New York Jets 2024 Draft Recap

The 2024 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After months of debates and mock drafts, fans of all 32 NFL teams now see what their teams look like post-draft as the NFL closes in on Training Camp in late July. For the New York Jets and Joe Douglas, it was a successful draft feeling various needs mainly on the offensive side of the football.

Today, let’s analyze each of New York’s seven selections made in this year’s draft.

New York Jets 2024 Draft Recap

Round 1, Pick 11: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 312 lbs

After Joe Douglas and the New York Jets filled three major holes on the offensive line many fans wanted a playmaker in round one. With Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze off the board, the Jets went with the smart pick in Olu Fashanu. While some fans may feel disappointed, this was the right move for Douglas after moving back one spot and grabbing more capital in the later rounds.

While Joe Alt, the consensus number-one offensive tackle in this draft, was taken fifth overall, Fashanu entered as the best pass protector in this class and it wasn’t close. In his collegiate career, Fashanu allowed just one sack in 1,304 total snaps at Penn State. On top of that, he allowed just a 1.1% pressure rate in his career at Penn State. In 2023, his senior season, Fashanu was named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and took home First-Team All-Big Ten honors.

Even though New York added pieces to their offensive line in free agency, depth was still a major need for Gang Green with injury concerns upfront. The main concern is coming at left tackle. Future Hall of Famer Tyron Smith hasn’t played a full season since 2015. That’s almost a decade. If Smith were to go down fans should have full trust in Fashanu who is a pure left tackle. It is also a huge win for Fashanu who still needs seasoning in the run game to sit behind the five-time All-Pro in Smith.

Was this move flashy? No. Was it the smart move? Yes. Douglas and the Jets cannot have what happened last year happen again in 2o24. That is 13 different offensive line combinations. This pick helps New York in 2024, but also in 2025 and beyond as they find what should be their franchise left tackle for many years to come.

Round 3, Pick 65: Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 215 lbs

The YAC King is a New York Jet. After trading back in round one, Douglas and company waited for the perfect time to strike trading up seven spots with the Carolina Panthers in round three. New York got the first pick in round three and drafted one of the most intriguing wide receiver prospects in this class, Malachi Corley.

Let’s start with the nickname “YAC King.” From 2021-2023 Corley accumulated 2,068 yards after the catch which was by far the most in the FBS the next closest was Tez Johnson with 1,676 yards after the catch. On top of that, Corley is dangerous underneath. Last season 38 of his 76 catches came from behind the line of scrimmage. In total, Corley hauled in 259 receptions for 3,035 yards and 29 touchdowns during his time at Western Kentucky. Those 29 touchdowns were tied for second most in the FBS since 2021.

Corley is exactly what the Jets need playing alongside Garrett Wilson and Mike Williams. New York was one of the worst teams in football in YAC last season. Corley will mainly line up in the slot but he is also very valuable as a gadget guy which is where he has drawn comparisons to Deebo Samuel. This is arguably the best pick value-wise that Douglas made in all three days.

Round 4, Pick 134: Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 235 lbs

Another year, another running back was taken by Joe Douglas. In all five of Douglas’ drafts, he has now taken a running back dating back to his first draft in 2020. Braelon Allen has a monster build for a running back and is just what the Jets needed behind Breece Hall. He was also the youngest player in this draft class at just 20 years of age. Since Hall was selected in 2022, New York has struggled to find a third-down back but they get that here in Allen.

In three seasons at Wisconsin, Allen had 597 carries for 3,494 yards and 35 touchdowns. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2020-2021 and his 3,494 career yards rank ninth most in Wisconsin program history. To add on, his 35 touchdowns ranked fourth most in the FBS since 2021. Most importantly though New York took his tough, physical, downhill running style up the middle. Since 2021, Allen has rushed for 1,493 yards up the middle which was second best in the FBS only behind Blake Corum who was selected by the Los Angeles Rams.

Last season New York had a third down conversion rate of just 25.9% which ranked dead last in football. A lot of those third-down struggles came in third-down and short situations. Having a physical threat behind Hall in Allen to use in third-down situations will be pivotal in 2024. Allen is also valuable as a pass protector out of the backfield.

Round 5, Pick 171: Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 200 lbs

Is this finally the answer to the future at quarterback for the New York Jets? After having two top three picks one in 2018 and the other in 2021 not working, the organization shifted to a different plan in 2024. After signing Tyrod Taylor to a two-year deal it was clear New York would look for a developmental quarterback in the middle to late rounds. That quarterback and maybe the answer is Jordan Travis.

Travis was on his way to a chance at winning a National Championship and a Heisman Trophy before he went down with a season-ending broken leg. Before the injury, Travis completed 63.9% of his passes for 2,756 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. With Travis, Florida State was one of the biggest stories in College Football. However, in the three games after his injury, the Seminoles averaged just 14.3 points per game including a 63-3 blowout loss to Georgia in the Orange Bowl.

The opportunity Travis is going to get to sit in a quarterback room that includes Aaron Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor is going to be invaluable. He isn’t going to have to worry about taking a single snap this season and instead can sit, watch, and learn from Rodgers and Taylor who have played in 323 games between the two.

Round 5, Pick 173: Isaiah Davis, RB, South Dakota State

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 218 lbs

This pick caught many Jets fans by surprise after the selection of Braelon Allen just one round prior. With this pick, many felt Douglas may go back to the trenches taking an interior offensive lineman but that wasn’t the case. Isaiah Davis will now enter a running back room full of competition that will be in full swing when the summer rolls around.

Whether or not Davis ends up being successful with the Jets or in the NFL his numbers and performances in college were eye-popping. In 2023, Davis had 236 carries for 1,578 yards and 18 touchdowns. His yards and touchdowns both led the FCS last season. In total, he rushed for 4,548 yards and 50 touchdowns during his four years at South Dakota State. Davis is also a huge threat on special teams which could translate well in the NFL.

It will be a big jump for Davis coming from an FCS school and will have to adjust to the Jets scheme which is different from what was run in college. This pick does send a message to current Jets running back Israel Abanikanda who will now compete against two new rookie running backs in Allen and Davis.

Round 5, Pick 176: Qwan’tez Stiggers, CB, Toronto Argonauts

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 203 lbs

Douglas and company made history with this selection as Qwan’tez Stiggers became the first player in NFL history to be drafted out of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Coming out of high school Stiggers was a zero-star recruit and got one offer from Lane College a Division II school. He never ended up playing in college because of the tragic passing of his father in September 2020. He didn’t play football in 2021 but returned in 2022 where he joined the Fan Controlled Football League (FCF) and was the youngest player in the league.

Most recently where Stiggers began to get noticed was in the CFL in 2023. Stiggers played 16 games and had five interceptions and 56 tackles. Those five interceptions were tied for second in the CFL. This was good enough for him to take home the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie award. Despite Stiggers being a corner, expect New York to try and transform him into a primary safety. Whether or not Stiggers succeeds in the NFL his story is a special one and will be an easy player to root for.

Round 7, Pick 257: Jaylen Key, S, Alabama

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 208 lbs

The 2024 Mr. Irrelevant is a New York Jet. Safety Jaylen Key became just the second Mr. Irrelevant to be selected out of Alabama. For New York, this is the second time in franchise history that they held the last overall pick. The last time they had the last pick was in 1969 when they selected Fred Zirkle who never ended up playing one snap in the NFL. The Jets will hope this year’s Mr. Irrelevant will turn out a little differently than it did 55 years ago.

Jaylen Key spent the first four years of his collegiate career at UAB before transferring to play under Nick Saban for one season in 2023. Last year, Key tallied 60 total tackles, one pass defended, and one interception. He primarily played free safety during his lone season at Bama. He will now join a safety room that could still be looking for another veteran option to add to the room but he will have to chance to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster.

Main Image: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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