Joe Douglas’ coy comments suggest Jets have Brock Bowers interest: ‘Real weapon’



Jets general manager Joe Douglas did not reveal his draft plans in Friday’s pre-draft press conference, but he did say a few things that you can choose to read into or not.

The big question of whether the Jets would take Georgia tight end Brock Bowers could be answered next week if Bowers is still on the board when the Jets select at No. 10.

On Friday, Douglas sounded willing to draft a tight end if he thought he could have a big impact.

“If that tight end can become someone that turns into what Kansas City, San Francisco, what [Sam] LaPorta did last year in Detroit,” Douglas said, “those are dynamic weapons for your offense and guys that put a lot of stress on your defense because they can create mismatches. It’s hard to put a linebacker on those guys. You put a DB on one of those guys and it creates a size mismatch. You put a safety on those guys, he better be able to run, he better be able to play man coverage. The right type of tight end can be a real weapon.”

Joe Douglas and the Jets have the No. 10 overall pick in Thursday’s draft. Bill Kostroun for the NY Post

In another answer, Douglas was lauding the attributes of offensive players at the top of this draft.

He did not refer to Bowers by name but clearly was referring to him in his answer, calling him, “a tight end that’s a Swiss Army knife and can move all around the formation and can really stress the defense.”

The Jets face an interesting decision with their first-round pick.

Do they draft a playmaker for Aaron Rodgers or someone to keep Rodgers upright?

The Jets added tackles Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses this offseason, but both are 33 years old and have recent injury history.

There is a case to be made that the Jets should draft a tackle to provide insurance if Smith or Moses get injured.

“That’s obviously something we have to be mindful of,” Douglas said. “We had 16 or 17 different offensive linemen play for us last year. I think the silver lining in all that is we have a lot of battle-tested depth on our roster. Every one of our backups started games last year because of what happened. It’s something we have to be mindful of, not just offensive line but other positions where guys are coming off injuries. We have to be mindful of that as we’re building the team.”

If the Jets draft an offensive lineman, he would not walk in the door as a starter.

Brock Bowers will likely be a top-10 pick in Thursday's NFL draft.
Brock Bowers will likely be a top-10 pick in Thursday’s NFL draft. AP

Douglas said he believes anyone the Jets draft will have to compete for a starting job.

He made it a point to mention the tight ends, too, perhaps in reference to a Bowers selection.

“I think it’s a positive thing if you have enough depth on your team so that a draft pick doesn’t have to come in and play right away,” Douglas said. “I would say that just about anyone we draft, it’s going to be a dog fight to break into the starting lineup. I think there’s a lot of good players. Warriors like [Tyler Conklin] and [Jeremy Ruckert], they’re not going to go quietly into the night if we took a tight end. It’s going to be tough for anyone we draft to come in and just stake their claim for a starting spot.”

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