This ESPN nugget details Patriots possibly ruining Jets’ draft plans
The New England Patriots landed the best cornerback in the 2023 NFL draft, earned an extra draft pick and hurt the New York Jets in one fell swoop.
It was a master class by Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler put together an article with lingering nuggets from the NFL draft for all 32 teams. The Patriots entered the event with the No. 14 overall pick, the highest the team had been slotted to pick in nearly 15 years, and they ended up trading the spot away to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the trade, the Patriots moved down to No. 17, while also earning another fourth-round pick (No. 120) in the deal. The Jets, who were positioned at No. 15 in the first round, were widely believed to be targeting Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones, but the trade allowed the Steelers to move ahead of them and draft the lineman at No. 14.
Many around the league suspected the Jets, picking No. 15 overall, were eyeing Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones, who went to Pittsburgh at No. 14 because of New England’s trade. The Jets’ legwork for some of the top tackles, Jones included, was not a secret. When I asked an AFC exec whether the Jets should be frustrated with Pittsburgh, the exec jokingly countered, “They should be mad at the Patriots. They knew what was going on.”
The Patriots followed up the trade by taking Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez, who shockingly fell to them in the No. 17 spot on the draft board. Meanwhile, the Jets turned their attention to the defensive side of the ball with defensive end Will McDonald IV from Iowa State.
If anything, it was a reminder of how quickly things can change during a live draft. It also showed why many consider the first round an A-plus effort by the Patriots.
They took a big gamble early on that ultimately paid off.
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