April 15, 2024

Three best fits for Jets in first round of 2024 NFL Draft

The New York Jets hold the 10th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, which is set to begin on April 25.

After making several notable acquisitions this offseason to help his team become a contender for a playoff spot, GM Joe Douglas can get creative with his first-round pick. Douglas will have to decide whether he should draft someone who can instantly step into a starting role or opt for a high-upside developmental project, though either option is viable.

With that in mind, here are the three prospects who are the best fits for the Jets at No. 10 overall. 

Offensive tackle Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Even though there’s no guarantee that the 6-foot-9, 321-pounder will be available when New York is on the clock, he’d be a no-brainer selection if he somehow falls. Despite re-acquiring right tackle Morgan Moses via trade with Baltimore and signing eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith this offseason, the Jets would benefit from adding a long-term piece for the offensive line. Moses and Smith are only under contract for the 2024 season and New York is no stranger to injuries decimating its O-line. 

Alt, a unanimous All-American this past season, is the consensus top-ranked offensive line prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. During his three-year career with the Fighting Irish, Alt allowed 24 total pressures, five QB hits and four sacks. However, in the past two seasons, Alt only surrendered one sack, four QB hits and 13 total pressures. According to Pro Football Focus, Alt was the NCAA’s highest-rated tackle in both 2022 (91.4) and 2023 (90.7). 

Tight end Brock Bowers, Georgia 

If the Jets really want to go all-in on offense and put QB Aaron Rodgers in the best position to succeed, Bowers should be their selection. Bowers is deemed a generational prospect after enjoying a historic collegiate career, during which he won two national titles and became the first-ever two-time John Mackey Award.

He isn’t the most effective run blocker, but Bowers offers plenty of versatility that should translate well to the NFL level. Georgia used Bowers in a variety of ways, including in the slot and out of the backfield. Over his three seasons in Athens, Bowers caught 175 passes for 2,538 yards and 26 touchdowns while adding 193 yards and five scores on the ground. 

Although Atlanta’s Kyle Pitts, the fourth overall pick in 2021 who was also considered a generational tight end prospect, hasn’t lived up to that hype just yet, Bowers would be in a much better situation to flourish with the Jets. For what it’s worth, the Jets are the odds-on favorite to select the former Bulldog (+170), according to FanDuel Sportsbook

Wide receiver Rome Odunze, Washington 

While the Jets signed former Chargers wideout Mike Williams in free agency to serve as the No. 2 option in their passing attack, continuing to bolster the receiving corps wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Considering injuries have limited Williams to 16 games over the last two seasons, including just three in 2023, New York can’t bank on him staying healthy. And while the team’s No. 3 pass-catching option, Allen Lazard, has a strong rapport with Rodgers, the veteran receiver was ineffective during the first season of his four-year, $44M deal. 

For these reasons, it would make sense to take advantage of a highly touted wide receiver class by selecting Odunze, the third-highest-rated player at the position by most scouts and analysts. In 2023, Odunze led the nation in receiving yards with 1,640 and scored 13 touchdowns, solidifying himself as the best contested catch artist in college football. With his skill set, Odunze would be a perfect complement to budding star Garrett Wilson, and the two could emerge as the NFL’s top young receiving duo if they joined forces.