The New York Jets released a behind-the-scenes look at last April’s draft with GM Joe Douglas accurately predicting the Pittsburgh Steelers would move up from #17 to #14 with the New England Patriots, jumping the Jets at 15, to take OT Broderick Jones.
Here’s the clip with Jones taking an educated guess at Pittsburgh moving up in front of them.
“I bet somebody is going to trade up in front of us for Broderick Jones. With New England. Pittsburgh.”
A short time later, you can hear the NFL announce to each war room the Steelers have traded up with the Patriots. Moments later, the selection of Jones comes across their screen.
Speculation was rampant ahead of the draft that Jones was the top player on the Jets’ board. They had a need at left tackle and he was one of the best tackles in the class with a clear falloff occurring once his name came off the board. With Pittsburgh taking Jones at #14, the Jets chose Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald IV one pick later. Others speculated the Patriots willingly took a meager offer, picking up just a fourth round pick, to move down and screw over the Jets. Those ideas seem to be unfounded.
In the full episode of the Jets’ behind-the-scenes action of the draft, there’s a point where Douglas asks Director of College Scouting Jon Carr for rankings between McDonald, Jones, and Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer. In order, Carr replies: McDonald, Mayer, and then Jones.
It’s not completely clear if that’s Carr’s preference or the team’s draft board, though the latter is more likely. It seems Douglas was well-aware the situation they, New England, and Pittsburgh were all in. Based on the team’s video, this indicates Jones was not the team’s top target. Instead, the Jets will roll with either veteran Duane Brown or former first rounder Mehki Becton to protect their newest franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Regardless of what the Jets were or weren’t going to do, the Steelers didn’t want to miss out on the chance of a top-tier tackle like Jones. The favorite to start Week One, he’ll battle incumbent Dan Moore Jr. for Pittsburgh’s left tackle job.