to throw up a Hail Mary in an attempt to solve New York’s most obvious flaw, nabbing quarterback Brock Purdy at No. 4.

Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and cornerback Tariq Woolen went No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in ESPN’s re-draft.

Purdy, in reality, was the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, going to the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round (262nd overall). And he performed well for the Niners this season after quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo went down with injuries, while 2021 No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson continued to struggle under center for the Jets.

Here is Cimini’s explanation for picking Purdy:

Yes, Purdy will be on the shelf for at least six months with a UCL tear to this throwing elbow, but we’re thinking long term not short term. It hasn’t worked out with Zach Wilson — the No. 2 overall pick in 2021 — so it’s time to change direction at quarterback. Purdy was Mr. Irrelevant in the real draft, but he’d be very relevant to the Jets. He’d look good in Gotham, especially if they fail to land veterans Aaron Rodgers or Derek Carr this offseason. In eight starts and four relief appearances — three starts in the playoffs — Purdy completed 66.5% of his passes, throwing for 1,943 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.

The Jets appear committed to adding a veteran quarterback this offseason, with many wondering whether New York will trade for Green Bay Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers. Clearly, Zach Wilson hasn’t been the answer through two NFL seasons, whereas the rest of the Jets’ roster looks capable of blossoming into a legitimate Super Bowl threat in the AFC East.

Purdy isn’t the flashiest quarterback. And the sample size remains small. But desperate times call for desperate measures. The Jets need a QB who can bring them to the next level — which also explains the Jets’ selection in ESPN’s 2021 NFL re-draft back in December.

For what it’s worth, Garrett Wilson ended up with the New York Giants at No. 7 in ESPN’s 2022 re-draft. Thus, the Jets, again represented by Cimini, nabbed fellow wide receiver Christian Watson at No. 10.

Thumbnail photo via Danielle Parhizkaran/USA TODAY Sports Images
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